For more than two decades, Common has eclipsed expectations with his cunning lyrics and poetic flows. The Chi-Town rapper exemplified his lyrical prowess on albums like 2005's Be, 2000's Like Water For Chocolate, 2007's Finding Forever and his recent endeavor, Nobody's Smiling.

But aside from his hard-hitting and socially conscious lyricism, the appreciation for Common's music also stems from his faultless ear for production. He has worked with some of the greatest producers in the game, including Kanye West, No I.D., DJ Premier and more.

While Common has firmly planted himself in history as one of the hip-hop's most formidable rappers, he humbly still manages to pay homage to the rappers and producers before him. During his recent promo run for his 10th LP, Nobody's Smiling, Com sat down with XXL to name his Mount Rushmore of the best rappers and producers to ever do it. —Carl Lamarre

As a native of Chicago, the turmoil in the city hits very close to home for Common. However, the rapper isn't taking Chi-Town's current stance very lightly and recently unveiled that he's going to grave lengths to make drastic changes.

After already partnering with Kanye to provide 20,000 jobs for the young people of Chi-Town, Common tells the Power 105 Breakfast Club that he has other plans coming to fruition. "We making moves, I always try to look at the positive and be like  'Man, we're about to change this.' I'm teaming up with people that's in the field cause it's people that are out there doing that work everyday."

As far as his thoughts on the city's increasing violence Common says,"It's a problem. Can't nobody be proud of that."

Common's 10th studio LP Nobody's Smiling drops today.