Whenever there is major election, primarily the U.S. presidency, there is a lot of debates, protests, and powerful voices. This 2016 presidential election has proved that to be true, but there is something different about this time of the year. Its protests and political cries go way beyond just who will be the president of the country. Part of the outcry stems around the recent police killings that sent the country and online social media in an uproar. With everything taking place around the same time, it almost made every part of the country segregated.
This type of environment had a major influence on culture and entertainment. One of those people that felt the pain being poured throughout the country is rap artist and actor, Common. With everything currently going on, Common made sure to release his album at a much needed time. The album, Black America Again, is Common’s eleventh studio album. The title rides on the back of Donald Trump’s slogan for his presidential candidacy, “Make America Great Again”. His latest work is at the heights of other powerful black voices that have release music to bring awareness to the importance of black lives.
Some of the artists that have raised the bar on black lives are D’Angelo (Black Messiah), Solange (A Seat at the Table), and Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly). The seasoned rapper touches on the struggles of a Black American, from past to present. But, his main focus is to educate and empower black people to create their own path and rewrite their own story.
The latest work is primarily produced by Karriem Riggins, a music producer out of Detroit, Michigan. With a 10-album history, it seems as if Common is returning to his roots and re-introducing us to the conscious rap artist that made him who he is today. Common surrounds his lyrics with the rich history and culture of black people.