Common and Bilal tackle mass incarceration on “Letter To The Free”

Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing "Letters to the Free" at The White House | via NPR's YouTube page
Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing “Letters to the Free” at The White House | via NPR’s YouTube page

After first performing the song during his Tiny Desk Concert at The White House, Common has officially premiered “Letters To The Free”, a track that features Philly’s own Bilal on the hook. The song frames mass incarceration as a new form of slavery and features an understated, jazzy rap style. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Common at The TLA, Pompo & The Community College Rejects at Kung Fu Necktie

Common | via
The cover of Common’s Nobody’s Smiling | via

After a brief hiatus, Chicago rapper Common re-emerged this year with his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling. Released on Def Jam Records in July, it was a timely artistic statement, as the album deals with the high crime rate in his hometown that hit a peak this summer, with guest collaborations from Jhené Aiko, Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Tonight Common headlines the TLA in Philly; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Kingdon” featuring Vince Staples. Continue reading →