Common is on a mission. Hot off the release of his stellar 11th album, Black America Again, a politically-charged, emotionally moving release that will likely rank among his best works, he's dropped a 21-minute short film of the same name.

Executive-produced by Ava DuVernay, the film is shot and black in white and is simply gorgeous, clinging largely to the immense talents and sharp eye of director Bradford Young, who was also the cinematographer for the film Selma. The offering touches on the black American experience, with Common spitting a verse that touches on everything from the value of black bodies, the beauty of black women and the effects of mass incarceration to gentrification and the exploitation of black people. 

In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, Common said that he hopes his accomplishments on Earth extend beyond musical accolades, something that's present on his latest album and throughout the short film.

“What do I want to accomplish before I leave this Earth?” he asked. “I want my life to be fulfilled in a way where people will say, ‘This dude inspired people. He was a good father. He just was a nice person.'”

The film focuses in on the unique faces that make up black America, while also evoking a spirit of nostalgia and hope for the future, as it pays homage to arts, culture and music that make up the fabric of the black community.

Watch the film above. Stream Common's album here. Purchase Black America Again on iTunes here.

 

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