As previously reported, Common has reconvened with esteemed producer No I.D. for Nobody’s Smiling (f.k.a. No Smiling), a concept album inspired by violence in Chicago. Already we’ve heard the righteous protest song “War” and the Ab-Soul-aided “Made In Black America”. Today, Common teams with Long Beach’s own Vince Staples for the album’s lead single, entitled “Kingdom”.
In just six minutes, Common touches on a lifetime’s worth of pain and agony. Coming off especially calm and focused, his rhymes alternate between tales of retribution and vengeance to the role of religion in his life (“My whole life I had to worry about eating/I didn’t have time to think what I believe in”). As Common balances a sense of theatricality and gritty realism, the whole sordid tale manages to sound like a heart-wrenching personal confessions and cautionary tales for those with any pipe dreams of life on the streets.
Listen in below:
A music video for “Kingdom” has already been shot, directed by the iconic Hype Williams. Below, watch a short teaser trailer.