Common is getting ready to release his new album, Black America Again, on November 4. When the rapper and actor stopped by The FADER office recently, he explained how he made "one of the fastest albums he's ever created." He listed inspirations including Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, the Hamilton soundtrack, and the work of Maimouna Youssef. In particular, he was inspired by Youssef's tribute song for Sandra Bland, called "Say My Name."
The album, which features appearances from Syd, Bilal, and John Legend, isn't only about the stuggles Black America has faced, he said. It also looks to the future and finds importance in reimagining a brighter tomorrow. "With our history of pain here, we can write a new story — we can change the narrative now," Common said. "Until this country distributes equality across the board, we'll never be as great as we can be."
Watch the video above to hear Common break down his creative process and detail his collaboration with Stevie Wonder. Also make sure to listen to Common's unofficial remix of Solange's "Cranes In The Sky."