In the midst of the current political climate, Common delivers the poignant video for “Letter to the Free.”
The powerful song, which he crafted with Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper, delves into slavery and mass incarceration. “We dealt with the whole subject matter from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration which is what we’re dealing with right now,” the Chicago rapper told Billboard. “We wanted to make something that was strong, unapologetic, but that was also hopeful.”
The black-and-white clip, directed and shot by Bradford Young, opens in a jail. Common can be seen rapping alongside musicians as a black box floats across the screen. Plus, look for cameos from Andra Day and Bilal.
“Letter to the Free” appears on Common’s latest album Black America Again as well as in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th.
Common recently shared his thoughts on his pal Kanye West’s meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. “Kanye, that’s my brother. He gon’ do what he choose to do,” he told TMZ. “Some things he does, that’s what he chooses to do. I’ma do things the way I choose to do ’em and we gon’ do ’em together. That’s how people work.”