Common is slated to release his 10th studio album Nobody’s Smiling later this month and has been rounding the press circuit accordingly.

Recently sitting down with Vlad TV, the Chicago native talked about Nobody’s Smiling and that he’s excited to put it out, explaining that you’re only as good as the last work you release.

In the process of conducting the interview, DJ Vlad told Common he had interviewed Chief Keef’s cousin and Interscope signee Big Glo just days before he was murdered in Chicago. Common responded by saying that his next album embodies the tragedies of Chiraq and hopes it teaches those who want to follow their dreams just like he was able to.

“That’s why I’m making Nobody’s Smiling, that’s why it’s not just the music, but the movement of the fact that man I’m not happy, I’m from Chicago,” Common said. “I’m not happy we losing people… people getting shot over things that ain’t even necessary. I can’t even act like I know every situation, why it happens, but some of it… it’s become part of… a way of life. People don’t value life as much as we can, as much as we should. When I hear about people dying it’s just like man, what do I have to do to change it. There’s people out in the field right now doing grassroots movements that work everyday towards stopping violence in Chicago and all around the country but I’m like, ‘This is where I’m from, I’ve been blessed enough to chase my dream, go after my dream and I want to provide the same for people where I come from.”

Common was also asked if he thought the violence in Chicago was less, the same or worse than when he was a teenager. He said he believes it’s worse via the senselessness and involvement of much younger people.

“I think it’s worse,” he said. “You know I’ve heard some statistics that said that there were more murders when we were coming up in the late 80s/early 90s, I find that hard to believe. The statistics are bad no matter what. When you can say there’s been 421 people murdered in one year in a city, that just don’t like, whether you had more people [killed] back in the 80s and that was that time, it shouldn’t happen now. Things have gotten out of order in a way that it’s really like there ain’t as much order in the hood as it used to be. It used to be Gs running certain things and the younger generation took heed or just followed a certain order.

“When you hear about little kids getting shot by other little kids. I’m talking about a 3-year old. I was home one weekend, doing a benefit for my foundation, 13 people got shot and one was a little kid so with that being said, when you hear about that, that wasn’t going on when I was growing up.”

Common also recently talked about Maya Angelou’s passing and shared some of his fondest memories of her. He also remembered stories about her relationship with Tupac and how he himself met the late writer, building a relationship with her.

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