Common has long been known for his involvement in sociopolitical issues so it was no surprise when the rapper turned actor was called upon to participate in the forthcoming film Selma.
The movie is based off of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous march to Montgomery, Alabama, which, among other things, led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Yahoo’s Katie Couric recently sat down with Common and talked about his involvement in the film and why he wanted to partake.
“The history of the civil rights movement was something I always felt close to and felt like I had an obligation to because they paved the way. They opened doors for us,” Common said when asked about acting in Selma. “To be able to be in of a film that is expressing that and to carry on that tradition through the arts is a blessing.”
When asked about his recent collaborative “Glory” track with singer John Legend, the Chicago native says he was inspired by making the movie and felt Legend would be the perfect accompaniment for the song.
“I was moved so much by the experience I had in Selma and I just though John Legend would be the perfect voice because he is a very soulful artist and a meaningful artist but he also is active in helping out the community… We really wanted to capture the spirit of civil rights in that time but we wanted to show people that it’s present and it’s relative to now.”
Also during the interview, Common talked about bringing Michael Brown on-stage during a recent performance and not stereotyping African Americans as well as police officers.