Watch Common & BJ the Chicago Kid Get Serious Performing 'Black America Again' on 'The Tonight Show'
We are living in serious times and nobody knows that more than Common. The Chicago MC/actor performed a fierce take on the title track from his upcoming album, Black America Again, on The Tonight Show Thursday night (Oct. 27), offering his temp check on 2016. Joined by BJ the Chicago Kid and Tonight Show house band The Roots, Common opened staring at the camera while wearing a grey hoodie and spitting the thought-provoking lines: "Here we go again, here here we go again/ Trayvon'll never get to be an older man/ Black children, they childhood stole from them."
The track -- which touches on the legacy of slavery, the scourge of mass incarceration of black men, the Flint water crisis and financial inequality -- featured the Roots crew expanded with a string quartet as Common handed over the spotlight to BJ to rip the hook (sung by Stevie Wonder on the album), "we are rewriting the black American story."
Never rising above a low boil, the haunting instrumental track bubbled under as Common's urgency came through in the lines, "See black people in the future/ We wasn't shipped here to rob and shoot ya/ We hold these truths to be self evident/ All men and women are created equal, including black Americans."
Check out the performance below.