Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper were friends and collaborators before the idea of forming a band came to mind. But after the trio recorded Common’s 2016 album, Black America Again, the group’s longstanding brotherhood and musical chemistry culminated in the creation of the artists’ new jazz- and hip-hop-rooted collective, August Greene, and an eponymous debut (out now) that mixes Common’s lyrical sensibility, Glasper’s complex piano arrangements and Riggins’ polished, J Dilla-inspired beats. The members explain how the supergroup fell into place.
The Rapper: Common
“Because we were working together so much, the timing was right. We rented this house with a studio [in Malibu, Calif.], and we thought of August Greene. It was my birthday and we were having fun, and my trainer was like, ‘Yo, y’all should be a group,’ so that’s when we formed.”