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Common Teams Up With Longtime Producers to Form Supergroup August Greene: Listen to 'Optimistic' Single

Common
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

Common speaks onstage during the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, Calif. 

After years of production and collaboration, Common joins legendary producers and longtime friends Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper to formally band together to form the supergroup August Greene.

The part R&B, part jazz, part hip-hop trio is set to release their self-titled album through Amazon Music on March 9 and will make their live debut Jan. 26 at New York’s Highline Ballroom, as part of Glasper’s sixth annual Grammys party.

As for their sound, the group’s first single "Optimistic" seems consistent with past work from the trio. With four-time Grammy-winning pianist and producer Glasper on the keys, Riggins on the drums, and Common on the verses, the group delivers a soulful, uplifting, gospel-inspired five-minute jam with the help of vocals from Brandy.

And even without the single and the upcoming album, the three members of August Greene already share critical acclaim as a group.  Last year, they won the Emmy for outstanding original music and lyrics for “Letter to the Free,” which was part of Ava DuVernay’s look into racial inequality in the Netflix documentary 13th.

Continuing Common’s reign as the king of conscious rap, the group’s press release promises “themes of optimism and black excellence.”  

Listen to their first single below: