Earlier this month, Common released his brand-new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word, in which he gets open and honest with fans about his life experiences. Just days after releasing his new book, Common announced plans to release an accompanying new album of the same name inspired by his work on the memoir.
On Tuesday night, Common previewed his forthcoming album at an exclusive listening party in Hollywood ahead of its release. The listening party was an intimate event, with about 50 people in attendance in a private studio. During the event, Common told everyone in the room that his new album was inspired during the writing of his book and noted that the project is extremely personal, touching on aspects of his life he has yet to explore in his career.
“I decided to make this album because my team was like, ‘With the release of the book, you should share this story,'” Common told attendees. “I use music as an outlet. The book was really personal, and as an artist, I really wanted to express that in my music as well.”
Some heavy topics Common raps about on the album include a song called “Memories,” where he reflects on a time when he was molested at just 9 years old.
Before every song, Common gave a short introduction to what each song meant to him and discussed the overall meaning behind the concept of it. The audience attentively listened to each track carefully and bobbed their heads to the melodic beats. Once the full album finished playing, the room applauded and Common told everyone, “Something I like to do at my listening parties is ask everyone what their two favorite songs were. So let’s start with you — what’d you think, sis?” Everyone around the room listed their favorite two songs, with many people noting that they loved the entire body of work and that they really appreciated Common’s honesty, openness and vulnerability on the project.
No official release date has been announced for the album, but he told the room it would be “coming soon.” This will be Common’s first new music in over three years, following his 2016 project Black America Again, which hit No. 3 on Billboard‘s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
In addition to the album, Common announced concert tour dates for the first leg of his Let Love Have the Last Word Tour.
The tour kicks off July 11 in Denver at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom and visits major markets on the West Coast before concluding in Newport Beach, Calif., on July 26. See the full tour dates below.
July 11 – Denver, CO @ Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
July 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Gallivan Center
July 13 – Garden City, Idaho @ Revolution Concert House
July 14 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore
July 16 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
July 17 – Troutdale, OR @ McMenamins Edgefield
July 18 – Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery
July 20 – Las Vegas, NV @ Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center
July 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
July 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel
July 26 – Newport Beach, CA @ The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach