Pass Or Play? Common Addresses Chicago Gun Violence In New Song “War”

January 8, 2014  |  

Even though he’s got his SAG card, you can never count Common out of the Hip Hop game, specifically when it’s time to speak on something important.

Recently, Common announced the approach of his new album Nobody Smiling. And from that we’ve got the single “War.” The song, with lyrics set over an almost epic sounding military marching beat, Common describes the harrowing scene of not just the violence but how it specifically affects the lives of those directly involved.

In one verse he speaks about the death of a young man.

Mama kissed him, body was colder

She was shaking, I tried to hold her 

Tears on my shoulder

He was supposed to be going to his junior year, 

This is his funeral year

Pall bearers all looking like kids

Some faces show anger, some show tears

No mustaches no beards probably had the same aspirations as his. 

And then he addresses the seemingly heartless perpetrators of that violence in the chorus.

“To all the killas and the hundred dolla bills. Real hittas who ain’t got no feelings.” 

He even speaks about the government and media’s role in the violence and how some entities are using the very real violence and subsequent deaths to promote their own self serving agendas.

“I’m living in this sh*t while the world exploit it.”

And then he goes on to speak on how the completely innocent are plagued by the turmoil as well.

Politicians ain’t did enough

Want to get rid of us

Hopped in the back as soon as shots hit the truck

Looked at my son, I could see his soul

Shot and killed at 3 years old. 

At the end of the track we hear Common talking about the reason he decided to name his project “Nobody Smiling,” the violence that extends beyond just Chicago and what he hopes people take from this record.

Take a listen to the song below and let us know what you think about it. Pass or play?

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