By Annie Reuter
Common performed “Black America Again,” the title track of his forthcoming 11th studio album, during a politically charged appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (Oct. 27).
The rapper was joined by BJ the Chicago Kid and backed by strings and the house band The Roots. Dressed in a grey hoodie while rapping in the round, Common name-dropped Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American who was fatally shot and killed in Florida by George Zimmerman. Throughout the track, he continued to highlight the escalation of violence in inner cities and the ongoing problem of police brutality.
“Black children, they childhood robbed from them,” he raps. “I know black lives matter and they matter to us.”
Black America Again will be released on November 4. When he announced the album’s release, Common said the title track is timeless as the song’s sentiment could have been understood throughout multiple time periods.
“I wrote this song in March,” Common said of song, “and unfortunately it was as relevant then as it is now. As it could have been in the 1960’s or 1800’s or any era that we have existed in this country.”
Watch Common perform “Black America Again” below.