The rampant violence plaguing parts of the city of Chicago is a widely discussed topic (well, among Blacks…no thanks to the mainstream news outlets), so naturally, when speaking to Chi-Town’s own Common, wanted to know what the rapper made of the more than 400 homicides that have taken place in his hometown this year.

EBONY: Speaking of setting an example, part of your role in the film is to be a positive role model to your nephew and leave your troubled past behind. As a native of Chicago, how do you feel about the gang violence occurring there? What message would you like to send to the people living through this?

COMMON: First of all, I feel hurt by it. I feel saddened by what’s going on, very concerned, and like I have to have a responsibility in it. What I would say to young people is that you have a whole world out there to do something great in, no matter what circumstance you were born in or around. You can accomplish anything you dream of, and, the things you want for your life; happiness, success, love — all those things to grow as a human being. To make choices that involve yourself in any type of violence and doing something negative towards another human being is going in the opposite direction of what your goals and what your vision is for yourself. I would encourage people and say “man, we gotta recognize that that human being you damaging is a part of you and is a reflection of God, and it’s also a factor in your future because when you do something to damage someone else, it’s going to affect the rest of your life.” Nobody wants to live in a sad state in their lives and you can create your own dreams and your own happiness if you just work towards it and believe in it and make those choices that lead towards that.

You can check out the rest of Common’s interview over at


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