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About a week ago, Common graced us with the release of his new single “Kingdom” off his upcoming album, Nobody’s Smiling, and the feedback has been nothing less than superb. Many hip-hop supporters have grown tired of the state of today’s hip-hop music, but it seems that this particular song has generated some hope, realigning with many aspects of the “conscious era” that so many of us reminisce about.

Common decided to make the song a tribute to the recent murders in Chicago. He explained that he wanted to honor those fallen victims and inspire change. Chicago had over 400 murders in 2013 alone, which really illustrates an epidemic, especially compared to the 120 total US fatalities in Afghanistan in 2013. Although this has been an urban myth for years, we have now arrived at a reality where a single American city has proved more dangerous than a military war zone–and that is reason to assess our contribution to this actuality. [via okayplayer – read more]