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Hip Hop Wed Jan 15 2014

Common's Not Smiling on New Album

Chicago-native rapper Common is currently hard at work on a call-to-action album dedicated to stopping violence in the city. The rapper stated in an interview with Revolt that the upcoming album, titled Nobody Smiling, aims to speak to the conditions of violence in Chicago and inner cities all over America.

"War" is the first track released as a teaser of the upcoming album. The song is an embittered attack on the complacency of the warfare environment plaguing the urban population, especially the youth of Chicago. His tone comes from a feeling of disappointment, from the perspective of a man who tours the world and returns to his home city only to find the conditions increasingly worse each time. It also includes a snippet of the rapper's interview where he discussed his motives behind the indignant album.

The release will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the rapper's sophomore album, Resurrection. The 1994 album cemented Common, then known as Common Sense, as one of hip-hop's most acclaimed artists, as evidenced by its inclusion on The Source's Best 100 Rap Albums in 1998.

Nobody Smiling has reunited Common with the producer No I.D., who worked in tandem with Common on Resurrection, setting the expectation that the release will meet the standard of their original work together. According to NPR, some criticized Resurrection for its nostalgic tone when, at the time, the rapper was not even 22-years-old.

The duo's reunion 20 years later gives the rapper a chance to actually trek down memory lane as he attempts to speak louder than the violence of his hometown.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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