In 2020, Common released his first-ever EP, A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 1, a jazzy return to his hip-hop roots featuring appearances from Black Thought, Chuck D, Lenny Kravitz, PJ, and Stevie Wonder. Led by the Black Thought-featuring single “Say Peace,” the project found Common once again dwelling on weighty themes and socially conscious messages over Afrocentric production styles. Today, Common returned to the well with Black Thought to release “When We Move,” the first single from the second installment of his A Beautiful Revolution series, which is set to drop on September 10 via Loma Vista.
Also last night, Common dropped by The Tonight Show to debut the track live just as he’d done with “Say Peace,” giving an energetic performance alongside The Roots and longtime friend and collaborator Black Thought and Nigerian Afrobeat artist Seun Kuti, the youngest son of Fela Kuti. As usual, the two MCs brought complex, thoughtful rhymes to the bouncy production while the band channeled the energy of the Afrobeat legend.
A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 will continue in the same vein of collaboration for the veteran rapper with features from Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, PJ, who will once again be all over the tracklist, and Marcus King, among others. He said in a statement:
“A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 was created with hope and inspiration in mind. The spirit of the album was meant to emulate what a greater day would sound and feel like. We were in the midst of some tough political and socially challenging times. There was still hurt, anger and pain lingering, so I was thinking, ‘What is the next step in this revolution?’
I wanted to write about that and create music that embodied that. How could this music be an example of the beautiful aspects of revolution that include joy, self-love, compassion, dreams, peace and good times? As a piece of art, I believe we took it to different places musically only to come back to the original intention. To bring joy to people’s hearts, fun to their lives and smiles to their souls.”
Watch Common and Black Thought’s vibrant performance above.