G.O.O.D Music’s Common recently reacted to comments Kanye West made about his background, specifically growing up in Chicago, and spoke on the realization that violence is a big deal out there.
Approached in the street this week, Common offered some words on Ye’s comment and why change is very necessary.
Kanye West wasn’t exaggerating when he said people from Chicago aren’t afraid to get violent — and it’s become a DEADLY problem in the Windy City … so says Common. The rapper-slash-“Hell On Wheels” star was out in NYC yesterday when we asked about Kanye’s comments on Jimmy Kimmel — when KW implied that he’s not afraid to fight because he’s from Chi-town (the actual quote was “Never think that I’m not from Chicago for one second.”). But Common tells TMZ … Chicago’s violent reputation isn’t something K should be bragging about — it’s something that needs to change, stat. “You see what’s going on with the young people right now, there’s a lot of death and violence going on in Chicago … but we’re gonna make change.” We hope you’re right. (TMZ)
When asked about changing one key characteristic last month, Common admitted Chi-Town’s violence outweighed everything else.
So then, what is the most important message we can give to young people who are witnessing daily violence in their neighborhoods? “This is a broad thought but loving yourself, and having the support so that you can love yourself is the most important thing that young people in Chicago can get. Because when you love and value yourself, you love and value others,” Common said. “You won’t put yourself in the position where there’s violence.” If you could change just one thing about our fair city what would it be? “It’s definitely the violence.” (Huffington Post)
The Chicago rap veteran also stressed the importance of creating programs to help keep the youth from being persuaded toward violence.
He added that this ‘love yourself’ mentality can be issued into the community through youth-focused programs. “It’s our responsibility for the village to say, ‘Hey we’re going to create these programs,’ whether it’s sports, creative arts, music, we need some things to give young people positive things to do,” he said, “and that’s including jobs.” (Huffington Post)
Earlier this year, Chi-Town’s Lupe Fiasco spoke on the connection between violent music having a strong impact on the world.
“Q: Does violence in music promote/cause/support/influence violence in the world and society? A: Of course it does.,” Fiasco tweeted March 24th.
“Violent music (and all violent media) effectively says its “ok” to be violent. It provides positive reinforcement for negative actions.”
“If you rap and make violent music then own up to it. Stop hiding behind “art imitating life” as a way to evade the guilt.”
“”How the hell you gonna tell this man not 2 be violent?, Cuz he dont need to go the same route that I did” -Eminem & Dr. Dre “Choices”” (Lupe Fiasco’s Twitter)
Mega producer Swizz Beatz recently shared a similar sentiment and said neglecting the youth can lead to violence.
“I think it’s bigger than him. Chief Keef is just a name people can relate to because he’s in the entertainment business. But, I think the real reason is the youth, period, with nowhere to go, no plans, and they’re just resorting to living however they want to live. You go to a different country and they don’t have no support, no food, it’s the same thing. It’s just that we’re knowing about it more because there’s a celebrity name involved, but I wouldn’t even put that on him. This has been going on for years. They shut down the whole Cabrini-Green a long time ago. This been happening. But the key thing is how is it going to stop happening? Is it arts? Is it music? That’s the thing to figure out.” (Global Grind)
Check out Common’s interview: