Chicago rap veteran Common has reportedly joined forces with Def Jam Recordings by signing on the dotted line for longtime pal No I.D.‘s Artium imprint. #DefJammin

According to reports, Common’s upcoming Nobody’s Smiling album will arrive next month.

Two-time Grammy Award®-winning Chicago rapper, actor Common has fulfilled a life-long goal with the announcement of his signing to No I.D.’s Artium /Def Jam Recordings. “Kingdom” featuring Vince Staples out now, Common’s lead track from his upcoming tenth studio album NOBODY’S SMILING, set for July 22nd release. (PR Newswire)

The G.O.O.D. Music affiliate announced he would put together a new album last January.

“2014 will one of my greatest times in music,” the prolific wordsmith promised during a sit-down with REVOLT before a recent show at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Why is he feeling this way? Well, Common is actually prepping the arrival of his 10th studio album, Nobody Smiling–a title that stays true to enriching his troubled hometown of Chicago. “I feel excited about the project that I’m working on. It’s called Nobody Smiling and it’s an album that originally I was making an EP but, we’ve just been making a lot of songs-myself and No I.D.–and I liked the direction,” he admits. (Revolt TV)

Common also noted how much Chicago’s violent scene played into his project’s title.

Speaking on the call-to-action concept of Nobody Smiling, Com says, “We came up with this concept Nobody Smiling [and it] was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago, or that is going on in Chicago. I like to say was because we’re going to bring it into fruition that it’s going to stop and all the violence that was going on and it happens in Chicago but it’s happening around the world in many ways.” (Revolt TV)

When asked about changing one key characteristic last September, 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)