Two-time Grammy Award-winning Chicago rapper and actor Common has signed to longtime friend and collaborator No I.D.’s Artium/Def Jam Recordings label.
“Kingdom,” featuring Vince Staples, is out now, the lead track from his upcoming 10th studio album, Nobody’s Smiling, set for release on July 22.
The album marks a creative reunion between the hip-hop icon and No I.D., Def Jam’s evp and co-head of A&R, who produced the rapper’s first three albums on then-indie Relativity Records.
Executive produced by No I.D., Nobody’s Smiling commemorates the 20th anniversary of Common’s breakthrough album, 1994’s Resurrection, with its signature title track and “I Used to Love H.E.R.” It’s the first new album for him since 2011’s The Dreamer/The Believer.
“Common and I have a long history of making great music together,” said No I.D. “His rich legacy and robust talent are perfect additions to the Def Jam family. It’s particularly significant that he’s coming under our roof for his 10th album as a matured artist and cultural ambassador. It’s a tremendous boost for the spirit of Def Jam as well as the world of hip-hop.”
Since his motion picture debut in 2006’s Smokin’ Aces, Common has carved out an impressive career in more than a dozen films, including such major box office successes as American Gangster (2007), Street Kings (2008), Terminator Salvation (2009) and Date Night (2010). He’s also the lead co-star on AMC’s post-Civil War western action series Hell on Wheels, returning for a fourth season this summer.
Common explains the new album title was inspired by his troubled hometown of Chicago: “I’m honored to team up with No I.D. and be a part of the Artium and Def Jam family. Creating this album and signing to Def Jam feels like a new beginning for me. I feel like a new artist because I created this album with the purpose to give back to my city and to the culture of hip-hop. Def Jam is part of the foundation of hip-hop and being able to work with No I.D. was returning to my foundation now with new energy and new hunger.”