Common talks about his photography

You know Common, the rapper. And Common, the actor. But Common, the photographer?!

Common was host to the Canon PIXMA PRO City Senses event last week in Chicago, and additionally featured with two local photographers (Kristyna Archer & Taylor Castle) to share their vision of the city through limited edition photography. There was a baseball theme amongst all of the artists’ photos, and the photos were presented as a sensory experience in a gallery at Ignite Glass Studio. We walked in different rooms and were asked to use various senses like smell, touch, hearing, and taste (WE GOT FREE HOT DOGS!) to create a new mood and perspective before the lights were turned on to view the photos. It was an interactive and innovative way to take in art, and surely an influence too, as we found out from Com himself.

Common talks about his photography — how he drew inspiration from his sensory experience of his hometown of Chicago and the concept behind his photograph “1st Base” (seen below). “1st Base, you gotta start somewhere.”

Says Common:

The sounds of the city.. I’ve throughout the years come home just to ride around Chicago, and feel how the smell of the city and what it sounds like, so I can write songs because I wanted it to be rooted where I come from. And I think all your citizens are important when it comes to making art.

As you can see, Common is very aware of his city, whether he’s capturing it through photos or making music from its environment. He even brought it back to growing up on Dorchester in the video.

As a bonus, Common shares some new info on the art he’s most known for: his music. The central theme of his upcoming EP (to drop later this year) and album (2014) is now revealed above, as Common also mentions he’s been working with No I.D.Swizz Beatz for the projects.

Without further ado, watch above and get an even clearer picture of Common, the artist.

"1st Base" — a photograph by Common
“1st Base” — a photograph by Common (All images above and in the video were printed using the PIXMA PRO printer.)
Common and the GWHH Entourage (Maks G, TasteTheKhase, Srirachana, Common, & Sgt. Tibs)
Common and the GWHH Entourage (Maks G, TasteTheKhase, Srirachana, Common, & Sgt. Tibs)
Produced by: Gowhere Hip Hop
Filmed by: Maks G & TasteTheKhase | Edited by: Maks G
Interview by: Sgt. Tibs


“#GowhereYouLove. That’s what it’s about. Uh uh uh I still love H.E.R. Peace.”

Common sharing the video on Twitter today
Common sharing the video on Twitter today