Two weeks ago, Common released Black America Again, a fire-breathing statement of purpose and easily his best album in a decade. When the title cut comes on, four tracks in, with a somber piano figure and the opening couplet, “Here we go, here here we go again / Trayvon will never be an older man,” it becomes clear that the six-minute track is Common’s take on a Black Lives Matter anthem—a sweeping history of pro-black ideas and actions.
Today, Common released a remix of the track, featuring Gucci Mane, Pusha T and BJ The Chicago Kid, and it is about as good as a remix of an already-great track can be. The stormy original is flipped to a more sprightly uptempo beat, and all three emcees trace the narratives of their political awakenings, albeit from very different perspectives. Gucci employs his newfound variety of flows to detail waking up in jail and realizing he “can be an inspiration”; Common teases out the intellectual threads of the original track; Pusha nimbly raps, “I confess, I’ve been part of the problem / As of lately, I’m tryin’ to solve’em.”
None of the rappers explicitly address Trump, but none of them have to. It’s a call to arms, and further proof that Common is newly motivated.