Common Talks Aids Activism, Children’s Book, New Album

Chicago Rapper Common

has expanded his horizons beyond Hip-Hop and has launched a new foundation, delved

into AIDS activism and authored a children’s book.

According to Common,

being involved with the “Knowing is Beautiful” AIDS campaign being

launched in conjunction with corporate giant Viacom, is very personal.

“I had a

family member that passed from AIDS, so I know the effects of aids in reality,”

Common told “I feel that it’s my duty to speak out

on conscious matters that are affecting our community a lot, because I know

that I do have a voice. It’s a platform for millions to hear me speak.

Why not speak? It might save a life.”

Common is also

focusing on children, with hopes of reaching them during their most impressionable


“With my

foundation Common Ground Foundation, we talk to kids about taking care of ourselves

and loving. I believe the first thing is to get tested and when you get results,

act accordingly. If you do have it, find out what are ways to live a healthy

life with this. And if you don’t have it, find ways to protect yourself

because it can save your life. In our community we don’t react until we

see someone with it. It’s really like playing sexual roulette.”

And as part of

an attempt to reach the youngsters, Common also authored an untitled book geared

at children 7 years-old and up.

He joins the slim

ranks of rappers and DJ’s who have released relatively popular books for

young children.

Michael Perry released

“Turntable Timmy” that featured scratching by Qbert, Doug E. Fresh

penned “Think Again,” while LL Cool J authored “And the Winner


Although busy with

the children, Common said his upcoming album BE, will feature a more

aggressive side.

“I don’t

think I could ever go back to who I was in 1994 or 1996 but as you evolve you

sometimes go back home and people say that I’m going back home cause I’m

doing raw Hip-Hop and that’s where I began,” Common continued. “I

feel like I don’t have anything to cover me up so people are feeling that.

That’s the old Common. As an artist you go through that in front of everybody.

I’m trying to iron my bad clothes in front of everybody.”

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