Common Celebrates Black Women With New Song and Documentary
A rapper we can always count on to be above the fray is Common. Common is known for his conscious lyrics that uplift and also entertain. His new project is called “Love Star,” and it is a mini documentary which celebrates his love for Black women.
In an exclusive interview with ESSENCE, Common shared what inspired him to do the song and documentary as well as the meaning of the term, ‘love star.’
“When I wrote the song, I was thinking about when you really love a person. I thought about when I love a woman and I can enjoy her, but at the same time she can enjoy me and we can have fun and laugh. But then there’s also a real bond that’s there that has spirituality, growth, support and integrity connected in it. We’re willing to make mistakes, but we’re there for each other; that’s true love.”
The Academy Award winner also revealed how performing at ESSENCE festival this past year influenced “Love Star.”
“So, the theme, Love Star, came up just because I thought it was a cool nickname to call somebody that you’re close to. You know how people say, ‘oh, that’s my bae’ or my ‘boo’ or ‘my girl,’ like we used to say. Love Star is like a beautiful way of describing somebody important in your life that you care about. Then, when I knew I was a part of the Essence Festival, I was like, what better way that to show that love than expressing that to a Black woman. I know the Essence Fest as a whole is all about honoring Black women but, I also wanted to honor Black women myself, as a Black man. I wanted to show that we revere and hold you high, Black woman. We love you and care for you and honor you.”
The documentary was directed Nefertite Nguvu, who was excited to contribute to the project.
“I was, first of all, just honored to be able to work on the project as a Black woman myself,” she said. “Any time I have the opportunity to do work that gives us a sense of visibility and dignity and complexity, I am excited to do it. I think there’s need for it, especially with all of the images that exist that depict Black women in the opposite light. This was an opportunity to point a camera and have women talk to us about something simple and human and true, which is love. So, it was just a joy for me to work on the project.”
A goal for both Common and Nguvu was to show the everyday Black woman and not just the images many of us are used to seeing.
“We knew we wanted to avoid the sort of “model-y” type or the sort of women that fit into the “cookie cutter” images you usually see. We wanted people to be able to see themselves and we wanted women of many different ages to be able to identify with it. So, the criteria was just wanting to point the lens at women who look like the majority of Black women versus the very specific things we are usually taught to see as beautiful.”
Another goal for Common with “Love Star” was to shatter the stereotype of Black men not respecting Black women.
“I know a lot of Black men that really love their Black women,” he said. “They treat them with respect and they work jobs and they take care of their families. So, I think I wanted to be a voice for those men and at the same time, reach the guys that may be overlooking it or not recognizing it. I wanted to show them like, “hey, look at what we got, it’s amazing.” We often talk about, Black men don’t respect Black women but, there’s a lot of Black men that do and I guess I chose to focus on that part. Even though it’s not just me, I feel like because I have a microphone, I can be a voice for those guys.”
Projects like this, especially in hip hop, are always needed and appreciated.
Check out the “Love Star” mini-documentary below.
Photo Credit: TheBoomBox.com