On the heels of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” and Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” Common is making a mini-movie of his own to accompany his next single, “Testify.”
For the Chicago-spawned MC, it was an obvious move, since he wrote the song as if it were a movie.
“I was thinking ‘The Usual Suspects’ when I wrote it, where you believe the whole time that the character is doing something, but then you find out something different,” Common said recently. “It’s about a woman testifying for a man in court.”
Anthony Mandler, coming off Snoop Dogg’s “Ups & Downs/ Bang Out” clip, is directing the video, the follow-up to Be‘s “Go,” which Kanye West helmed (see “Common Out To Show ‘Conscious Cats Like Sex Too’ In Kanye-Directed Clip” ) “[Kanye] may direct some more, but not this one,” Common said.
The mini-movie, set in Chicago, opens in a police interrogation room, where a wife is being questioned about her husband’s involvement in a murder/drug deal, according to the treatment. Later, it moves to a courtroom where the trial takes place and the music eventually kicks in.
Common plays a court reporter in the back of the room and raps some of the song from there and other parts from a nondescript location. As he tells the story, the action in the video follows suit. And, of course, the end provides a shocking twist.
“Not everything is what it appears to be is the moral of this story,” Mandler wrote in his treatment. He’s directing the clip this week in Los Angeles.
Common, meanwhile, has a few more dates left with John Legend, and plans for a fall tour with Common, Legend and their label head, West, are moving forward.
“We definitely gonna have a G.O.O.D. Music tour,” Common said. “We been performing together [at occasional special events] and it feels good.”
Although dates are still being scheduled, the three will definitely join forces for an MTV2 $2 Bill concert in Los Angeles on September 10.
Common will also attend the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, where “Go” is a contender for Best Hip-Hop Video.
Catch all the sizzlin’, star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News’ preshow kicks things off at 6 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.