At the end of the song “War,” released in January, Common explains the concept behind his upcoming 10th solo album, Nobody’s Smiling.
“Nobody’s Smiling was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago,” he said. “It happens in Chicago, but it’s happening around the world in many ways. It may not be to the numbers that’s happening in Chicago, but it’s happening in the inner-cities all over America. It’s really a call to action.”
That call to action continued on Wednesday, when Com released the video for his latest single, “Kingdom.”
The song features Vince Staples, but neither he nor the veteran MC appear in the nearly eight-minute Hype Williams-directed clip. Instead, we follow a young man — whose face is blurred throughout — on his trail from desperation to crime to spoils to arrest.
It plays out like a cautionary tale, which it seems like will be the case for much of Com’s upcoming album, due out on Def Jam on July 22.