Common reunited with No I.D. to work on his upcoming album Nobody’s Smiling, but Dion wasn’t the only Chicago artists who’s imprint will be on the project. On Wednesday (June 25), Common debuted several covers for the album, featuring different Chi-Town artists, including Lil Herb, King Louie, Dreezy and more.
While Common’s face is featured on the standard covert art, the deluxe versions features himself, King Louie and Lil Johnny, and other renditions include solo shots of the artists.
“The album covers from Nobody’s Smiling — the concept came from the staff at Def Jam who was like, ‘Man, we got this idea about having different people from Chicago on your covers,’” Common explained.
“Why I was super geeked about it, is because you got Lil Herb up against the background, you got King Louie up against the background,” he continued. “I’m on one cover but then for them to be on another cover…Lil Herb, Dreezy, Lil Bibby…I got a lot of artists from Chicago and I feel like it’s my time to do that.”
The artwork is very fitting, since the album title was inspired by Common’s hometown, where violence continues to rip the city apart.
“I feel like a new artist because I created this album with the purpose to give back to my city and to the culture of hip-hop,” he said. “Def Jam is part of the foundation of hip-hop and being able to work with No I.D. was returning to my foundation now with new energy and new hunger.”