Common - "The Light" Live At Galapagos, BK + Freestyle
Common stepped through Brooklyn a few days ago for a live show at Galapagos Art Space, but rather than supporting a new video or upcoming album the multi-talented rapper/actor/poet was here to support the Ajile L. Turner Foundation, which is very much a family affair for Com. Ajile–who died in a motorcycle accident 4 years ago–was Common’s first cousin. The foundation which bears his name–which supports music education, specifically helping school children acquire the instruments they need to master their craft–is run by his aunt Mattie Turner. It’s no surprise that the performance was a very special night and best believe Okayplayer was in the building (Ajile was friends or like-family to some in this office as well). The emotion came through in an extremely personal rendition of Com’s classic “The Light” featuring Tess on the hook, not to mention one of the marathon freestyle sessions which Com has become famous for. MCs, feel free to rap along with Common and see if you have the breath control to match him bar for bar without a break–forget about doing it entirely off the dome of the rock, which Com clearly is in his usual effortless style.
The freestyle serves as a bit of edutainment about Ajile, the foundation and what the night is all about. But for those who have trouble digesting information delivered via rhythmic american poetry, Common adds a few words about all those subjects for the OKP TV cameras before the freestyle commences (and yes, that is the lovely and talented Maimouna Youssef on the back up in the freestyle clip). Couldn’t have summoned up a more fitting tribute for Ajile or introduction to the foundation’s work than these two musical moments. Watch below and throw your OK’s in the air.
Videographers: Brad Ogbonna and Jason Bergman
Editor: Allison Swank