This year’s Opening Night Concert will feature socially-conscious hip hop performer and actor Common. As a GRAMMY-award winning artist, Common has become a prominent voice in hip hop's new millennium renaissance.
Starting with the 1992 album Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Common has made a name for himself as a leading hip hop recording artist, poet, actor, film producer, and activist. "From the moment he stepped on the scene in the early '90s, Com has been a sharp battle rapper, noted for laying down bars in solid combinations of gut-punches like a prize fighter, yet capable of a sort of tipsy whimsy when he allows himself to be loose." (Pitchfork) His latest album, Black America Again (2016), included the socially conscious track “Black America Again,” which featured Stevie Wonder, and the anthem “Letter to the Free,” the end-title track to Ava Duvernay’s powerful Oscar-nominated documentary 13TH, for which he received the 2017 Emmy for “Best Music and Lyrics.”
"In recent years he's re-emerged not just as an 'elder statesman' of socially and politically conscious rap, but as a still-vital practitioner." (Chicago Tribune)
Common has also leveraged his influence as an activist throughout his career. More than 10 years ago, Common committed his time and resources to help inner-city youth in his hometown of Chicago through the Common Ground Foundation. Its work reaches high school students through mentoring and college preparation programs, with a focus on nutrition and healthy living, financial literacy, character development, and creative expression.
As an actor, Common has appeared on the big screen in the Oscar-nominated film Selma, for which he won the Academy Award and Golden Globe in 2015 for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” for “Glory,” with musician John Legend. Common will be kicking off the 40th season of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, which is dedicated to artists and activists, so mark your calendar for a conscious-raising Opening Night #AtTheBandshell!
For information on the Opening Night Gala, click here.
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is one of New York City's longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals and is held every summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
Doors open one hour prior to performance unless otherwise noted.