Common releases cinematic video for new single “Testify”
Starring Stellar Cast: Bill Duke, Steve Harris, Wood Harri, Taraji P. Henson
As critically acclaimed album BE Approaches Platinum & Common joins Kanye West on the “Touch The Sky ” Tour
October 3rd, 2005 As Common’s already Gold-Selling Getting Out Our Dreams/Geffen Records release, BE quickly approaches Platinum, everyone’s favorite MC debuts a cinematic delight for his newest single, “Testify “, and readies to join the “Touch The Sky ” tour. On the heels of the Kanye West-directed “The Corner ” and hit single “Go, ” this Box Fresh Pictures production boasts an all-star cast of Common fans, including Bill Duke ( “Menace II Society, ” “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, ” “X-Men 3 “), Steve Harris ( “The Practice, ” “Minority Report “), Wood Harris ( “The Wire, ” “Remember The Titans, ” “Paid In Full “) and Taraji P. Henson ( “Hustle & Flow, ” “Four Brothers, ” “Baby Boy “). Directed by Anthony Mandler, “Testify,” is a rugged, suspense thriller that finds Common spinning the tale of a woman’s emotional plea to testify for her man in court that leaves all listeners with an incredible twist at the end. Common premiered the video Wednesday, September 28th on MTV’s TRL, Thursday, September 29th on BET’s 106 & Park and performs “Testify ” on Live w/Regis & Kelly October 7th.
BE continues to rack up rave reviews, including being hailed a “classic, ” “flawless ” and “the best hip-hop album of the year. ” Critics have toasted BE as Common’s return to his Resurrection days. The Chi-town icon has scored some of the highest ratings of his career: People (4 out of 4 stars), Rolling Stone (4 Stars), Vibe (4 1/2 v’s), The Source (4 1/2 Mics), Blender (4 Stars), Spin (A- Rating), Entertainment Weekly (A- Rating) and USA Today (3 1/2 Stars out of 4), plus he was featured in national outlets like Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Life, and appeared on the covers of Vibe, URB & Time Out Chicago.
In addition to his accomplished and acclaimed musical resume, Common plans to capitalize on his flair for fashion, style, literature & community awareness by launching his very own hat line “Soji “, writing his own children’s book distributed this fall through Hip-Hop School House, “Mirror In Me, ” “I Like You, But I Love Me, ” and “ME: Mixed Emotions ” and building on his interest in today’s youth. The father of one continues to dedicate time to his Common Ground Foundation, which organizes and runs seminars for kids about health, self-esteem and understanding the often controversial images seen in hip-hop videos and the lifestyle. Most recently the Common Ground Foundation donated proceeds from a special screening of his new video to Hurricane Katrina survivors who are being relocated to the Chicago area. “This is an incredible opportunity for people in Chicago to make a contribution to the relief effort at the local level, ” explains Common. He also spreads the word of protection. Last November, Viacom approached Common about being involved in their “Knowing is Beautiful ” HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. The commercials feature him delivering spoken word he penned specifically for the PSA. Having lost an uncle to the disease, it was an opportunity to encourage kids to get tested and be more aware of how their actions can affect their future.
Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Common is one of the most respected lyricists and skilled MCs in Hip-Hop. He made his solo CD debut with 1992’s Can I Borrow A Dollar, and quickly ascended to prominence in the Hip-Hop universe. Other key CD releases include Resurrection, One Day It’ll All Make Sense and Like Water for Chocolate.
Be is the second release on Grammy winner Kanye West’s Getting Out Our Dreams label, and it debuted #1 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop and R&B charts, his highest debut ever, and #2 on Pop charts, selling 184,617 units the first week. Guest artists joining Common on the new CD are The Last Poets, John Mayer, Bilal, John Legend, Pops and Kanye West himself.
Powered by Kanye West’s production and his own critically acclaimed rhyme style, Common’s status as one of the greatest rappers of our time has now been confirmed. With his new ranking as Hip-Hip elite, while maintaining his altruistic spirit toward the youth, his community and the world, it would come as no surprise in his already awesome and blessed career if Common’s dream of one day appearing on Oprah will come true.
All in a day’s work for a man who has turned out to be not so Common after all.
Common “Touch The Sky ” Tour Dates [subject to change]:
10/11 – Miami, FL @ Convocation Center: University Of Miami
10/12 – Tampa, FL @ USF: Sundome
10/15 Greenville, SC @ Bi-Lo Center
10/16 – Knoxville, TN @ Thompson-Boling Arena
10/18 – Columbia, MO @ Mizzou Arena
10/19 – Champaign, IL @ Assembly Hall
10/21 – Buffalo, NY @ Alumni Arena
10/22 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
10/23 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
10/24- Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
10/26 – Kingston, RI @ Ryan Center: UN. Of Rhode Island
10/28 – Stage College, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center: Penn State
10/30 – Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center
10/31 – Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
11/2 – New York, NY @ MSG Theatre
11/3 – New York, NY @ MSG Theatre
11/4 – Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena
11/5 – Hampton, VA @ Coliseum
11/6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Liacouris Center
11/8 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Center
11/9 – Toronto, ON @ ACC
11/11 – E. Lansing, MI @ Breslin Center: MI State Un.
11/12 – Dekalb, IL @ NIU Convocation Center
11/13- Evanston, IL @ Welsh Ryan Arena
11/14 – Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion
11/15 – Carbondale, IL @ SIU Arena
11/17 – Winstom Salem, NC @ LJVM Coliseum
11/19 – Statesboro, GA @ GSU
11/22 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Ford Center
11/23 – Memphis, TN @ Mid-South Coliseum
11/25 – Houston, TX @ Reliant Arena
11/26 – Dallas, TX @ Nokia Theater
11/27 – Kansas City, MO @ Kemper Arena
11/29 – Denver, CO @ Lecture Hall
12/1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
12/2 – San Diego, CA @ Cox Arena
12/3 – Los Angeles, CA @ Universal Amph
12/4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Universal Amph
12/6 – San Francisco @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
12/7 – Las Vegas, NV @ M. Bay–Aladdin
12/9 – Portland, OR @ Memorial Coliseum
12/10 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
12/11 – Vancouver @ GM Place