In early 2016, musicians Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins found themselves in the studio, crafting the soulful backdrop of Common’s 11th album, the politically charged Black America Again. The three friends had known each other since the late 1990s, so the camaraderie felt organic. “It was such a real form of expression,” says Common, who’s earned three GRAMMYs, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an Emmy. “It felt natural. We all have an affinity for great music.” As the trio created, they began to notice something different taking shape—something rooted in the warm R&B sounds of yesteryear but still very much in the present. It was soul music with a modern bounce, a jazz-rap hybrid in the spirit of A Tribe Called Quest. It fully encapsulated the black experience: the serenity and pain through which we channel gorgeous art, the beauty and struggle of simply trying to exist. Equally peaceful and profound, the music they captured laid the foundation for August Greene, the newly formed supergroup of Common, Glasper and Riggins.
The artists come to this project having reached great respective milestones over the years. Since 1992, the Chicago-born Common has uplifted listeners wit
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