AT&T brought its speaker series to town Feb. 23 at the Park West to close out Black History Month. This was to motivate consumers to share their voices through technology.
The sevenccity tour included Chicago, with hometown rapper/actor Common taking to the stage as host. Desiree Rogers spoke about her rise to become social secretary in the White House for President Obama and her new career as CEO of Johnson Publishing Company. Her message to the audience was to ignore negativity in your life and use your voice on the Internet. After speaking to several gay men in the crowd, her stories resonated for everyonewith the Q&A section being her strong point.
Common then performed tracks from his album The Dreamer, The Believer before closing out the evening with the crowd waving its arms.
Windy City Times talked to Common backstage about his book, One Day It'll All Make Sense, which will sell as a paperback in the next few months. He plans to return to Chicago to speak at DePaul University.
Future projects he mentioned included producing and starring in a movie entitled L.U.V. that was already a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival, with a wide release later this year. He also spoke of two more films: one called Pawn with Forest Whitaker and a Disney movie called The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Common said there are no limits, just "to have passion in whatever you do. Who says I, a hip-hop artist, can't write a children's book?" He has written three and "looks forward to writing more." He wants to continue to inspire the youth and have a positive effect on them. This is why he holds his Common Ground Foundation gala in April featuring Harry Belafonte this year as an important event.
He gave a shout-out to Kanye West, who he is working on new music with, along with Kid Cudi and John Legend. It sounds like a busy year for the multitalented artist!
For more information on the series, visit www.att.com/Common/thebridge/28days.html .