Common - Letter To The Free

Common (*1972) approached director Ava DuVernay to have a song included in her documentary “13th” (Netflix, 2016). The film centers on race in the United States criminal justice system, and he felt very passionately about the project -  "I was really inspired and the situation was heavy on my heart”, as he tells Billboard. He went as far as pitching the song to DuVernay by rapping the first verse in her ear during a dinner in the White House given for Obama’s birthday.

It’s a calm hymn with a poignant message and great musical timing by Kariem Riggins on drums, but also featuring other great personnel: jazz greats Robert Glasper (p), Christian Scott (tp), singers Bilal and Andra Day as well as young flutist Elena Pinderhughes. I urge you to listen to it with good speakers instead of your smartphone. Especially the acoustic drum-kit in the intro (what a nice Hi-Hat) is worth it.