Common’s supergroup August Greene, which includes longtime friends and collaborators Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper, took to NPR’s famous Tiny Desk concert series to perform a soulful mix singles and unheard cuts from their upcoming debut album.
The trio performed pre-released “Black Kennedy” and “Optimistic,” as well as two unreleased tracks, “Practice” and “Let Go.” The performance was also punctuated with special guests Maimouna Youssef (on “Practice), Brandy (on “Optimistic), and Andra Day, who featured Common on her Oscar-nominated track “Stand Up For Something,” which appeared in the film Marshall.
Common opened the in-house concert with a characteristically thoughtful statement about gender rights, saying “equality has never been the case in this country and in the world.” He went on to unficially name the performance “Foregrounding Women,” acknowledging the female guests, as well as the “spiritual presence” Glasper's cousin, Loren, who passed just a few days earlier.
With impromptu freestyles, audience engagement, and widely powerful female vocals, the group seemed to effortlessly encompass everything they stand for, which as Common described earlier in the year is “optimism and black excellence.” The trio’s self-titled debut album is due out exclusively through Amazon on March 9.
Check out the full performance below: