It’s not every day you hear a black man — specifically a rapper — say he wants to honor black women, so when one makes such a bold declaration we have no choice but to listen.
Common has focused his admiration of black women into a mini-documentary titled Love Star, which was inspired by his song of the same name as well as his experience performing at Essence Fest this year. “When I wrote the song, I was thinking about when you really love a person,” Common told Essence. “I thought about when I love a woman and I can enjoy her, but at the same time she can enjoy me and we can have fun and laugh. But then there’s also a real bond that’s there that has spirituality, growth, support and integrity connected in it. We’re willing to make mistakes, but we’re there for each other; that’s true love.
“So, the theme, Love Star, came up just because I thought it was a cool nickname to call somebody that you’re close to. You know how people say, ‘oh, that’s my bae’ or my ‘boo’ or ‘my girl,’ like we used to say. Love Star is like a beautiful way of describing somebody important in your life that you care about. Then, when I knew I was a part of the Essence Festival, I was like, what better way that to show that love than expressing that to a Black woman. I know the Essence Fest as a whole is all about honoring Black women but, I also wanted to honor Black women myself, as a Black man. I wanted to show that we revere and hold you high, Black woman. We love you and care for you and honor you.”
Nefertite Nguvu will direct the project which will allow every day black women to talk about “something simple and human and true, which is love,” she explained, adding, “We wanted people to be able to see themselves and we wanted women of many different ages to be able to identify with it. So, the criteria was just wanting to point the lens at women who look like the majority of Black women versus the very specific things we are usually taught to see as beautiful.”
Common echoed the same sentiment, saying, “For me, I’ve always related to the everyday woman. I’m drawn to that, as a man.” Overall, the Chicago lyricist said he wants his documentary to show black women that black men do appreciate them.
“I know a lot of Black men that really love their Black women. They treat them with respect and they work jobs and they take care of their families. So, I think I wanted to be a voice for those men and at the same time, reach the guys that may be overlooking it or not recognizing it. I wanted to show them like, ‘hey, look at what we got, it’s amazing.’ We often talk about, Black men don’t respect Black women but, there’s a lot of Black men that do and I guess I chose to focus on that part. Even though it’s not just me, I feel like because I have a microphone, I can be a voice for those guys.”