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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 16: Common performs before the 69th NBA All-Star Game at the United Center on February 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago rapper/actor Common delivered an emotional tribute to his hometown and to the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant before the NBA All-Star Game over the weekend. The NBA has posted a video of the performance.

A young boy mimicked a basketball player on stage as Common’s voice permeated Chicago’s United Center. “You see from where he stood he could see the stars. So he asked himself, ‘How do I get to where they are?'” Common rapped before finally appearing on stage as smoke-filled the set.

“If this city could talk, it’d be like, ‘Hey man, you from Chicago!” Common continued before referencing a number of Chicago icons.

While Common continued to rap, telling stories regarding Chicago’s history, photographs of the Windy City’s icons played on a screen behind the rapper.

Towards the end of Common’s performance, he honored Bryant. “You see, he used his game to touch the world’s soul. A king named Kobe Bryant who wore purple and gold,” Common rapped before his song “The Light” began playing in the background.

Check out the performance below.



Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.