Common has been known for the social commentary in his work for years, so it’s only right that he’s releasing music that responds to current injustices against black people. He recently performed the title track of his forthcoming album, Black America Again, on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Although the studio version of the song features Stevie Wonder, Common brought BJ the Chicago Kid along for his performance. With help from The Roots, the pair gave a very memorable performance.

At the beginning, Common stares intensely into the camera before rhyming, “Here we go, here-here we go again/Trayvon will never get to be a older man/Black children, they childhood stole from them/Robbed of our names and our language – stole again.” From there, he speaks about an array of issues hindering black life in America, such as mass incarceration and dietary options. Common ends the first verse by saying, “Brainwashed in a cycle to spin/We write our own story – Black America again.” These lines give his forthcoming album a mission statement that aligns with the work of people mentioned in the song, such as Ava DuVernay and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The power in Common’s lyrics and delivery stand out in the performance, but that’s not the only to note. The video abandons the traditional wide view of The Roots and the show’s musical guest on stage. Instead, the camera rotates throughout the performance as Common switches between interacting with the band members and focusing on the camera. Common and BJ also take turns as the focus of the camera – they only appear together in the video near the end of the performance.

Watch the video above and check out Common’s new album when it releases on November 4th!

Want more content like this? Sign up for Blavity’s daily newsletter!