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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.


Common Opens Up the All-Star Game | All-Star 2020

Common delivers a tribute to the city of Chicago and Kobe Bryant before the beginning of the NBA All-Star game. Watch highlights from Inside the NBA with Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson and more!


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.