Common latest collaboration isn’t appearing on any new album, mixtape or music blog.
The Chicago rapper has linked with AT&T and Case-Mate for the launch of a line of smartphone cases under his own Common Ground Foundation (CGF) last week (Feb. 28) via a launch event at AT&T’s MIchigan Avenue flagship store in Chi-Town. The cases feature graffiti-styled designs by local artists from the Chi and a percentage of each sale benefits CGF, to help better the lives of underprivileged youths through creative arts.
“We’re definitely there to support and empower our youth to fulfill their dreams,” said Common on Thursday, moments before the launch event kicked off. “When we partnered with Case-Mate we realized they want to support our foundation and do things within the community. And AT&T was on that same mission.”
The G.O.O.D. Music vet felt it was important to bring a hip-hop aesthetic to the cases, of which there are six designs.
“Case-Mate really came up with the idea that the designs will be based upon a graffiti and mosaic artistic perspective,” said Common. “I come from Chicago and the first way I learned to express myself artistically was through hip-hop–that’s the root of what I do regardless. I’ve never been a graffiti artist, but I have a lot of respect for all the elements of hip-hop, so its great for us to have cases that have something to do with hip-hop culture.”
The cases, which retail for $50 and are available for iPhone 5, iPhone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S III, will be sold exclusively at AT&T (click here to see all the models) And according to Common, there will be more designs down the line.
“This is just the first phase of what we’ll be doing,” Common said. “We actually wanna have artist submit ideas and like have different designers come in with ideas and we’ll pick from that. This is just the beginning.” —John Kennedy