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Common: Address the problems of Chicago youth to help stem violence

The day after 13 people were shot in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Chicago native and hip-hop artist Common spoke Friday at a music conference in town.

He told the Associated Press that not only do Chicagoans need to work to address the problems youth face, officials in his hometown need to be more consistent in efforts to help.

Common and MC Rhymefest both addressed how current trends in rap music could help fuel the violence.

Common, 40, is a product of Chicago’s South Side Chatham/Avalon Park neighborhood, and launched his Common Ground Foundation to mentor kids, has long been an advocate for Chicago’s youth. He told Splash magazine earlier this year that he wants both his music and film projects to start dialogue about violence at home.

“There’s a reason right now why we have so much violence in Chicago,” he says. “It doesn’t start with the young people doing it. It starts with what’s been going on in the homes and how the parents and the actual community are nurturing the children. What type of love are they really giving?”