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Common, Lin-Manuel Miranda Close Obama Summit With Epic Freestyle [VIDEO]

By Sam Cholke | November 1, 2017 6:24pm

SOUTH LOOP — Rapper Common and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda gushed over each other on stage at the Obama Summit Wednesday before taking a minute to freestyle together.

The duo were part of a closing panel on collective power at the two-day summit in the South Loop and spent their time just being excited to be together.

Miranda said when he was looking for someone to model the George Washington portions of “Hamilton,” he looked for a rapper with similarly unimpeachable morals.

“Well he’s got to be Common, that’s totally based on your flow,” Miranda told Common, who hails from the South Side.

Miranda has mentioned that before in interviews, but Common said he wasn't aware of that and said he was excited to learn he had influenced the breakout musical, which former first lady Michelle Obama said earlier in the day was currently her favorite work fo art.

Common said he’s found a greater responsibility to speak on political issues in his music. He said his forthcoming album, "Black America Again," has been inspired in part by his visits to prisons in California as well as the shooting death by Texas police of Sandra Bland.

Miranda said outrage and anger can fuel important art, but he’s found personally that other emotions carry him farther.

“I find that love burns slower and longer,” Miranda said. “I can’t write a musical on rage. … That’s the kind of fuel that blows up the ship.”

The two rappers have recently been lauded for their own political art and joked about collaborating so Common could win his first Tony and Miranda could win his first Academy Award.

The duo ended with a quick freestyle.

"Manuel, say it again, we jam well," Common rapped. "I come from the South Side/ where people be outside hanging/Back then we used to be down with the gang banging/But now things is changing, making it even better/So Lin put some more rhymes together."

Replied Miranda: "I don't know how he do it/He really keep it fluid/Im trying to learn from it, here at this Obama Summit."