Common credits him becoming more politically engaged to his girlfriend, activist and CNN correspondent Angela Rye.

“I feel like I have a lot more work to do… I feel like I have to be more intelligent with the work and strategize more,” the rapper said while attending the Root 100 gala where Rye was being honored on Thursday.

“I have to listen more and go out and do more work. It is no time for sitting back, now. This is the time to stand up, more than anything.”

When it comes to the issue closest to his heart Common says, “I am from Chicago… there is so much violence going on.”

The couple let the world know they were dating to Page Six TV’s Bevy Smith in October.

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