Common, known for his lyrics, classic hip-hop records and unwavering gotee, is also a community activist and over the weekend, the rapper put the focus on Chicago’s youth.

At the Common Ground Foundation Gala, some of Chicago’s most notable stars were in attendance as well as some of the city’s biggest politicians. Mayor-elect Rahm Emmanuel was joined by singer Keke Palmer, business leader Dee Robinson Reid and actress and ABC’s “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd. The women were the nights’ honorees along with poet and author Dr. Maya Angelou.

Common Ground works to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth. Proceeds from its inaugural gala will go to meet programming goals and will help expand its reach.

Sherri Sheppard, who was looking elegant and glowing in a one shoulder column dress, was excited about the event telling the crowd:

“I just think the fact that Common has gotten Dr. Angelou and Keke Palmer and so many people here is a testament to his character and his integrity.”

Looking stunning in a flowy violet mini dress, Keke Palmer said she was excited to make it to the event, and much because of the man running the show. Speaking on the red carpet, Keke said:

“Everybody loves Common. I call his rap poetry rap, ’cause what he says is so, you feel it when he says it, you know? So I think it’s great what he’s doing now. I love to be part of it.”

Yes, Keke, we know exactly what you mean and we co-sign.

Common couldn’t quite resist spitting a few bars on the mic, during the night filled with silent auctions and entertainment. The socially conscious rapper gave the crowd a little freestyle of the top, rhyming:

“You got the red carpet and the cameras going, but it’s about really being able to touch down with the youth, really being able to leave an impression and be able to empower them.”

Common Ground is working for a great cause and we’re sure this event will become a must attend event on Chicago’s social calendar.

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