Common And Pete Rock Embrace The NYC Community In New “Wise Up” Music Video

Common and Pete Rock know how to walk with kings and keep their common touch. The duo shared their new single and music video “Wise Up” which sees them embracing the layered beauty of New York City.

The visual shows them sporting vintage clothing brands Walker Wear and Umbro as they stand in a park while people work out, chill outside of a deli, and even visit an elderly woman in her home. The color scheme adds nostalgia to the backpack-rap type track as it trades between black-and-white and being fully colored. Production-wise, they sample MC Shan’s “The Bridge” and Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx” on the record’s chorus with the line “Why don’t you wise up? Show all the people.”

Per usual, the Chicago rapper utilizes clever lyricism and wordplay. “Holy ground and pillars, Lord willers, drug dealers/ Monks wit’ ki’s that go realer, Chicago iller/ Some know Dilla, rich cars fulfill us/ Parents tryna get they kids to 18, so they will us/ Youngins is restless, investments in vestes/ My man ain’t from Dallas, but he know where the TECs is (Texas) — hold ’em,” he raps.

“Wise Up” is the first single from Common and Pete Rock’s forthcoming joint album, The Auditorium Vol. 1. The 90s sound aligns with what the 52-year-old rapper said last fall when he announced they were working on the project together.

“I been listening to a lot of ’90s Hip Hop because I been creating a new project,” he told Ari Melber on MSNBC’s The Beat. “I’m working on a new album with Pete Rock and just, the energy of that music, whether it’s Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, or De La Soul, because they just got their music on streaming, it’s been inspiring to hear. But I am creating new music right now. I’m in a great space.”

Rock echoed this sentiment in an Instagram post, raving about the excitement he gained from working on The Auditorium Vol. 1. “You ever miss that feeling of a good release in Hip Hop?” he wrote. “Remember how exciting that felt??? We both excited as a mafugga. I always feel like i got something to prove but its just fun to me to make music. Competing to make good music with all the different personalities involved today just gotten dry. We love Hip Hop and you will know just how much. stay tuned!!!”

Common told the audience during a MusiCares panel this past April that The Auditorium Vol. 1 will be one of his best projects ever. “Y’all gon’ think I’m just talking, but this new Pete Rock joint,” he said. “I’ma see y’all when I come back, whenever I’m back, and y’all can tell me if I’m bullshi**in’ or not. It’s in my top. I’ve had a couple people coming in saying, ‘Yo, this is one of your best albums.’ So I’m excited about it.”

This will be his first release since 2021’s A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 which featured Black Thought, Seun Kuti, Marcus King, and more.