AAHH! Fest 2015 Has Been Cancelled


Unfortunately, Common and Donda House’s AAHH! Fest will be taking the year off. Festival spokesperson Micaeh Johnson recently spoke to the Tribune and announced that the festival will not be taking place in Union Park this year due to a ‘demanding year,’ but will be returning in September 2016.


The West Side festival, which featured comedian Dave Chappelle and Chicago natives Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Jennifer Hudson last year, will return in September 2016, fest spokeswoman Micaeh Johnson said in an email to the Tribune. Auditions slated to be held this month were canceled.

“Keeping with our commitment to excellence and the significant undertaking of this event, combined with the incredible and very demanding year we have had, the next festival will be held in September 2016,” Johnson wrote. She did not respond to follow-up questions.

I’ll admit, I’m a little sad that the festival won’t be happening this year, but hey — great things take time. See you in 2016, AAHH! Fest.

Ty Howard 0


The Cromwell Boutique Hotel & Casino to Welcome Common


This weekend, The Cromwell on South Las Vegas Boulevard will open their doors to Grammy Award winning hip hop artist Common for a live performance at their sought-after rooftop nightclub, Drai’s. This will be the rapper’s second-to-last local tour stop (his next destination is Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn) before he jets across international waters to Japan.

Having pioneered an underground hip hop movement in Chicago in the early 1990s, Common offered something entirely different from contemporary rappers of the time like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. With jazz and funk influences, spoken word poetry and old school beats, he reigned in a new age of hip hop that quickly garnered him international acclaim and a collection of musical accolades. Although lately he’s been busy working on several movie sets, Common has taken the time out of his filming schedule to share his lyrical poetry from his latest album Nobody’s Smiling with fans all over the country, including Las Vegas. While Sin City might still be known as a gambling capital, over the years it has grown to be one of the most popular music tour stops and concert destinations for both world famous and rising artists.

Truthfully, music has always been a vital component for Vegas’ spectrum of entertainment, but recently it has taken precedence over other types of non-gaming revenue in various integrated resorts. Since the introduction of online gaming sites nearly two decades ago, brick-and-mortar facilities have been negatively impacted as evidenced by declining revenues, especially when online portals started promoting benefits such as free bonuses for new customers.

While a lot of the Vegas excitement occurs on the gaming floor due to its lively atmosphere, numerous casino operators have decided to bring the festivities outside of the casino by sponsoring a myriad of music fests and inviting world-famous acts to perform in their nightclubs. This has ignited the proliferation of festivals and concerts in nightclubs in Las Vegas, providing artists a variety of ways to perform live for their dedicated fans.

Common will be performing at Drai’s Rooftop Nightclub on Friday, August 21, starting at 10pm. Tickets are available on

Andrew Barber 0


Spike Lee Working On “Chiraq” Film

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Well, this is definitely going to get the chatter started. I’d heard Spike Lee was recently in Chicago meeting with people about a movie chronicling the streets of Chicago, but didn’t know it was going to actually be called ‘Chiraq’ — which appears to be the working title. It also appears that Spike is courting Kanye West and Common as potential stars for the film.

While no one has officially commented on this I do see this as being one polarizing project. Says The Wrap: 

Spike Lee is making his next movie for Amazon Studios and the Oscar-nominated filmmaker is courting Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Piven, Common and Kanye West for the ensemble cast of “Chiraq,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Representatives for Common and West did not respond to multiple requests for comment, while a representative for Amazon declined to comment.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but “Chiraq” became synonymous with Chicago as the city became increasingly plagued by gun violence in recent years.

Piven and West are both from Chicago, and the duo are in talks for the film, though neither has a deal in place yet. Piven’s involvement will depend on his eschedule, as he’s preparing to shoot another season of “Mr. Selfridge.”

Andrew Barber 1

Chicago News

Common’s AAHH Fest To Return This Year


For those of you who attended last year’s AAHH Fest at Union Park, sponsored by Common, then you know just how great of a festival it was. Com was able to bring out the heavy hitters, for an action-packed fun-filled day that was attended by some of Chicago’s best and brightest. It really was one of the highlights of festival season last year. Well, thankfully, it appears the AAHH Fest is coming back for year two — hopefully in late summer. The only question is, how will Common top last year’s lineup which included Dave Chappelle, Kanye West, Twista and Lupe Fiasco?

In an interview with Chicago Mag, Common revealed his plans for another AAHH Fest and confirmed it will be happening. No word on lineup, however.

You spent a lot of time involved with Chicago in 2014, with your last album and AAHH! Fest, whereas the first part of 2015 has been more Hollywood. What’s next?

I’ve been doing a lot of speaking engagements. We recently had the Common Ground Foundation Gala, where we raised money for my foundation, which is Chicago-based, for the youth. I’ve got some films that I’m gonna do, I have some music that I’m creating. And we are going to have an AAHH! Fest this year too.

Are you going to do anything differently this year?

Well, we’re hoping to grow, but if we can capture the spirit of last year and allow it to grow then that would be incredible. ‘Cause that was like—that was one of the best events I’ve been to in Chicago. I loved it, we loved it, even the performers loved it.

Andrew Barber 0