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(Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/BET/Getty)

There was a time when Hip Hop was the soundtrack to the struggle of blacks in America. The commercialization of the art form has had terrible implications.

However, during last night’s airing of the BET Hip Hop Awards, conscious rapper Common’s performance of “Kingdom” felt like a throwback to a time long past.

Backed by a gospel choir, the Chicagoan, joined by Vince Staples and Jay Electronica spit spiritually allegorical verses, calling to mind the inner city struggles of urban youths.

As African Americans continue to fight for justice in Ferguson, Missouri, Common’s performance ended with an unforgettable crescendo. He brought the parents of slain St. Louis teen, Michael Brown, on stage.

“We do this for the people,” Common said. “Black people all around this country in America that go through the struggle. We do this for our lost soldiers, our fallen soldiers. We bring to you the parents of Mike Brown.”

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