The first song to be made available from Common's Nobody Smiling album finds the rapper reflecting on the violence in his home city of Chicago that has been making headlines for the past few years. He spits:
"Put ya flames in the air for the deceased and the Young soldiers who never got to become older Dogtagged in the body bag Police kept the knot he had."
Common explains in an interview segment that plays out at the song's fade: "We came up with this concept; Nobody's Smiling was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago. It happens in Chicago, but it's happening around the world in many ways. It may not be to the numbers that's happening in Chicago, but it's happening in the inner-cities all over America. It's really a call to action."
The song was produced by Chicago beatmaker No I.D, who helmed Common's first three albums, before hooking up with the former G.O.O.D. Music member again for 2011's The Dreamer/The Believer.