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The rapper Common wants to take hip-hop in a new direction, he says, and he has an unsuspecting ally -- President-elect Barack Obama.

Obama "is going to change hip-hop for the better," predicted the rapper, whose eighth album, "Universal Mind Control" (G.O.O.D. Music/Geffen), hits shelves Tuesday.

"I really do believe we as hip-hop artists pick up what's going on in the world and try to reflect that," he told CNN, outlining his belief that mainstream as well as so-called "conscious" rappers -- the more socially aware -- will pick up on what he sees as the more optimistic prospects of an Obama presidency. Read full article »

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