Common talks 'Suicide Squad' and gun violence

Story highlights

  • He appeared at the American Black Film Festival
  • He spoke of hip hop's responsibility to ending gun violence

Miami (CNN)Rapper and actor Common has a little something to remember from his time filming the upcoming movie, "Suicide Squad."

"I've got a scar now from this burn where I kept shooting a gun and the [fake] bullets were going into my chest," he said.
    "Suicide Squad" is set to release in August. It's just one of the many projects Common, who last year won an Oscar with singer John Legend for their song "Glory" from the film "Selma," has in the works.
    He's also recording a new album and said it's some of the best music he has ever made.
    And while Common has experience with prop bullets, he spoke to CNN at the American Black Film Festival in Miami this week about the very real issue of gun violence. Common is a featured speaker at the event which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
    Gun violence has plagued his hometown of Chicago and rocked the nation after the mass shooting attack just days ago in Orlando.
    While some in the hip hop community have been taken to task for glorifying violence in their music, Common is known for both his positive rhymes and his efforts to end gun violence. Last year he helped lead the "Put the Guns Down" initiative in his native city.
    Common said he doesn't think rappers should be held to a different standard than average citizens with respect to speaking out against violence - everyone has a role to play.
    "I like to focus on the [artists] who do speak up," he said. "You do have the people like the Kendrick Lamar's and the Chance [the rapper]'s who say things in their music. You have to find the people who have it engrained in them to speak up for different social issues."