Common took his opportunity at the MTV Video Music Awards podium to pay tribute to Michael Brown and the city of Ferguson, Missouri.
Before announcing Drake as the winner of the Best Hip Hop Video Moonman, Common called for a moment of silence to honor the slain teen.
"Hip hop has always been about truth and it's been a powerful instrument of social change," he said. "Hip hop has always represented a voice for the revolution. I want us all to take a moment of silence for Mike Brown and for peace in this country and this world."