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"Truthfully, I wanna rhyme like Common Sense..." - Jay-Z

 

Ok, since this thread was lost, I have to work to bring it back, along with Talib Kweli & Mos Def ones.

 

Common's smoov. "Ressurection" and "Like Water for Chocolate" are my personal favorites; ill re-post album reviews again later.

 

To answer Tussin's question: yeah, ill host "ressurection" or "i used to love h.e.r." later, tho both she & I know those tracks, so itll be for the rest of ya'll...if youve a Common joint in mind (like that one with Mary J, "Come close", or "The Light", his popular one), make a request here!

 

Tussin: What's this bout a new LP? I know Mos has one comin up soon....details!

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  • 7 months later...

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So, i lost my thread reviewing Com's classic albums in the storm, ill bring it back soon - this guy is way too talented to not be noticed, between battling, conscious works, experiment stuff, he's one of the most versatile out there, and most people only know a single or two by him ("The Light").

 

I had to get this thread going because his next album, Be, is due out 5/24/05, and its already bein called a classic by XXL and others. I just downloaded it, and even the title track is amazing, cant wait to hear the rest. Ill be honest, last year's works by Talib Kweli and Mos Def were good, but not as good as their previous albums, so I was hopeful this would be the groundbreaking work Common pulled off in Ressurection or Like Water for Chocolate, and so far, between heavy production from Kanye West, guest spots from John Legend and the return of Com's insights, this album has me more excited than any other ive seen this year so far. :D

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  • 1 month later...

so damned hyped bout this album, its not even funny.

 

info1.jpg

 

When was the last time you saw yourself in a hip-hop song? When was the last time a hip-hop artist gave you an extraordinary description of the lives of ordinary people? While many of his peers were drawing black and white pictures of thugs, gangsters, pimps and hoes Common was dipping into a thousand-color palette to paint a picture that would capture the experience of the average person and all of its nuances. The name of his masterpiece is BE, simple yet profound the album is culmination of 13 years in the music biz and a lifetime of feeling, learning and growing. "I look at my career like a circle," says Common. "My last album, [2002's Electric Circus,] was the furthest point away from the starting point and now I'm back at the root again. The name of my new album is BE. It's about being able to be without trying, being able to be in the present moment, being able to be natural and being who you are. Musically, I want to express that state of being. For me, it also means not dwelling on the past and not worrying about what people are saying about me. It's about where I am right now as an artist and as a person."  

 

While his last album, Electric Circus was critically acclaimed as an audacious endeavor that challenged and expanded the creative boundaries of hip-hop, many diehard fans who'd been tracking Common's career since the release of his street-smart debut CD, Can I Borrow A Dollar?, felt that he'd abandoned his hip-hop purist roots in favor of an eclectic fusion of sunnier sounds and textures. In the wake of Electric Circus's disappointing sales and Common's subsequent breakup with his longtime girlfriend, neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu, the rapper who was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn says he "hit the ground" and re-evaluated the direction of his life and career. "It was definitely a rugged time that brought me back down to earth," he recalls. But rather than brooding over his discontent, Common picked up his pen and pad and began writing the foundation for BE. 

 

Recorded mostly in New York and Los Angeles, and largely written in the Chicago native's hometown, BE is a brilliant manifestation of raw, warm, soulful, pure, contemporary hip-hop that clocks in at just 11 songs. "It's not overdone," Common says, explaining his minimalist approach to BE. "I wanted to choose the best songs and make it a complete story. For a lot of the songs I didn't even write three verses-some of the songs are shorter-because that's what felt right and good. Ultimately, I felt like each song was powerful enough that I didn't need more than 11 songs." 

 

Comms return to his roots and to his musics unadulterated essence meant that the bulk of BEs production would be helmed by Kanye West a fellow Chicagoan who came up under the tutelage of Commons first producer and good friend No I.D. West, contributed nine tracks and helped to shape the overall sound of the LP while A Tribe Called Quest collaborator Jay Dee, produced two cuts ("Love Is" and "It's Your World"). BE is the second release on West's Getting Out Our Dreams Music label, which launched earlier this year with the release of John Legend's debut, Get Lifted. The result is a superlative collection of successive gems that finds Common, a seasoned vet, rhyming with the hunger, intensity and fire of a newjack. "I feel like this is a reintroduction in a way," says Common, explaining his motivation behind songs such as "Chi City," a hometown anthem anchored by a hard drum beat, a soulful horn sample and cuts by DJ Dummy and DJ A-Trak, in which Common spits: "I rap with the passion of Christ / Nigga, cross me / Took it outta space and niggas thought they lost me / I'm back like a chiroprac with b-boy survival rap / It ain't '94, Joe, we can't go back."

 

"As an MC, I'm just getting some things off my chest," Common says. Not only does Common spit aggressively to solidify his status as a super-MC, he also shows and proves with masterfully crafted story raps and conceptual rhymes that showcase the depth of his ability as a storyteller. Take, for instance, "Testify," a rugged, cinematic, suspense thriller that finds Common spinning the tale of a woman testifying for her man in court. Other highlights include "Faithful," wherein Common contemplates the connection between God and woman while the soul-stirring voices of Bilal and John Legend tug at the listeners heart strings.

 

"Kanye was very enthused and passionate about creating some good hip-hop music and I knew he could create something unique that real niggas in the world could feel-that the average Joe could connect with," says Common. "It was the same thing with Jay Dee," he continues. "His music possesses a soulful rawness that I felt like anybody could relate to. More than anything, I love their production. They're both creative and original guys. Its people out there now who imitate both of their sounds. They're the originators of a sound. Plus, we got that Chicago-Detroit connection real strong. The root of our thing comes from the soul era of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye. As far as hip-hop goes, Kanye and Jay Dee are in the spirit of soulful hip-hop, which is what I love and what I've wanted to create since I started my career." 

 

In keeping with Common's unpretentious approach to BE, the album's guest appearances are kept to a refreshing minimum: Besides frequent collaborator Bilal ("It's Your World," "Faithful") and John Legend ("Faithful," "They Say"), the only other co-star is Kanye West, who trades verses with Common on "They Say," along with The Last Poets, whom enhance Common's lyrical portrait of inner city blues on "The Corner" and, as always, Pops, who drops knowledge on the outro. "A lot of the hip-hop albums that I enjoy and that are classic-records like Illmatic, Low End Theory and Paid in Full-don't feature a lot of people on 'em," says Common. "I believe that true artists don't need a bunch of guest appearances to make there album or to shine. You can create good music yourself. I wanted people to know where Common is right now and who I am.

 

Unlike many of his hip-hop contemporaries, Common doesnt make disposable art nor does he run from the title conscious. Hes concerned with making music thatll speak to the listeners mind, body and soul, good music thatll stand the test of time. BE wont just raise the bar for hip-hop albums it is destined to have the name Common said in the same breath as artists like Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and Donny Hathaway and that, friends, is exactly as it should be.

 

The only mixed message here is that ive read other articles with Com claiming the 11-track album is what bootleggers got, and there's at least a few more mixed by Jay Dee.

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  • 2 weeks later...

gotta throw in my 2 on this. the album is an instant classic, I can already say that there's no way kanye's next can come close to this unless common sense is all over it. it's been quite a while since there's been an album I've listened to this many times straight through as I have "be"

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Couldnt agree more; just saw the relase of it, guess i was wrong about Com having a few more Jay tracks on it, but its a short, tight album. I dig some tracks more than others ("The Food" came out good, not sure why a lotta reviewers think "Testify" is the best on the album tho)

 

You heard "The Corner" remix with Mos Def and Scarface? Just saw the torrent for it, hopefully ill have it by tomorrow. "if skills sold, truth be told", BE would sell circles around "The Massacre".

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You heard "The Corner" remix with Mos Def and Scarface?

 

 

yea thats a good remix, even thoug mos' verse could have been better. there's another song on the bonus disc w/ royce the 5'9 that's pretty solid. it's all on OINK IrishCowboy... PM me if you need an invite

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No shit, you use them too? Hah...im on, just ran outta invites recently. I'm IrishCowboy over there, and havnet been on in a while cause my computer's dying, but that site has awesome hip-hop. Ive gotten like 15 gigs from them, no lie.

 

I just raided them today for torrents (when my shit's better, hopefully soon) for old Wu-Tang, plus some shit i wanted to try out, like MF Doom. Didnt know bout that remix tho, good lookin out!

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  • 1 year later...

Alright, so its been a few years since Com semi-broke into the mainstream with Be, and in the end, it was a solid album; not his best (Ressurection), and certainly not the strangest (Electric Circus). Still, he's working with Kanye on his upcoming album, Finding Forever. What's cool is that its a triube to the late J-Dilla (great producer of Tribe & many other classics) and the first single really does sound more in line with his work, even has that 70's sythesizer that hip-hop blogger Bol nails by calling it "right out of some long lost MF Doom record"

 

Anyway, its really good, you just gotta hear it. Common - The People

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haha.. I did the same. I really enjoy this song! it's got an interesting beat I can kinda jam to ... even if you know, hip -hoping that crazy music isn't really my scene and all... >_:ok:

 

 

oh and Nick, I TOLD YOU SO! (myspace had his song.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was hoping youd like it. Again, I honeslty think on "Be", his breakthrough one, Kanye gave him some beats but obviously saved the better ones for his own album. My opinion of course, but...the RZA helped make it more popular to sample classic R&B/Soul but he'd only take a hook or a few notes; if you ever hear "Shaolin Soul", all the tracks where RZA samples from, sometimes its hard to tell unless you hear it all the way through to catch what he sampled. Kanye, he just takes the beat and speeds up the BPM's a bit...he does more to it than say, Diddy, but im saying that's his style, you know?

 

So, here he is, trying to do J Dilla's style, Dilla's one of those guys you prolly know without knowing his name, he was an awesome chicago producer from this group Slum Villiage but he's done fine work with ?uestlove from the Roots, Talib, and Common on his album "Like water for chocolate". I came to know of him through that and mostly my love for Tribe, and his work with Madlib and MF Doom.

 

Point is, he worked with a lotta great names, and gets credited with "neo-soul" but his stuff had a lot of that 70's soul feel to it before it got cool to do so, that's what Kanye's emulating there as a tribute, and some can argue it sounds almost too clean/studio refined but its a great track and it leaves me with really high hopes for Com's next album.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

i disagree but only with his older shit.

Resurrection was great, Like Water for Chocolate was also good. I enjoyed Be but tracks like "Testify" werent my thing, and his last album i didnt even make it through. I like that Kanye's making him money but with the exception of when he did "The People" (which was in the production style of J Dilla) i really havent liked the beats ye has given him.

Im hoping his next album (which theyve already said wont have west helping out) will be more like his older shit, i hope its true. Com can do crazy shit like battle Ice Cube or even do a great R&B crossover like "Come close" when he wants to, or he can sound like half his songs already and talk more about the struggle.

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  • 7 months later...

damn.

 

see, i didnt like last year's Finding Forever , "The People" was awesome but i only kept 1 or 2 other tracks. Kanye trying his hand at being J-Dilla didnt work for me, any better than Kanye trying to be Primo. After Be, i was afraid Common'd go into money-making mode (which is fine) but i woudlnt enjoy his shit for a while again.

 

Im about halfway through Universal Mind Control, and i gotta say, that's definitely not the case - this shit's good.

 

you mighta heard Universal Mind Control on the radio (video's awesome too), Pharell needs to do more tracks with Com. The other one i gotta put up is "What a World" featuring Chester French, this is the kinda production mashup id love to see Nas get on his next alubm.

 

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