To me Common is one of the greatest lyricists of our time and it's been that way ever since he released his first classic LP, 'Resurrection', in 1994. People might have this image of him being soft which is all wrong, he preaches love, talks about societies ills and ain't afraid to show and preach love and a voice like that is very important. Plus there's nothing more real than having the guts to be yourself all the way, at the same time he got hardcore lyrics too and he's a pretty big guy and i'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to knock a sucker out trying to come at him. He had a very interesting career too; i love albums that's done by an MC with a producer/producer-team and with his first three albums No I.D. handled the beats lovely. After his move to New York he released my favorite album of his, 'Like Water For Chocolate' which was mainly produced by Jay Dee with a little additional help from Soulquarian's which were his crew anyways at the time and that one banger from DJ Premier. The next album was once again Dilla and The Soulquarians handling duties with Com' going somewhere no other rapper dared go before, 'The Electric Circus' - one of those albums you either love or hate and it seemed a lot of people hated it but it seems to have gotten some kind of redemption over the years.
But each album is necessary to be made to be able to make the next and that's why the critically acclaimed Kanye West and Dilla produced 'BE' could've never happened if it wasn't for the above mentioned Circus. 'BE' was easily one of the best albums of the last decade and a very important one at that, plus he was taking it back to the essence of the old school with gorgeous soul samples, important messages and making sure the album didn't have no extra fat - 11 tracks, 40 minutes and that's it, more artists should take heed to this. If Saigon would've worked out a similiar plan for his 'Greatest Story' he might very well have had a future classic on his hand right now (this is a subject I will write more about in the future). By the time of 'Finding Forever', Dilla had passed away and ony had one beat on there and the rest was mostly Kanye. It's a good album but not as classy as it's preecedor. There's been a few leaked tracks over the last few months now that for some reason didn't make the cut that could've improved the album big time, mainly through "Strange Fruit". I choose to include this together with the newly leaked F.F. track called "Follow Me Now" and the iTunes bonus 'Play Your Cards Right'. 'Follow Me Now' wasn't really essential to the album but it's a good summer jam and as the weather is gearing up towards a real spring this comes in timely.
This post is already too long but I just want to say that while I praised Common heavily in this post, he did drop one album after 'Forever' which was produced by Pharell Williams of The Neptunes. That was so dissapointing I could barely stand making it through one time, neither lyrics or beats were what a Common supporter would want to hear from him and with the amount of flack he caught for that bullshit release one can only hope he tries to redeem himself with his next LP. Good news is that it's been announced he's working with No I.D., Kanye West and Dug Infinite for the next one, back to Chicago style. Hopefully that's not just empty promises but we'll just have to wait and see. Ok, i'll shut the fuck up now and leave you to the music.
COMMON - "FOLLOW ME NOW"
COMMON - "STRANGE FRUIT" (Ft. John Legend)
COMMON - "PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT" (Ft. Bilal)