Once before another Chicago hip hop head blew up the scene there was another mc keeping hope in all Chicagoan hip hop heads many years before. His lyrics were unmatchable by miles and had a whole different state of mind then most of his fellow emcees which why maybe he isn’t credited as much due to him being ahead of his times. After 10 years from releasing his debut which is hailed as a classic too most he made an appearance on Kanye West’s College Dropout Get Em’ High. It seems like time had finally caught up with Common with the album which has been labelled as classic “BE”.
As the album begins we are giving the title song and its nothing but mind blowing on both parts and this is from one hip-hop head who doesn’t claim Kanye is the god. Kanye and Jay puts everything in this beat everything from piano,strings, an addictive bassline and this Synthesizer which is cool and I haven’t heard before. While that beat is complicated the next one “Corners” is very simplistic with a drum loop and a lot of mumbling with sudden outburst of high pitched sampling with a quiet piano. I feel this one is overrated and the only two reasons why people hail this track as it’s got a Kanye label and Common lyrical skill. Common spits dope multi in each verse which he spits a different view in each one. “Go” is another thing praised which I can’t see as much. The beat kind of reminds me of lift music which isn’t a bad thing but isn’t really a good thing. Common lyrics are kind of sex rapish although his lyricial skill makes this above average unlike most artists. “Faithful” gets back on the track with its very soulful feel with its famous Kanye use to be RZA Sped-up high pitched sampling. It has Chicagoan horns at the hook while a nice Harmonica which in my opinion underused in hip-hop. Common metaphors God as a woman bring up some interesting things to think about while on the 2nd he paints a little story. His storytelling skills are showcased even more on “Testify” . Over a very simplistic beat which when I say simple I mean simple, Common in a spoken word voice and flow switches between first and third person a case in a courtroom only to be flipped right at the end. Jay Dee’s first solo production slot of the album and it’s a gem. He supplies Common with a very soulful beat while Common looks at what is love to different people in “Love Is” . “Chi City” has a very catchy beat with its funky Guitars being played. Again something new and that is a live version and no studio version. “The Food” has a nice beat with the piano based beat. The lyrical skill is up to scratch although its hard to hear sometimes due to the live sounds and also one verse is missing. “Real people” is a jazz horn laced beat and again I like this side of Kanye production. As you can see by the name Realness has a major part in this one as he had to release some view which he couldn’t be held in hoping to reach the “real” people. “They Say” is another Lift music feel though a good one. John Legend has a good soulful hook while Common tries to break down peoples comments while Kanye rambles on about something. “It’s your World/Pop Reprise”ends this delight but like every album Kanye appears on theirs always a track which goes on double the amount it needed although Jay Dee is behind this one. Either way the beat made from Violins and pianos is dope and Common spitting retrospective rhymes.
In all this gets a 4 out of 5 . It has too many flaws mentioned above to be classic which in my world means near perfect although it has many more pros then cons.
Common comes dope in all songs even Go I’m not a big fan of those type of raps. Common state of mind is refreshing from the same old “bang bang” or battle type of rappers and any other type of rappers. Although it very tight its overrated as hell and the reason you ask? Kanye West! Yes admit it half of you wouldn’t even give Common a second look it if never had Kanye’s name in the credits. They’re not perfect like I have pointed out earlier so I’m not going to make up reasons covering up the mistakes.
Recommendation: Buy this album if you want something refreshing from the same old stuff but also look at his “One day it’ll all make sense”. This is probably my second favourite Common CD.