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 the streets, 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."
Unlike many of his hip hop contemporaries, Common doesn't make disposable art nor does he run from the title 'conscious'. He's concerned with making music that'll speak to the listeners' mind, body and soul, good music that'll stand the test of time. BE won't 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.
Performed by Common
Produced by J. Dilla
Courtesy Stones Throw Records
2007 Stones Throw Records
Alternative Country Alternative Metal Alternative Pop Alternative Rap Alternative rock Blues Rock Dance Disco Drum-n-bass Electronic Emo Funk Garage Grunge Hard Rock Hip-Hop House Indie Jazz Funk Jazz Rap Latin Metal New Wave Pop Post Punk Progressive Punk R&B Rap Reggae Rock Ska-Punk Soul Synth Pop Techno Turntablism Underground Rap