New Common Album Arrives
The album is a full-circle journey through life, love and reality. "I wanted to make an album that everyone could relate to and also showcases my experiences. My career has taken many directions in the past couple of years as well as my personal life," reflects Common."
The lead single "Blue Sky" touches on the importance of reaching for your goals despite your current circumstance: "Daylight beams, night-life schemes/ This is my inception I'm writing my dreams." Elsewhere, "Cloth" demonstrates a symbolic view of relationships and the belief that your mate has to be cut from the same values and beliefs ("We can cover each other through the coldest nights/ Tight, never smother, It's two things that seems to hold us together/ God is our tailor and forever), while "Raw (How You Like It)" is a throwback to real hip-hop battles and natural bravado ("Dude got vile like crack in the 80's/ You don't want to test this yo/ You never know who got a tech up in the disco").
Common takes to his nay-sayers and frustration with the commodification of hip-hop on "Sweet" which is arguably the most contentious record on the album: "My name synonymous with prominence/ I'm the hip hop what Obama is to politics." "Lovin I Lost," one of the more personal records on the album, touches on his very public relationships ("How could someone you to talk to each and everyday, that you about to marry be on their merry way?/ I'm singin' through the pain like I was Mary J."
Guests for the 12-track album includes the honorable Maya Angelou who showcases her prowess with an original poem on the opening track "The Dreamer," hip-hop legend and traditionalist emcee Nas who rounds out the evocative storytelling record "Ghetto Dreams," soul crooner John Legend who is featured on the uplifting track "The Believer," and Common's own father Lonnie "Pops" Lynn who gives a Gil Scott-Heron inspired benediction to close out the album. All production for this cinematic journey is at the hands of longtime friend and renowned producer NO I.D.
Without a traditional radio set-up for the album, Common relied on the strength of his music and the viral support of his fans to push the record and its contents. Following a real-time performance and interview at Youtube's headquarters, Common received monumental praise for the record which resulted in the emcess previewing the entire album one week before its release. "I thought it was important to reach my true fans, they motivate me," reveals Common. "I am rooted in hip-hop and the blogs keep me on my toes. They don't bite their tongues."
"Common has been a fabulous partner for the Warner Bros. label," says Warner Bros. Co-President and CEO Todd Moscowitz. "His cross-over appeal, work ethic, and heightened visibility, have allowed us to maximize his exposure and cross market him not only to his core but to a broader fanbase."
Joie Manda, head of Warner Bros. Urban division further adds, "Common deserves his spot in the history books as one of the best rappers to ever do it. Anyone who does not have this album is missing out on a true body of work."
Tracklisting is as follows:
1. The Dreamer feat. Maya Angelou