Continuing my recent series of posts on Hip Hop music, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak about the new album “The Dreamer/The Believer” from rapper Common that dropped today. The 12-track album is a much needed shot of masculine rawness that has been missing from Hip Hop music for awhile now.

Common himself is a welcome return to music as well. He’s arguably one of the most talented (and most attractive) 40-year-old Hip Hop lyricists out right now.

The album keeps you feeling like its the “rap golden age” of the late 1990’s while still feeling contemporary 2011. A major reason for this retro feel is that Common re-teamed with his brilliant and underrated “I Used To Love H.E.R.” producer No I.D. for the first time since 1997.

The album features cameos from Nas, Makeba Riddick, Maya Angelou (yes, that Maya Angelou) and a RIDICULOUSLY SICK track with John Legend.

Overall this joint is a must have for all “real” hip hop fans. If you still need convincing on Common’s abilities (and his looks), here are a couple tracks and music videos that are standouts from the new project.


Common: “Sweet”


If you’ll recall, in a recent post I made about Gay rapper Kaoz, I spoke about his sensitive 10-minute emotional outburst during an interview. I then stated that if I saw Common in a similar position, crying while curled up shoeless in a cushioned chair, I wouldn’t find that very flattering as a Hip Hop fan.Turns out, Common himself feels the same way. On the track “Sweet” he calls out other rappers for being too soft, especially all of the rappers that sing more than they rap. The Internet has been on fire about this song lately since many people assume it’s a diss to Drake. Common basically admits that the song wasn’t specifically aimed at him but if the shoe fits, wear it. Drake has already began striking back so I guess we have a new rap battle brewing up.

Either way, Common’s statement was needed. It’s time for unambiguous masculinity to return to Hip Hop music.

_The C-O double-M O-N, I’m not playin’
Da – Da man at work, I make my own lane
I’m the franchise so I rock my own chain
No I. said give ‘em that 80′s cocaine
Somethin’ raw, something pure so I stayed in that vain
The hero that he know, that he cold
like when its below in the Geo, wipe ya feet off in the Regal
Check out the music video for the song:

Common: “Blue Sky”


This is probably one of the best Hip Hop songs of the year. On top of that, its got one of those inspiring messages that we all can appreciate: Bust your fucking ass, stick to your dreams and one day you’ll achieve them.Common is living proof of this. Think about it…he went from being a rap underdog, living on the fringes of the music industry, to being a bona fide Hollywood actor landing those coveted “the black guy” roles in big franchise films (aka The light-skinned Tyrese Gibson). Common’s success is inspiring because since he’s always been so down-to-Earth, he makes it feel like “one of us” actually made it.
It all started with a dream, I wanted to be Run D.M.C
The Lord put the blessing upon the MC
O to the M, dreams were spoken to him
That’s when I knew my flows would overflow to the rim
Open my eyes, yes sir this is what I’m made for
To go hard in the paint like D. Wade or
D. Rose, from the same streets that we rose
International heroes at world premo’s
Red carpet, imagine taking pictures with the president
Told him for health care, my music is the medicine
Check out the music video for the song:
_- Nick D