Common's Be: XXL Review

Discussion in 'Hip-Hop Central' started by Parental_Advisory, Mar 25, 2005.

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  1. Parental_Advisory

    Parental_Advisory Click Click Pow

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    Common - Be
    Label: G.O.O.D./Geffen
    Rating: XXL (HIGHEST RATING)

    Music is supposed to mirror life. Most hip-hop fans aren't hustlers, thugs, or pimps who rock ice and only date women who menage as much as they brush their teeth. So, where are the rap albums that speak to the consensus, for the consensus? While today's MCs have been pumping out A&R-deficient, fatty players for hip-hop's minority (millionares and criminals), Common has been in the lab documenting the nuanced lives of the majority - ordinary people. With 11 tracks that focus on feeling not filler, the Chicago champ formerly known as Common Sense has birthed '05's top LP with the impeccable Be.

    The album's first single, the impenetrable inner-city anthem "The Corner," sets up the initial statement for the man born Lonnie Rashid Lynn: He's neither that rapper on Resurrection nor the one on Electric Circus - he's evolved into a synthesis of the two, On Be, Common plays poet and documentarian, showing us the triumphs and tragedies that occur in Ghetto, USA. And with Be's co-pilot, Kanye West, supplying the lion's share of the score (9 of the 11 tracks) by stepping up even his production game with layers of bluesy yet granite-hard compositions, joints like the jazz-fueled "Real People" reflect Common's perchant for "showin' ~~~~~'s lives like UPN."

    In fact, the CD's cohesive sound can be attributed to the synergy between Common and Kanye. "Go," the album's John Mayer-featured, no-brainer radio single, finds Common the intellectual getting sexual, as he fantasizes about a freak who "said I was the bait for her master/ Little red corvette? Nah she was faster." No need for formulaic hooks to inspire a two-step here - the melodic vibes, eletric-key droplets, and live-felt percussion are enough. While the latter is meant to get bodies moving, "Chi-City" was birthed to keep heads nodding. There, Common asserts his MC supremacy as heard on "Resurrection ('95 Extra P Mix)" and College Dropout's "Get 'Em High," spitting lines like "My man retired, I'ma take over" and "They ask me where in hip-hop going/ It's Chica-goin', the poetry's in motion like picture now showin'." Then on "Testify," Common gets his Hitchcock on, weaving a sinister courtroom tale of a hustler's wife pleading for her husband's freedom. For those who requested the raw from an MC accused of having gone soft, Be provides enough dope to OD on.

    But Common's wordsmith wizardy soars beyond stylistics: It excels at photographing real life. On "It's Your World," Comm recounts his own coming of age and the story of an aspiring singer turned prostitute. Over soul-stirring strings and a marching drum track courtesy of J-Dilla (the producer behind the LP's remaining two tracks), Common recalls, "I remember in high school she had a passion to sing/ Now she see herself in a casket in dreams." And when Common bares universal wisdom on thought-provoking cuts as "Love Is," with jewels like "As men we're taught to hold it in/ That's why we don't know how to 'til we're older men," it's evident that he's come a long way from the bitches and brew of his Can I Borrow a Dollar? days.

    While label support and the times heavily influence whether great music can be crowned a classic, if nothing else Common has created a flawless album. By giving us himself completely and speaking to and for us as complete people, he's birthed the total package. Common has raised the bar. Hopefully, a year from now we'll look back and see that MCs have been rhyming like Common since.

    Other album ratings;

    Beanie Sigel - The B. Coming - XL
    C-Murder - The Truest Shit I Ever Said - L
    Juelz Santana - Back Like Crooked Crack 2 - L
    Lord Tariq - The Barcode - M
    Sean Price - ~~~~~~ Barz - L
    Clinton Sparks - Maybe You Been Brainwashed - L
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  2. Max Ayodele

    Max Ayodele Godfather

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    Damn wasnt expecting this
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  3. kyza soza

    kyza soza This way up.

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    Fucking hell yea.

    Can't wait.
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  4. Ixtlan

    Ixtlan emceeingain'tforyou...

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    Kanye West and Jay Dee manning all the production on this album?

    "Be" has classic written all over it.
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  5. illest brother

    illest brother Registered User

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    My god, now i cant fucking wait for this.
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  6. illest brother

    illest brother Registered User

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    Haha good finishing line.
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  7. Contak617

    Contak617 New Member

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    "showin' ~~~~~'s lives like UPN."


    ^^ That is a real ~~~~~. Common is def. gettin my money.
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  8. LTrain411

    LTrain411 New Member

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    When is this comming out?
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  9. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    i concur

    CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR THIS!!!
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  10. Broken English

    Broken English Flyest Kiwi on Earth

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    is XXL the equivalent of 5mics?
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  11. Parental_Advisory

    Parental_Advisory Click Click Pow

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  12. Poetiquette

    Poetiquette The Pain and the Poetry

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    thats whats up...i cant wait till this drops
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  13. TheNotoryousOne

    TheNotoryousOne Grown Ass Man

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    I second that.
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  14. da_after_shock

    da_after_shock New Member

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    They didnt fall asleep while listening? Damn..I give them credit.
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  15. Damian Banner

    Damian Banner New Member

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    I'm buyin it *jadakiss laugh*
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  16. Old Soul

    Old Soul Nipple Nibbler

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    Com gonna have 3 classics under his bizelt.
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  17. MagicDonJuan

    MagicDonJuan Active Member

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    I'm not feeling the production on "the corner" but hopefully his other tracks will be better, besides that he's a grade A emcee.
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  18. Riggz_

    Riggz_ New Member

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    damn..haven't bought a cd since January 2000, Common will break my streak, he deserves it.
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  19. THRiLLaH

    THRiLLaH Snap, Crackle, Pop.

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    word.. i can't wait.
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  20. illest brother

    illest brother Registered User

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    Are you kidding me?
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