20 of the Best Lyrics From August Greene’s Self-Titled Debut Album
Having dropped his debut album more than 25 years ago, Common‘s been around hip-hop for a long time, and his pen game has been top notch for just as long. On August Greene, the eponymous debut album from a new trio comprised of himself, Grammy-winning pianist Robert Glasper and jazz drummer Karriem Riggins, the legendary Chicago MC once again delivers.
Over the course of the project, Com cruises a jazzy soundscape as he takes us through his own psyche and contemplates the plight of Black America. At his best, he combines bits of wisdom and a knack for poetic writing with his reassuring baritone to create songs that can be optimistic, ferociously honest, heroic or vulnerable. Sometimes, they even encapsulate all of those qualities at once.
On “Meditation,” the first song on the album, the former G.O.O.D. Music artist begins by describing his potential for growth before addressing the human trafficking crisis in Washington, D.C. On “Black Kennedy,” Common imagines a world where Black excellence prevails and the saga of President Obama has a sequel.
Common’s got plenty more gems where those ideas came from, too. With spurts of tight rhyme schemes, impactful language choices and a flow that’s only gotten better with time, Common is in top form over Glasper and Riggins’ warm, musical sound beds.
XXL takes an in-depth look at the 20 best lyrics from August Greene’s self-titled debut album. Peep it for yourself below—you might even get a tweet out of it.
“Let the sun grow, I roll through the jungle on the humble/Got compassion from my mother, streets from my uncle” —Common
“What I strive for, is what I live for/Studied the lessons, now the lesson is to give more/And endure trials with style like Johnnie Cochran/I rap with a gift that can’t be boxed in, winning is the doctrine” —Common
“Living in ambition on a mission impossible/Envision optimism through a prism that’s optical/To see through obstacles and be remarkable” —Common
“There goes the wind again, an envelope/A divine adrenaline and I’ma sin again/Forgiveness is a synonym for ‘live and live again’/The world need a DR like the Dominican” —Common
“Let It Go”
“Somehow I made my mess-ups my hobby/Is it the stress and the pressure? Probably/Out here with much anger inside me/Don’t know who my friends are, stranger inside me” —Common
“Living in the glory and the story of a warrior/Victory of the more we love, from how poor we was to euphoria/Kick in the door because we think notorious” —Common
“A man, I wasn’t told how to be, in some ways, hip-hop fathered me/Pops said anything is possibly, Inshallah, that’s the Islam in me/Pardon me, my artery is martyry, go hard to free those in poverty/Peace is a part of me, revolved in me, involved in me, I’m God to be” —Common
“The best souls reach thresholds and can’t let go/Empty room, wishin’ for a miracle to echo/In my mind I hear times to stay ghetto/Born rebel, havin’ my own inner-Allepo” —Common
“Post-apocalyptic, the most hip-hop terrific/Young, gifted, and black, it’s never monolithic/To be non-specific, some pontific/On some Z. Elliott, they wanna run with it/Overzealous zealots, my alias should to be rebellious/’Cause I deliver on some mail-y ish” —Common
“It’s gonna take a miracle to change the block and that’s spiritual/Tactics for black kids, it’s mind over matter, where blacks is/It’s captive where the trap is, the ghetto is radioactive/The struggle’s attractive, made moves and backslid” —Common
“Daughter talks, divine order caught/Me by the collar, what it is to be a father/Made some mistakes, some things I was good at/You take away the bad then you gotta take the good back” —Common
I always thought, ‘I’m the one to fly free’/Played the game and handled it like Kyrie/Looking past my exes like I’m YZ/Not thinking, ‘Why me?’ ’cause she cry me a river/I’m thinking bigger, looking for the perfect picture” —Common
“The streets where we from, beats heavy drums/Wish I could put Jordans on the feet of everyone/Black Kennedy, royalty with black identity/Leader of the freestyle, I go to penitentiaries” —Common
“The emphatical, radical, mathematical/Travel to capitals, in actual fact, extract practical/I seen pain to make the day cry, it takes practice somebody tell AI/Everyday I prey I stay my course, hopin’ my actions obey my thoughts” —Common
“The message is where the oppression is/It’s single mothers, pressure, and aggressive kids/My rhymes’ll be the Ritalin, let’s get it/And America’s divided, the dividend is the middlemen” —Common
“Government tried to swallow me, wish we had our own colony/Black space odyssey, we land on property/I’m an anomaly to the economy, get dollars, we chase policy” —Common
“Opps and opulence, pops said confidence/Glocks and consciousness, sounds of Black optimists” —Common
“Somebody take my daughter, they goin’ cease from breathin’/”They body snatching Black girls in DC/Politics and propaganda on the TV/Distractions, distractin’ us from action/It’s time for some, time for some passion” —Common
“I’m the attorney of a Universal law/Fill out a application and I gotta circle raw, aww/Feeling it, willing it to existence/Living in temptation, living in resistance” —Common
“On a mountain top, the youth from the fountain dropped/Thought about being forever young, it’s like a deacon that forever sung” —Common