Common Needs To Call Kanye ASAP

Let me just start by saying I’m a Common supporter.

I own the man’s seven albums from Can I Borrow A Dollar to last year’s Finding Forever. Like, I actually cop his joints. You know us journalists get free CDs , but I still support when I like the artists. I got two copies of Be and two copies of Finding Forever, one from the label and one I purchased myself. I didn’t even think Electric Circus was that horrible. He had a few heaters on there. To this day, I wish he released a video for “I Am Music.”

But anyway, when I heard that Com was coming right back with another album this summer, my initial thought was, “thank God! We could use a new Com album right about now.” Only one thing though, Kanye West apparently didn’t contribute a single song to this album. At first I was like, cool. Hopefully he’ll get those Dr. Dre beats he’s been hoping for and will let handle the bulk of the production. But so far, the only two producers listed for Invincible Summer are former Outkast producer, Mr. DJ and the Neptunes. Ugh! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Virginia nerds’ catalogue, but we all know Chad Hugo’s been sort of an absentee contributor as of late. How else do you explain that Hell Hath No Fury’s production was so disappointing? The beats just don’t sound the same when Pha-Real’s doing it dolo. Prior to the LP’s release, countless of my colleagues heralded the CD as a classic. No so much! Pusha-T and Malice did destroy the album on the lyrical tip, though. I just expected a “Neptunes-produced” effort to have more bang for my download buck.

The good news is Chad’s been touring with N.E.R.D., so maybe he’s back in the production fold. The bad news is “Universal Mind Control,” Com’s first release off Summer, just leaked, and it’s not too good. “This …is…that au-to-ma-tic/I stay fresh like I’m wrapped in plastic,” Common spits in the opening bars. That’s all I heard. I turned it off immediately. I later listened to it a few more times and still…nothing. I don’t like Com’s flow, not crazy bout the lyrics, don’t like the beat and I don’t like Pharrell’s hook. Now, I’m all for experimentation, but this just doesn’t fit Com to me. This is why Com and ‘Ye work so well. He gives him them smooth soulful backdrops that compliment his content and delivery so perfectly. Come to think about it, I wasn’t too crazy about Com and the ‘Tunes’ first two collaborations off Electric Circus, “Come Close” and “I Got Right Ta.”

I’m hoping the song grows on me by the fourth, fifth or sixth listen. If not, I’m scared. Granted, it’s only one song, but it’s definitely Com’s weakest release in years. This is also the first time Com drops two albums so close to one another. He usually takes at least two years off between projects, so hopefully Summer wasn’t rushed. What do you guys think? Anybody else a bit worried about Com’s new joint? Speak on it.

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  • Pierzy

    It’s a shame but it sounds like Common’s finally fully reaching for that typical pop radio crowd, with a beat and chorus that 14 year olds will sing along too. It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S…unfortunately. He doesn’t sound like the same guy from “Be,” let alone “Resurrection.” Another fall from grace…

  • wax

    my electro roots are probably showing but I find that electro style beat and com’s robotic flow perfect – its like a throwback to the early 80s but doper…

  • Boogie

    To be honest, I like this song, but ppl always want to pigeon hole him and other artists for that matter. Just because it isn’t something you expect from him, ppl automatically have a negative thought process going into it. I like the fact that it’s like an ’80s throwback and to me this shit is hot. Ppl still to stop being judgmental and just enjoy music. Stop having expectations of what you think he SHOULD be doing, and enjoy what he IS doing, if it’s good, which this is…

  • T.R.E.Y.

    i think Pharrell did a good job on HHNF, but this shit is weak (and judging by the percussion and overall sound, it’s a Pharrell beat and not a Neptunes one, even if dude wants to keep crediting himself as “Neptunes.”) his recent shit just doesn’t sound well-layered, it’s like he’s using cheap-ass keyboards and drum rhythms that don’t fit with the melodies.

    “Come Close” is dope though.

  • jay

    hell yeah you hit the nail on the head. i own most of common’s albums and he was one of my fav emcees. i must admit i was skeptical every since pharrell’s name was put in the mix. i don’t like that universal mind control bullshit.not common at all. i guess i’ll be waitin on somethin new from blaq poet.

  • Cinsere

    Heard the first few bars at a low volume…not good…not good at all. I’ll give it a full listen later, but man, is this NOT what I expect from Common’s “experimentation.”

    *goes back to Electric Circus*

  • Kappa9

    It sounds like that LL Cool song with J.Lo, which I hated. He said that it was going to be an album catered to the Summer, I was thinking more like Fresh Prince’s Summertime. Not this mess. I hope it doesnt make the album.

  • Incilin

    Worried about Com’s new joint? I been worried since his last joint. All I know is, I’m glad he’s moving away from Kayne. It was a little too much with the two of them. But geez, why’d he go with Neptunes? They aint a better choice. But then again, who can he really work with? Dilla gone, Permier aint around (or too busy getting that Christina Aguliara money). Only person I can think of matching with Com is (just like you said) I mean Common over Timberland? Or Alchemist? Or even Dre? Na, I can’t see it.

    And I’m tired of people ragging on Hell Hath just because it bricked. Shit is a fucking classic in every sense of the word. Worthy of the highest rating XXL has to offer (even tho Elliot later reneged on it calling the rating a “mistake”) . And them beats knock hard body. How you gone front on “Momma I’m So Sorry” or “Keys Open Doors” Shits was bangers.

  • thoreauly77

    song is good. not excellent but definitely solid. it’s on some mantronix, early 80′s herbie hancock business and i think it is cool that he is doing something different.

  • Arcey

    I think Com’s trying to diversify his catalogue cuz watching in him in LA with Kanye, it seemed like his joints weren’t reaching ppl like K’s (i.e. stronger, flashlights) – anyways the hook is shitty as hell, the beat is on some Africa Baambataa shit & Com chose a flow that would compliment that. It’s not going to be the best song of his career but Com is still one of the last lyricist alive in this rap shit so I’ll cop the LP when it drops

    was he smoking a lil’ sum-sum on that pic? cuz I thought he was all about tea & incense…

  • Chris

    You lose for fucking with anything Common did after 1997. And for dickriding a B grade rapper.

  • a0r1an

    the beats on hell hath no fury were tight keys open doors ride around shining trill were all super tight beats dont tell me that pharrell cant produce without chad


    Even though I am not a big Pharrell fan or even like NERD music(I think that shit is for East Coast kids who snort Coke and rock large amount of Hipster Coutre), I would say that Pharrell’s production is atleast Good on a scale from 1 to 10 he gets a 8. Yet you are right that Common sounds better over Kanye(or Jay Dilla beatz) because Common’s voice is too genuinely Soulful for a Pharrell track. Anyways he shoulda got some beats from Kanye,Dre,Kellz(he make good soul beats) and maybe ONE NERD track. Fuck this Rap shit right about now anyways cuz it’s booooorrrrriiinnngggg……………

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  • Yayza

    I don’t think I’m alone when I say I wish Common would have spent the money and gotten some Just Blaze production on this new album. We need some more of that shit. The new song isn’t all bad though, but I know Pharrell can do better.

  • The Realness

    Man… Another one bites the dust!!

  • brand-new

    if common keeps having kanye do every beat on every album its gonna get old and boring. after so many years he’s becoming main stream,so if he wants to experiment with his sound, i think he earned that right. common always delivers! with the exception of electric circus, but he only made that album so he could fill the requirement at that label and move on.

  • KFrizzle

    Althought I do agree with you that the Neptunes production as of late is WILDLY overrated, I like this look right here [||] from Com. Dude has always been on some theme shit for his different albums a la OutKast (dare I make the comparison, but they’re the only ones that seem to be able to consistently put together classic thematic hip hop albums).

    He’s been doing the Kanye thing for awhile and I think he’s ready to take a right turn which I can dig. This shit might grow on you cuz, the same way ATLiens did for a lot of the Kast haters in the mid-late 90s when they broke away from the mold that Southernplayalistic created in the South.

  • tseliot

    come on. com fell off after lwfc, though some joints on be were admittedly solid.

    to shit on the production of hhnf and praise (?) electric circus is ludicrous. com’s too busy rocking gap hoodies and fancy hats these days to give a shit about rap music. funny thing is, y’all “heads” still support his bitch ass. go fig.

  • Ali

    you’re my new and only reason to come to XXL after this post….that is EXACTLY what I was thinkin…I love Comm but wtf was that…….ppl are defending him by saying he’s payin homage to old school dudes like Afrikka…..ok maybe he is but that still doesnt make the song good…sorry to say but its garbage…..great post

  • ty

    Im not a hater, I consider myself a realist, with that being said, Im not feeling this song what-so-ever. And by the way, this shit has nothing on Electric Circus…

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