In Defense of Common

Jackpot, I feel you, I do (pause). But damn, can’t a dude get some room to breathe in hip-hop? Every time this guy Common tries to do anything but boring ass boom bap rap, people try to get on him. Nah, he doesn’t need Kanye. And maybe it’d cost too much and be too much of a pain in the ass for him to work with Kanye at this point anyway.

Just saying, if you’re a fan, be a fan. Remember what it felt like to be a fan? Being a fan means accepting of the fact that an artist is going to (gasp!) be creative and try new shit (hardly the case with hip-hop, but you know how that goes). If you’re a fickle fan, a halfway fan, you’re going to bail on the artist. And that’s why hip-hop stays losing, because fans don’t respect their artists being artists. Fans think that the music should be for them all the time. That it shouldn’t be about the artist expressing themselves creatively, in whatever sonic fashion that might be.

Thing is, if Common’s album sucks, what are your reasons for thinking as such? What makes something weak? Or wack? How is that an artist you like does something, and you can’t just appreciate their artistic effort for what it, no matter how different it is?

Do people look at a Picasso painting and go, “Yo that shit is wack.” Not really. They might say they don’t like something or find it as visually appealing as another piece of work, but there’s still a respect and place for it in the art world. It doesn’t just get thrown in the trash.

I feel like this new Common single is alright- it’s some electro Afrika Bambataa rap shit. It’s actually taking that classic hip-hop vibe Com has always had and going even more retro with it. It’s not incredible, but then again, I don’t think anything Common has done since Resurrection has been incredible (incense burners feel free to hate), but that’s just my opinion. However I have a deep appreciation for Common as a songwriter, performer, and artist. And I don’t let my opinion impose on my appreciation. They are two different things.

Hopefully the whole album is somewhere in the same vein as the new single. I don’t wanna hear no boring boom bap rap shit from Common anymore. We just had two albums of that. And I’m sure he’s tired of it. The guy’s gotta grow, he’s an artist. Again, Picasso doesn’t paint the same picture twice.

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  • Phantom

    Good point. This is exactly how I feel about the so called Wu heads who were so quick to dismiss 8 Diagrams. That album is definitely different and not as “raw” as other Clan releases but I find it to be really good music. I think it is going to take a lot of people a long time to digest it and return to it, later realizing that it was greatness. Maybe the same thing will happen with this Common record if it doesn’t take off right away. It is different for him but it is similar to what some people are trying to do now with the whole space age, electro thing and because of these elements the masses might eat it up.

  • Incilin

    Good post. Good response.

  • Jay Smooth

    Boom Bap’s only boring if you’re not doing it right.

    Agree with the post though, a true fan is gonna be critical of their favorite artists and hold them to high standards instead of pretending they poop gold bricks, but without throwing them under the bus when they try something different.. (not saying original post was doing that)

    • Big Jay

      You’re right, a true fan will critique their favorite artists, but they will also appreciate the fact that they’re trying new things.
      Even if you don’t like the new Common, if you’re a real fan, you should at least give him credit for doing something new. Who knows, he might have leaked it himself just to get a feel of how his fans are feeling what he’s trying to do.

  • jonathan

    you should feel me! the world should feel me! you understand! stop being koons! and we would have the world! if you woke up and realize that it would be all good! you understand! instead letting your mancrushes sell us out for there pockets! jayz and puff and 50 is gonna be bending over for the same crackers that raped my kids when they steal that paper! they not gonna be reading your blogs everyday listening to your opinion! I AM! YOU UNDERSTAND! I WOULDNT CHANGE WITH ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD! YOU UNDERSTAND! WAKE UP! AND REALIZE WHO ARE THE SELLOUTS! YOU FEEL ME! GET OVER YOUR MAN CRUSHES! AND YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND! IMAGINE I WAS YOU! HOW WOULD YOU FEEL RIGHT NOW?

  • Pierzy

    You bring up a good point, but if something is great, won’t most (if not all) agree on it. Rather than waiting for someone – a radio DJ perhaps – to tell you that something’s amazing, you can just feel it. When you first heard “Enter The 36 Chambers” you knew these guys had something different…and when you first heard “Be” you knew it was classic. You just KNEW it.

  • T.R.E.Y.

    i agree about the boring boom-bap deal, but this song’s just boring too, plain and simple. it’s got nothing to with how out-there it is, it just isn’t very good.

    i’ll freely admit that the rest of it could end up dope (though i’m not totally sure about Pharrell these days) but we’ll see.

  • yoprince

    thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

    i stopped after you started speaking specifically about comm, but your comments b4 that were on point..

    but seriously, the fact is that hip-hop fans are less stannish than other music genre fans. that’s just the way it’s always been.. get over it. make good music until you get to a position where you can afford to just follow your creativity and not give a fuck.

    i’m a jay-z FAN, so he pretty much gets the right of way with me every time (b/c i’m thinking about where he came from with what he’s rapping). but most other niggas, i’m criticizing EARLY and often.

    i’m judgin the goodness of your music on how well it entertains me, not the artist. the burden is on you to make me a fan. lupe has just about made me a fan after F&L and The Cool.

    the nigga comm is cool but i’m not really a fan, i listened to that UMC for 5 seconds and started hating. i may give it a chance later, i mean it is on my ipod already.

  • Pingback: Universal Mind Control | Famous Beats

  • Sykotic

    Right now these days it’s good to hear something from left field. But hell yeah at least it has to be GOOD! We said the same thing about Ye’s “Stronger”. That was left field.

    Yet I agree with you all who feel concern about the Pharrell factor. We will see.

    Also co-sign with that Wu album. There’s plenty on “8 Diagrams” to feast off of.

    We can’t always hear and have the same thing all of the time from your favorite artist.

    The same reason why this blog is up and running.

  • jay

    well i’m not feelin this new common shit and i considered myself to be a die hard common fan…he could’ve even had better lyrics on the song and it woulda been cool but he dumbed down heavy. boom bap won’t ever get played out suckas, that shit is timeless nigga. i’m sure them niggas in chicago ain’t bumpin that bullshit. fuck common. i’m waitin on that new blaq poet shit.

  • oskamadison

    Common, I think, gets held to a higher standard than most because of his body of work. Electric Circus, seriously, was it really that wack? Especially in light of what’s going on NOW in hip-hop? The only thing that would be deemed wack about Electric Circus is the production and even that wasn’t that bad. Lyrically, Com didn’t lose a step. That being said, am I feeling Universal Mind Control (the single)? Not as muich as his other stuff but Announcement is bangin’. And I dare any of y’all to front on Gladiator. If you ain’t heard it, save your comments until you do. Gladiator is a reminder that, when he feels like it, Lonnie Rashid Lynn could get in your favorite rapper’s ass. Y’all understand the context so “No homo” is unnecessary. Personally, I think that phrase is an excuse to say suspect stuff but that’s for another conversation.