Common Gives “Universal Mind Control” XXL Rating

After several setbacks, Common’s 8th solo studio album Universal Mind Control will be one of the many hip-hop albums hitting shelves and digital stores today (12/09).

The Chicago rap vet, whose first album, Can I Borrow A Dollar, came out 16 years ago, took a new direction this go around. Linking up with The Neptunes for the majority of the album, Com wanted his sound to have a more “fun,” danceable feel.

Despite the musical change and the numerous album push backs, Com is very confident in the new material. He took to his website,, to offer fans his own humble opinion of the CD.

“I wanna review this album,” he said. “After listening to this album extensively and really accessing it and just seeing what I really thought about this album, I give this album an A plus, a 10, really 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. 5 stars if I was Rolling Stone. XXL if I was XXL, even though I wear smediums.“ [Stay tuned for XXL’s March issue for to see how Com’s new album rated.]

Along with Com, old school rap staple EPMD’s new disc, We Mean Business was released today as well.  Reuniting for their first CD since 1999’s Out of Business. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith’s comeback album – which they released on their own EP record label – features appearances from Raekwon, Redman, Method Man, Keith Murray and KRS-One.

Also hitting stores today is the collabo project from Bay Area heavyweights Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn. Welcome To Scokland was released via indie label, Ehusti.- Jesse Gissen

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  • blackcaesar

    XXL, why with the subliminals? You put a picture of him makin’ the smokin’ action to say “he must be smokin?” Confidence in your project gives the fans something to look forward to. 450k people bought Kanye’s shit just because he said to.

  • Enlightened

    He trying to take the Kanye approach huh?

  • Izza

    He’s a fag.

  • Mutada al sader the king

    140k tops…

    Izza I agree, He needs to stop letting Erica Badu put her finger in his asshole and stop plucking his eyebrows.

    Here is what i dont understand when did he get eleveated to the level of hip hop saint anyway ? He was on the bottom of the food chain at the time when he came out with “I used to love her” and was doing what he could to garner some attention (like every other hungry rapper) thats why he went at the west coast. West side connection checked that nigga and he tried to ride on cube… Loser

    • Izza

      Yeah man. Just ’cause he’s old he thinks he’s gunna get treated like a top dog. But everyone that can remember that far knows he’s shit.


      You’re an idiot Mutada. He NEVER went after the West Coast. “I Used To Love H.E.R” is about the evolution of Hiphop, while Hiphop is portrayed as a woman. He said that she started hangin out with the ganstas and thats what happened. Hiphop started to veer away from messages and became more gansta. WSC took it the wrong way and got at him. Listen to Bitch In Yoo and you’ll see that Common smashed those niggas.

      WSC was the one who started it dumbass. He never said he had a problem with gansta music. He even said in the song that it wasnt a problem. At the first Hiphop Action Summit, they made up as well as a long list of other rappers who made up.

      Common is one of the nicest MC’s in the game and mos def one of the G.O.A.Ts of Hiphop. Do you damn research before you type bullshit. If this nigga aint nice, who do you think is? Lil Wayne? Fuck outta here…

    • twoholla

      Hey Mutada…i have to really disagree with you on the Westside Connection checking Common…Common’s “The Bitch In You” was the lyrical equivalent to Ice Cube’s “Vaseline” backslap to his ex-bandmates N.W.A. and in both cases…the individuals dissed never officially responded to the diss tracks…yeah Cube said “Common his ass is mine” as well as a line or 2 in regards to common but that was it…no lyrical miracles, no witty punchlines, metaphors, or anything from the big, bad Cube…now i’m not saying any of this because i’m from the Chi & i’m not the biggest Common fan or anything…i’m actually a bigger Cube fan who was born & raised & i still reside in California….

  • RL

    Don’t forget to pick up EPMD’s new album. As for UMC, have your ear guards handy.

  • axl rain

    where is G-UNOT KILLA ?????????????

  • G-unit killa

    also clearing up game in the xxl mag about him crying and calling his album kleenex with 50 puunk ass on the cover…Game was cryin cause he felt bad for beating the shit out of g-unot killa and for mike vick beein in jail cause ViCK is a blood he used to watch game’s dogs tupac and biggie. Common was also in the studio with me when he recorded angel with game and we have a diobolical plan to destroy g-unot killa using bmf bbq sauce…bloody tampons….ak-47s and macs

  • Ron Coltrane

    Common= shit…no

    UMC= QUESTIONABLE. Anybody who heard Bitch In Yoo knows that Com had fire, at one point.

  • Worley

    This n*gga had some momentum with BE. Now he’s back on that Erykah Badu weirdo trip. I don’t know why these cats want to call all this weird sh*t “growth.”

  • Silky Johnson

    Hip-hop is starting to veer towards the experimental. That is the trend these days with albums such as Universal Mind Control, 808′s and Heartbreak, The Carter III: The Rebirth, and numerous others. Mainstream hip-hop has worn out the same old themes that were prevalent throughout the post-B.I.G/Pac period around 1998-2006ish, now that those themes are just dated, many rappers are trying to find something new. Even SCARFACE is trying to record a rock/funk album under a different name. As much as I think 808′s sucked, and I think TCIII:The Rebirth will suck, I’m glad to see these rappers sucking while trying new forms of music, then just putting out the same dated bullshit. Eventually they will stumble upon something great that will evolve the genre but until then, we will just have to put up with the experiments.

    • KSA1001

      Most of my favorite albums fall under “experimental”

      I actually liked Common’s Electric Circus, The Roots – Phernology
      Anything Cee-Lo touches [solo joints + Gnarls Barkley]
      Q-Tip’s 2nd joint that never dropped Kamal The Abstract
      All N*E*R*D albums [but the first mainly]
      both Lupe Albums [The Cool most]

      Nobody needs the same things over and over. If someone can spit/sing and keep it original, I can feel it. It’s never one-dimensional.

  • anutha_level

    no doubt NAWLEDGE…

    i agree…any shine this nigga gets, he has mos def EARNED by payin his dues. but only TRUE com-sense fans would know this. “bitch in yoo” is one of the all-time dope diss tracks. let this nigga be multi-dimensional instead of all these niggas talkin/soundin the same shyt over and over w/different producers. how come nobody fux wit 3000 like they do COM? ya’ll a buncha selective hate ass niccas…

  • Mutada al sader the king


    You know good and damn well unless you were a serious “back pack rap” fan,. that if Common had not allowed Kanye to fuck him in the ass and hitched himself to the G.O.O.D Music/Kan-Gay train, NO ONE would be talking about, blogging about or featuring him in stories. Lets not act like he was some force to be reckoned with in the 90′s or was even considered a successful artist… Until Kanye resurrected the dude’s career. Also don’t talk that lyricist shit, or act Like Common was dropping classic music. You wanna talk about social commentary, speaking out against injustice, addressing violence in black America, then I’ll put Ice Cubes “Death Certificate”, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted or even “The Predator” up against any Common Sense album anyday. This dude was clearly lamenting that hip hop was lost or was degraded when the focus switched to the west. Only “smoking blunts” clear reference to The Chronic album”, “Now she only fucks with the funk” Clear reference to the “G-Funk” and the west coast sound that dominated at the time. Common is not whack, but lets no act like he’s done anything profound. Same goes for Mack 10 and Dub-C, they aint that special either.. Fuck out of here

    • Ron Coltrane

      Mutada, you obviously haven’t listened to Like Water For Chocolate. Questlove, James Poysner and the late J Dilla damn near produced that entire album. And that was his first to go Gold. Where’s Kanye? Nowhere to be seen.



      You just proved my point, my man. Mind telling me how EXACTLY is he “getting at” the west coast with those lines? Those things were TRUE negro. West Coast dominated at that time and he was just sayin it! Cube took it the wrong way. Im one of the biggest Cube fans. Dude was one of my favorite rappers growin up, but dawg made a mistake.

      You obviously havent heard One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Ressurection, and & Like Water For Chocolate. 3 classics in a row. Yeah, Cubes albums were all tight work also. Im not doubting that. But Com made an impact homie.

      “Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
      (But i did five Mil) I ain’t been rhymin like Common since”- Jay Z

  • Silky Johnson

    Honestly who cares? Common might not be G.O.A.T status but he’s known for putting out some thoughtful music that bucks current trends and stays true to his underground backpacker roots. Either you like him or you don’t, comparing him to Ice Cube is ridiculous because they both occupy different niches in Hip-Hop.

    Just enjoy the music, the arguing is pointless.

  • jovan mitchell

    common is the shit stop hatin name somebody in the game that can match his resume.legend in the making.his stage is ridiculus

  • Eric

    damn, y’all are some harsh ass critics. from reading the comments on this site recently, I’ve read that Common is wack, Jay-Z is wack, Ludacris is wack, T.I. is wack, Kanye is wack, Nas is wack, Lupe is wack, Chamillionaire is wack, Lil Wayne is wack — damn, who do you niggaz actually LIKE? Man, y’all are to damn critical… Common is one of the best to ever do it. He gotta be gay cause he don’t rap about killing niggaz and selling dope and fucking bitches? Grow the fuck up!

  • Mutada al sader the king


    I can agree to disagree. I can tell by your proper aknowledgement of cubes classics that you are not a mindless east coast biased drone. I have not heard the early Common records for a few years so I’ll give them another listen. I still feel he was take pot shots at the west and he looks suspect most of the time. Peace.


      Aight dawg. And I apolize for calling you an idiot. That was my mistake.


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