By Jarett Sommer
Critically acclaimed Hip-Hop artist Common dropped his newest album, The Dreamer, The Believer, back in December, but it is still an album that is getting heavy rotation. This is an album that is very versatile, one that is not just worth one listen then never again. Common once again worked with his go-to producer No I.D. on every track, and the results couldn’t have been any better. The to have collaborated on almost every past Common album, and the fact that No I.D. executively produced this album makes the results that much better.
The album begins with the aptly titled, “The Dreamer,” which includes a closing from the famous African-American poet Maya Angelou. His third verse is extremely personal, as he recalls his visit to the White House just a few months ago. Something as memorable as that is without doubt only fit for a dreamer. The next track is the first single to be released from the album, “Ghetto Dreams,’ featuring Nas, and these two veterans prove why they are some of the top lyricists in the game. This song is proof that no matter how many years may pass, the skill of MC’ing is one thing never fades. “Blue Sky,” is the next track and the next single that was released, with a sample from the well-known song, “Mr. Blue Sky,” by Electric Light Orchestra. Common shows no signs of slowing down on this album, with lines like, “Daylight beams, nightlife schemes, this is my inception I’m writing my dreams.”
And then comes the controversial song “Sweet,” that many have been talking about. On this record, Common calls out certain rappers, namely Drake, and goes on a verbal tear showing that he still has rhymes that are not only timeless, but can also keep up with any new coming artist. Another standout is “Lovin’ I Lost,” which is a very sorrowful, but sincere rap about a female who he has grown apart from, “Rumors leaving tumors on my heart now, we fell in love huh just to fall apart now.” This leads to the song “Raw (How Your Like It),” which has beat that is just that, raw, but still has a party vibe to it. Common narrates himself in the club through two verses, and it is a tune that stays with you all day. Finally, probably my favorite song on a fantastic album is “Windows.” The hook includes a line saying, “if the eyes are the windows to your soul,” which is a very emotional thought. Common goes through stories with a former woman, and also talks about his daughter in the last verse, saying, “as she begins the race of life and love I told her, “I can’t run it for ya, but Lord know’s I’mma coach ya.”
Overall, The Dreamer, The Believer, is a wonderfully crafted album by the duo of Common and No I.D., who have brought us classic music in the past, and have done so once again. Common is now nine albums deep in his career, and the sound on this album is just a fresh as his first few classic albums are. Standing among the best albums of 2011, hopefully in 2012 Common can bring us even more classic music.
Common – “The Dreamer, The Believer”: 3.5 out of 5 stars