Although this is reaching past far beyond the memory capacity of many fellow classmates and/or Tumblr frequenters, there once was a time when Common, yes the bald dude who babbled those Man on The Moon skits and famously squabbled with Drizzy Drake Rogers, was on top of the rap game!
In 2005, Lonnie Lynn aka Common released the masterpiece Be and forever cemented himself into my iTunes Hall of Fame.
After flopping with his lame, lackluster Electric Circus album, Com called up his fellow Chicagoan, the self-proclaimed Chocolatey Socrates himself, Kanye West to produce him some soulful jamz (Apparently the beats he later turned down found their way onto Ye’s Late Registration).
In an interview, Common quipped, “I named it Be to be who you are, man, and be able to be in the moment and not try too hard. Be is another way of saying just do without trying hard, like I said, natural and be true to the core of who you are; and this album, I wanted to just be and not just go and exist as just an artist, not worried about the past.” Word.
From the moment Com starts rapping his first lines, “I want to be as free as the spirit of those who left / I’m talking Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yusef,” you know things are about to get really real. One of the beauties of this album is its conciseness. Throughout the mere 42 minutes of this thing, you’ll find a J-Dilla produced track, John Legend and Dave Chappelle features, sampling of legends like Marvin Gaye to Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose to DJ Rogers, but no skippable tracks.
To haterz, I be like:
I’m listening to Be’s organic funktastic soul music as I type this imagining that I’m being spoken to, scratch that, PREACHED to by Com in his hemp beanie while inhaling Erykah’s mystical incense.
From top to bottom, this thing knocks with a warm, smile-inducing feel perfectly depicted in the cover art. But the sequence of “The Corner” to “GO!” to “Faithful”: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So do yourself a favor and go revisit/take a listen to this joint. By the time the ending quickly rolls around, Be will have you feeling like THIS.
And you say Chi City!