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Be
Artist
Common
ReleaseProduct
Be
Label
Universal Music Enterprises
Catalogue Number
5346355
Release Date
December 2013

Common’s sixth album ‘Be’ remains a favourite with fans and critics alike, released in 2005 and serving as a potent return to form for the rapper in the wake of panned previous album ‘Electric Circus’. Featuring production from two giants of the rap world in Kanye West and J Dilla, the record is characterised by a focused and soulful production style which brilliantly frame Common’s personal reflections in smoky jazz pianos, distant gospel choirs and luxurious brass chorales.

‘Go’ features West and John Mayer delivering sultry lyrics by Common, and combines a melancholy distant vibraphone and rolling, tactile drums with the nostalgic verses beautifully. Further guests come in the form of spoken word troupe The Last Poets, on ‘The Corner’ who paint a poignant picture of the rapper’s environment amidst chipmunk gospel choirs and striding Coltrane piano entries. Elsewhere the loveably live feel of the arrangements becomes more explicit on ‘The Food’, where Common’s delivery has a saturated warmth in its processing, appearing from a wash of applause. Much of the production elements at play here would prove extremely influential in the development of Kanye West’s sound, who would push the luxurious soul to more bombastic heights, and as such ‘Be’ is an intriguing document both within Common’s catalogue and the wider story of rap.

Read More
  1. 1 Be (Intro) 0:30 Common
  2. 2 Th Corner 0:30 Common
  3. 3 Go! 0:30 Common
  4. 4 Faithful 0:30 Common
  5. 5 Testify 0:30 Common
  6. 6 Love Is... 0:30 Common
  7. 7 Chi-City 0:30 Common
  8. 8 The Food 0:30 Common
  9. 9 Real People 0:30 Common
  10. 10 They Say 0:30 Common
  11. 11 It's Your World Pts 1 & 2 0:30 Common

Common

Universal Music Enterprises

Hip Hop

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