Its been a rough couple of years for us true Common Sense fans. Between how he handled the Drake beef, his new transition to Hollywood and his very dismissive comments about racism in America, One was lead to believe that the Common Sense whom were dropping those heavy gems on One Day It Would All Make Sense, Like Water for Chocolate, BE and Finding Forever was gone. Even musically it seemed that he had lost touch with his audience.
But to our surprise(like the Tribe album), Common wanted to show that he has never left. Perhaps its Obama leaving office after 8 years and realization of a Trump presidency inspired Common to resurrect back to his old self. It could be the current events of police brutality becoming a never solved issue in his own community, It could be that Chicago within the past several years has turned into a battle zone. Whatever inspired Common to come back, It’s great to have him back. This is probably the strongest album He’s dropped since BE.
It seems that he left his Oscars and accolades at home and put back on his kentia cloth because this is the album that fans wanted Common to drop. Especially during these frivolous times in Black America. He tackles the issues that harm us everyday on Black America, which features the soulful touch of Stevie Wonder:
Here we go, here, here we go again
Trayvon’ll never get to be an older man
Black children, they childhood stole from them
Robbed of our names and our language, stole again
Who stole the soul from black folk?
Same man that stole the land from Chief Black Smoke
And made the whip crackle on our back slow
And made us go through the back door
And raffle black bodies on the slave blocks
Now we slave to the blocks, on ’em we spray shots
Leaving our own to lay in a box
Black mothers’ stomachs stay in a knot
We kill each other, it’s part of the plot
I wish the hating will stop (war!) and the battle with us
I know that Black Lives Matter, and they matter to us
Pyramids is no question one of the best tracks Common has dropped in years. This track was clearly to let his peers know that he can still get busy on the microphone. Showcasing strong lyrical wizardly and professing his love for the art of emceeing.
Home has Common revisiting the spiritual realm of his music. He compared himself to the like of Masa Musa and talked about media outlets threw shade to his name. The song parcels his comparison and goes more in-depth lyrically with prophecy predictions :
Go into the wilderness like Musa on a pilgrimage
Streets are villages, speak with diligence and authority
The fake are the Pharisees and Sadducees
Give them that Garvey free from the Black Odyssey
Yo pardon me, you the God bodily
Functioning on earth as a part of me, that’s why I gave you artistry
The album features rarely features from his peers and took it back to the stage where artists carried the weight of the album on their on. But the features are from those whom offer a soulful touch to the project. BJ The Chicago Kid offers that fresh Chicago flavor on The Day Women Take over which is a positive Ode to strong women. Love Star recaptures that feel good soulful vibe that was missing in his music for years.
Little Chicago Boy is the album’s most heartfelt and personal track. He dedicated this song to his father whom lost his battle to cancer in 2014. He reflects on the memories that they shared and told his life story on wax. He potently finished the track with one of the last messages from his pops. Letter to Free is a personal favorite of mines as he goes in-depth with the connection between slavery and the prison industrial complex.
Overall Common’s Black in America is a true reflection of what Black America is currently standing and striving to go as a collective. The pictures are at times somber, painful, vivid, and dark. But with pain inspires brilliant art and the trials that Common dealt with in his personal life along with what he seen his people go through was a clear inspiration. Fans of hip hop would definitely be satisfied.
Vic Rating: 10 outta 10