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Common’s New Music and Beef With Drake

November 16, 2011
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I had no idea that Common, one of my favourite rappers, was coming out with a new album in December. My bad, although, I hadn’t heard or read anything about it until I saw this post on Passion Of The Weiss. His new music is sounding good (listen to more tracks here); particularly notable is “Sweet” (above) where he makes fun of “sweet ass motherfuckers” and basically goes on to shout out Drake; listen to the song – who else could he be referring to? To dispel ambiguity, a caption at the end of the video reads “the new controversial record from one of the most prolific lyricists.”

First: what? As POW mentions, Common was never really an O.G – is he forgetting his entire Electric Circus album? This song? This one? Sweet is a good track and its nice to hear common rapping again, but its coming off more desperate-attention-plea and less battle rap than he might have intended. Secondly, Common is amazing. Calling out current rappers is an unnecessary way of calling attention to himself, and diminishes his status as one of the best rappers out there by having to do so. Cementing his reputation would only take a comeback album as good as the rest of his work thus far – Common is not a musician with a checkered background of shitty and good music; with the exception of Electric Circus and Finding Forever (both of which many people loved), quality-wise, he’s had a consistent career.

Drake has been getting polar reviews for his latest LP Take Care, released this past Monday – the Torontoist accuses him of “whine-boasting” while Pitchfork Best New Music’d the album. Take Care is great, by the way – the album succeeds in individual tracks but is much less cohesive than Thank Me Later – the end result is an album that sounds like a great mixtape; given that this is basically the new medium for hip hop, that’s hardly a bad thing. People hating Drake for his whine-rapping, sad-boasting or what have you makes an interesting point about hip hop in general: it’s perhaps the only genre where people will hate you for your sincerity.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    November 17, 2011 1:04 am

    I don’t know if Common is the most credible out there to do it, but if you look at his intentions they’ve always been there – he’s always defended hip-hop culture from what he saw as perversions of it – and I don’t know if it can get more O.G than making a diss record about an NWA member and his crew in 1996 in the middle of the whole east-west thing – no hesitation seen, plus Pete Rock blessed it….classic record:

    plus this will be timely, people who really like hip hop will get on that bandwagon…. people who kinda like hip hop are going realize sooner or later that the sugary substitute’s they’ve been consuming have little substance, and maybe they’ll turn back to real hip hop….maybe…but if they don’t who cares though?, probably better that way,

  2. November 17, 2011 8:52 am

    Yeah, the Passion of The Weiss author mentioned The Bitch In You as well, and I guess there was a backlash after I Used to Love H.E.R from Ice Cube; I just think at this point in Common’s career it doesn’t come off as all that sincere, whats wrong with “sugary” hip hop, anyways? “Real hip hop” is a descriptor that doesn’t make much sense and is, not to over intellectualize, time discriminate. Why should the music of one era be better than another solely based on time? Its a golden-age syndrome, and if hip hop is going to move forward, nay sayers need to move on as well.

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