Common’s Finding Forever through Peace, Confidence and Music

I Used to Love H.E.R. I love her still. Music and art have always defined the very essence of Common and the offered the unmatched depth to his lyrics, his performances and his persona in general. This constantly lively rapper was able to redefine the music of Hip Hop like no other. Carrying conscious thoughts and meaningful verses throughout his music he has also managed to spread it to masses like no other artist. The choice has always been being a conscious rapper or a commercial one. Your words would be heard by thousands but will carry significant messages or they would be heard by millions and will not account to saying much at all. Breaking that industry standard, Common Sense rose to the before unseen heights for an inventive conscious artist. Attributing a lot of success to Kanye West’s support and production efforts he never sacrificed the strength of his lyrics. He simply gave more people a chance to hear his words.

Who is Common as a man? Why is he so troubled by the world’s injustices and why is he so successful in expressing it in his songs? Why does he always stand so proud, his sight focused, his face giving off the warmth of a smile? How does he speak his mind for 15 years and keeps going stronger than most other music veterans? His conviction, his knowledge and his power come from being a proud man. He feels that there is a reason for his honesty, audience for his music. And he justifies it by making Platinum albums and putting on sold out shows. His faith comes from G-d and as G-d he believes in people. He smiles as he feels the ability to affect the world. He knows that he is carrying a good message. Common is much more than a rapper. He is an activist, a messenger, a poet and he loves it all every day of his life.

What is different about Common thou, that makes him more unique, more successful and in a way more special? Talib Kweli gets very artistic but his messages are not as unified. From addressing issues and spreading conscious thoughts he dives into exploring the street element. Mos Def gives off plenty of warmth and charisma in his music but he mostly stays Hollywood. Black Thought’s rapping skills are unparalleled but he deliberately avoids the spotlight, remaining the MC from The Roots to all. Kanye as a rapper speaks about everything from conflict diamonds to faith in G-d but recently has been mixing it with so many shallow club bangers that we all love so much. Common simply manages to combine it all together: conscious lyrics, meaningful songs, creative twists in songs, supreme energy level and more. Doing it he also gets to reinvent himself on almost every album.

His latest album, Finding Forever, is another testament of changes in Common as an artist. His 2005 album Be went Gold and earned him Grammy nominations and NCAAP Image Awards. Produced mostly by Kanye, as the previous disc, Finding Forever became Common’s first #1 album on Billboard 200. From the title to the essence of songs he truly created an oasis where music is timeless. Bringing the soulful feel to it, Common really got a lot of support from West. Hey, this is the first chart-topper for G.O.O.D. Music also. Despite being at times a tad monotonous, this album became like one long song expressing Rashid’s longing for forgotten truths, melodic sounds and open communication with people. His quest for lyrical and performance dominance finds itself a new home on this album too. ‘I found a new Primo’, he says of Kanye on The People. Seems like the Kanye/Common combo dropped another classic for everyone to enjoy.

Ima take her back hopin’ that the shit stop
Cause who I’m talkin’ ‘bout y’all is hip-hop

Dmitriy Goldin

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