RESPECT. got a little taste of Common’s 9th studio album The Dreamer, The Believer last night at his listening party. Our very own editor-in-chief Elliott Wilson, who penned “Don’t Hold Your Applause” in the latest issue, dropped in to show his support. As well as many other of hip-hop’s familiar faces: ?
The Dreamer, The Believer is a pure hip-hop album that is co-produced by the legendary No I.D. Common started off with “Raw,” a very boom-bap heavy track with freestyle-like flows. He went in a capella, his voice blaring through the speakers, and ended up performing both verses. “Blue Sky,” one of the album’s lead single, is best described as, “that go get it music. Whatever you do, you get it to the fullest,” he said. If you haven’t heard “Blue Sky” yet, it’s a refreshing take on achieving anything with only the sky as the limit. Another feel-good song fitting for the pink X-Rated Fusion Liqueur sipping was “Celebrate,” a piano ballad track that makes you put your glasses up.
Just about everyone was excited when Common played his collaboration with Nas called “Ghetto Dreams.” It’s another one of those tracks that just knocks harder than anything we’ve heard before. “Sweet” is aggressive, putting down all “sweet” rappers who have defamed him. “Lovin’ I Lost” is return to norm for Common, dedicating a track about two people falling out of love and attempting to get back together.
“Gold” featured a mini performance by Com and singer Fauntleroy. Before the performance, he made it clear that this song was the “quintessential Common – No I.D, track. It’s got that spirit to it, that oomph.” “Gold” had all the right ingredients for a classic hip-hop record. A soulful tune with Com’s slow and smoothed out flow.
Common’s final tracks for the short listening session were the introduction and the ending. “The Believer” featuring John Legend is elegant. Legend sings “I believe in the light that shines and would never die/Oh, I believe the fire burns we stay alive.” Com chops it up with motivational rhymes, resulting in one of the best conclusion tracks than anything on his last albums. He played a few seconds of the “The Dreamer,” only his verse to save Maya Angelou’s poem. However, the snippet gave us a preview of his direction for an album with positive energy and good music. “The album is all about achieving, no matter what,” he said.
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