Common – “Black America Again”

After venting on the increasing crime rate in his hometown of Chicago on his last album Nobody’s Smiling just 2 years ago & last year, Common is now teaming up with Karriem Riggins & Robert Glasper go vent about his issues with the entire United States on his 11th full-length album. The album starts off with “Joy & Peace”, where Common tells us that God’s watching us over a lush ass beat & Bilal’s hook at the end is just smooth. The title track has some beautiful piano chords throughout & Common’s just passionately delivering some socially conscious lines & I also really love the bridge from Stevie Wonder on here, because I think it basically sums up the entire album. The track “A Bigger Picture Call Free” sees Common expressing his desire to see freedom & the beat is really smooth. The track “The Day The Women Took Over” is a basically talking about several successful African American women the beat on here sounds like some legit Roy Ayers shit. The track “Little Chicago Boy” has a nice acoustic guitar throughout & Common’s pretty much reminiscing about his late father Lonnie Sr., who appeared on the outro of many Common albums in the past. The album closes out with “Letter to the Free”, where Common goes into the mind of a prisoner as he writes a letter to everyone on the outside world over a somber piano as well as some explosive drums. Personally, I much prefer this over Nobody’s Smiling. Karriem’s production is just beautiful while the guest singers enhance it, Common’s conscious lyrics are relevant & he delivers them so passionately & sincerely. With all that is going on in America this year (namely the election which is 4 days from now), we really needed an album like this & I truly think this will go down as one of the best albums Common has ever done

Score: 4.5/5

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