Common is a revered Chicago MC who came up with the No I.D. produced albums Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Resurrection & 1 Day It’ll All Make Sense throughout the 90s. He then made his major label debut in 2000 with Like Water for Chocolate, which was followed up with the experimental Electric Circus in 2002. During the mid 2000s, he released a trilogy of albums with Kanye West’s GOOD Music beginning with Be, bridged by Finding Forever & then ending with Universal Mind Control. As for this decade, we saw Com reuniting with No I.D. on The Dreamer/The Believer & Nobody’s Smiling. Then came his last album Black America Again, which was released during the 2016 presidential elections. But with a new memoir out now, the man has seen fit to deliver his 12th album.
The album kicks off with “Good Morning Love”, where Common gets motivational over a smooth beat from Karriem Riggins (who produced almost every track on the album much like Black America Again). The next song “HER Love” pays tribute to hip hop over J Dilla’s “Dillatronic 41” & then after the Dwele interlude, the track “Hercules” talks to the haters over a funky beat. The song “5th Story” with Leikeli47 sees the 2 telling the tragic story of a married couple over an austere instrumental while the track “Forever Your Love” pays tribute to his parents over a meditative boom bap beat.
The song “Leaders (Crib Love)” talks about prevailing over some prominent live drumming while the track “Memories of Home” speaks for itself over a settle instrumental. The song “Show Me That You Love Me” with Jill Scott pays tribute to his daughter over a soothing instrumental while the penultimate track “My Fancy Free Future Love” pays tribute to his soulmate over a jazzy instrumental. The album then ends with “God is Love”, where Common gets spiritual over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat.
While it’s not perfect, it’s still an admirable effort from the man. The production is mostly gorgeous & it suits Common’s heartfelt lyrics pretty well.