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'Be' Outstanding

Published June 27, 2005 in Music
By Bubba Craner | Image from Amazon
Be Purchase 'Be' at Amazon
To be or not to be, is that even the question anymore? According to Common, time has demanded for this famous question to be revised. Just be is what Common would say. Be who you ought to be. Be who you are. Be what you want to be. Be.

Common Releases 'Be'


This is the central message Common delivers in his newly released album, appropriately titled, "Be." Common's follow up to his eclectically sour "Electric Circus" takes again a progressive stance, however unlike "Electric Circus" he does it in a much more rudimentary way.

Vital to the steadiness of this album is producer Kanye West, who samples Jimi hedrix's "Electric Ladyland" and Stevie Wonder's "Song's In The Key Of Life." As if Common realized the difficulty of making a revolutionary album and its importance to be well received, he takes a step back from the eclecticism that defined "Electric Circus" and laid the foundation of "Be" with the likes of artist who have achieved legendary status with world-shattering albums.

The infectious beats Kanye West so aptly creates teamed with layers of Hendrix, Wonder and political lyricist Common, results in some of the most thirst-quenching hip hop in today's world of water-down manufactured music. West and Common focus on 70's soul and soul jazz to lay the groundwork for Common's politically charged poetics.


Common has built a fan base by writing intelligent narrative-style lyrics dealing with politics, intolerance, relationships and spirituality. Like Mos Def, Common finds himself a torch bearer for the early 90's hip hop artist like A Tribe Called Quest, Poor Righteous Teachers and De La Soul who popularized intelligent anti-gangsta rap hip hop.

"Be" most certainly earns its spot in the vault of intelligent hip-hop, and should make its godfathers more than proud. With its highly concentrated soulful focus, "Be" is a grand effort that should find itself rotating for many years to come. "Be" is Common best effort; hopefully he can continue to find success while walking the fine line of invigorating intellect and nonsense. But again, he learned from his mistake (in the most loose form of the word) and exploited his talents. Common let go of effort and decided to just be.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Bubba Craner
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