Common is Back with The Dreamer, The Believer

Monday, 09 January 2012 01:30 Written by  Ebony L. Morman

Very few things touch my heart more than hearing real Hip Hop from someone who grew up on the same exact streets as I did. Somehow, when you have that connection, the lyrics, the metaphors, and the beats seem to touch a deeper part of the soul than it would if it was just some one-hit wonder from any city other than Chicago. I know, it may be a tad bit biased, but all of the above happens whenever I listen to Common’s ninth album, The Dreamer, The Believer.

Produced by No I.D., The Dreamer, The Believer is full of “groove” tracks that just make you feel good in one way or another. Whether it’s Maya Angelou’s comforting voice on the album’s first track, “The Dreamer,” the soulful voice that completes “Blue Sky,” or the “melody” that’s sprinkled throughout “Cloth,” the majority of the tracks have to ability to take you to a place far away from here. Face it, that’s all we really want music to do anyway.

The controversial “Sweet,” which some argue is a “diss” track about a rapper from Toronto, has a definite edge to it. At a time when rappers are singing and becoming pros at auto tuning, and singers are now spitting 16 bars on their own tracks, totally dismissing the opportunity for an actual rapper to be featured, Common is well within his right to bring attention to it. While some may take the lyrics personally, it may be more realistic to believe that “Sweet” takes a shot at not one entertainer in particular, but today’s Hip Hop generation as a whole. It’s definitely evident in the last line: But when it comes to Hip Hop, it begins and ends with me...

Common is a lot less “aggressive” on “The Dreamer,” which encourages people to follow their dreams. This track, in particular, has that feel that we’re used to getting from the veteran rapper, but the poetic aspect of it makes it unique. Just as the “The Dreamer” winds down, there’s the familiar voice of Maya Angelou offering her encouraging words to those who dream. “Blue Sky” sort of takes off where “The Dreamer” finishes. A confident Common raps about some of his dreams and how he is living his, doing what he was born to do.

“Cloth” and “Lovin’ I Lost” are the “love songs” of the album. “Cloth” is about a new love where he offers a type of reassurance to someone who may not be as confident in their relationship. In contrast, “Lovin’ I Lost” touches on something we all know so well--losing love. Common reflects on the good times that were shared in a past relationship, as he raps about remembering the days.

It is said that Common got his groove back with The Dreamer, The Believer, I second that. A very personal project that allows you to feel closer to someone who you may have thought you’ve already known.

Ebony L. Morman

Ebony L. Morman

GMO's Senior Editor Ebony L. Morman received her B.A. in journalism from Northern Illinois University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia College Chicago. The Chicago-native enjoys writing about almost anything, but since she also has a passion for music, writing reviews of albums has become one of her favorite past times. Aside from GMO, Ebony freelances for a variety of publications and volunteers in her community.

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