It’s hard to believe that Common has been on the music scene for over 20 years. He’s one of the best rappers in Hip Hop, but hasn’t reached the mainstream success he truly deserves in my opinion. But as far as classic albums go, there were some stellar tracks on his previous albums The Dreamer/The Believer (2011), Universal Mind Control(2008) and Finding Forever (2007). However, none of those albums quite lived up to the musical genius (and commercial success) of Be (2005). That album is still on my iPod to this day and I can almost play it from beginning to end, without skipping. Now he’s back with his 10th studio album, Nobody’s Smiling, and on a new label too, Def Jam. I think this was a great move for his career and hopefully a major label like Def Jam will finally give him the exposure he’s been lacking for so long.
When I first heard his lead single, “Kingdom” featuring Vince Staples, I immediately liked it. It sounded like Common was getting back to his roots, not to mention the amazing production from No I.D. (who also produced the entire album). The stutter step track, choir vocals and verses from Common and Vince Staples make this an infectious cautionary tale that successfully dodges being corny or too preachy. Thankfully, the rest of the album’s tracks have a caliber much like the lead single. The music video is nothing short of spectacular too. Make sure to check it out after the review.
Check out the rest of the review (and tracks from Nobody’s Smiling) by clicking on the link below
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