Amoeblog

20 Years Ago Common Released His Landmark Second Album "Resurrection"

Posted by Billyjam, October 26, 2014 04:28pm | Post a Comment

Hard to believe that it is twenty full years since Chicago emcee, poet (like his father), actor (which seems to have eclipsed his music career), Grammy winner, one time J Dilla roommate, and recent Amoeba What's In My Bag? subject (see video below) Common released his landmark album Resurrection that included, among such other amazing album tracks, the instant hip-hop classic "I Used To Love H.E.R." Although Resurrection was the first album by the artist then known as Common Sense to gain national widespread attention, it was actually his second album. 1992's Can I Borrow A Dollar? was his premiere full-length release and it portrayed an artist still finding his voice. Fast forward 22 years to July of this year to the release of Common's tenth studio album, Nobody's Smiling, and it's clear he honed that artistic voice.

The album, which includes such tracks as "Thisisme," "Book Of Life," and "Watermelon," spawned two singles: the title track that was released six weeks after the album dropped and  "I Used to Love H.E.R." that was the album's lead single released four weeks in advance of Resurrection. It is that single - one that still gives me goosebumps to this day when I listen to it - that singularly grabbed the hip-hop nation's attention twenty years ago and distinguished Common as an artist to be reckoned with. Via clever wordplay in "I Used to Love H.E.R," Common addresses hip-hop in the guise of a woman that he used to love but who has gone through many changes over the years including Afro-centric rap and (of course) gangsta rap, which at that time had pretty much taken over as the driving force in the genre commercially - particularly with the rise of G-Funk.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Common

Posted by Amoebite, October 23, 2014 07:37pm | Post a Comment

Common at Amoeba Hollywood

You definitely don't have to be a fan of Common to appreciate what he has been able to achieve over the past two decades. He went from humble beginnings as an underground emcee on the Southside of Chicago to a GRAMMY winning rapper and high profile actor in Hollywood. With the recent release of Nobody's Smiling, Common has achieved another milestone few artists can claim (aside from being one of the few rappers interviewed by Oprah) - growing his discogrophy to album number 10. 

Common

Teaming up with producer and former Kanye West mentor No I.D. (aka "the Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop"), Common delivers a stellar album depicting the struggles and tragic conditions that plague Chicago today. The album's context is in line with what fans came to love about Common. In the early '90s, when gangsta rap was taking over radio and selling millions of records, Common stuck to his jazz influenced raps, bringing the "Golden Era" of hip hop to the new millenium. Jay-Z and Drake may rule the Billboard charts, but it's Common who gains the respect of fans from the underground and the mainstream.  

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.01.14: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5 Chart, Common, Cormega, Shabazz Palaces, Mix Master Mike + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2014 11:17am | Post a Comment
         
Common "Kingdom (feat Vince Staples)" (2014)


Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart Week Ending 08:01:14


1) Common Nobody's Smiling (Island/Def Jam)

2)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

4) Cormega Mega Philosophy (Slimstyle)

5) Madlib Pinata Beats (Madlib Invasion)

The brand new hip-hop chart from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store finds longtime Chicago emcee / actor / poet to the president  Common in the number one position with his tenth studio album Nobody's Smiling (Island/Def Jam).
Fittingly the theme of this latest full-length from the Windy City artist is Chicago itself in which, as the Amoeba.com reviews, Common examines, "the city’s historically high crime rate but also its sense of pride, there’s no better man to take us through it than Common, whose career as an intellectually leaning yet nearly always relatable presence in hip-hop comes to maximum fruition on Nobody’s Smiling." And the ten track album, which Amoeba accurately calls "a fine return to form for Common," is indeed a strong album - one that should appeal to new and old school hip-hop heads -  that features fellow Chicago native No I.D.’s perfectly complimentary production along with well chosen guest spots from such artists as Big Sean, Elijah Blake, Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, Dreezy, Malik Yusef and Vince Staples (see video for his cameo on the track "Kingdom"  above) along with thought-provoking lyrics from Common (the master who brought us the classic "I Used To Love H.E.R.") like these from the title track:

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Album Picks: Alvvays, La Roux, Common, White Fence, The Raveonettes

Posted by Billy Gil, July 22, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment

Alvvays - Alvvays (LP, CD)

alvvays lpSomewhere between the sunny melancholia of Best Coast, earnest alt-rock of The Cranberries and the college rock of bands like Talulah Gosh lie Toronto's Alvvays. Their debut record is a delight of heartfelt naivete spun out in catchy indie-pop nuggets. Molly Rankin's lovably untrained voice pleads irresistibly on the charming "Archie, Marry Me" amid a four-chord, minor-key jangle. "Don't leave ... we can find comfort in debauchery" Rankin sings with the requisite mix of winking irony and legitimate feeling; taken with the songs lovely synth strings and gently rambling nature, it comes off like future nostalgia for a time that's currently being experienced. Youth may be wasted on the young, but Alvvays make young sadness sound pure and sweet on their debut.

 

La Roux - Trouble In Paradise (LP, CD)

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May Day 2014: Songs That Celebrate and Defend The Rights of Workers Everywhere

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment
        Common a month ago doing a free show in support of workers at the Nissan car
        plant in Canton, Miss. who are pushing for a vote to organize as part of the UAW


In light of the ever increasing war being waged against unions and in turn the stripping of the basic rights of the working class in this country and elsewhere, this year's May Day (the internationally recognized day to celebrate and to defend the rights of workers everywhere from Modesto to Moscow) seems extra significant on this May 1st, 2014; perhaps even as significant as that very first mass US May Day protest back in 1886 when hundreds of thousands of disgruntled workers across the US, in a fight for an 8 hour work day, walked off their jobs in protest. Hence for this May Day I have assembled a selection of songs/videos that reflect the plight of struggling workers in a time when the gap between the rich controlling class and the rest of us gets wider and wider. 

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