The Hip Hop Mortuary

"I wax lyrics so poetic even the most narcoleptic skeptic feels awake and perceptive"

6:56 PM

Common/Can I Borrow A Dollar

Posted by Guy Fawkes

If you don't have love for Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr, you must have never heard his music before... better known as Common, he created a place for nice guys in rap music. Just as Wu-Tang came out with their release which created a genre now known as "hardcore" rap. At the same time, Common released his first album, which established "conscious" hip-hop... first created by A Tribe Called Quest. I personally don't believe in labeling any artist... but Common had a very distinctive voice in the innovative 90's. Were it not for Lonnie, Chicago may not be the hip-hop hot bed it is now, how many times has Kanye West labeled Common as the inspiration for his career. And even Lupe Fiasco, the hip-hop illiterate epitome of a conscious rapper has labeled Common as an inspiration. So how did Lonnie sound 16 years ago?....

The Good:

1. A Penny For My Thoughts- This is No I.D.'s first released production job and this instrumental still holds up. Common's flow has changed a lot since 1992, but I like his flow on this song, and you will listen to this song again. I promise.

3. Take It EZ- Even back in the day when Common equipped a rapid-fire delivery he still spit lines that just sound totally awkward. Not a bad song though, the production is superb.

4. Heidi Hoe- Early Beatnuts production job, early Common... Way before their time.

5. Breaker 1,9- How eerily similar does this sound to "Big Poppa", and any guy can attest to what Common is saying. This was a single, and judging by NO I.D.'s slow jazzy beat and Common's woman-oriented rhymes and the time period, I can imagine how the music video looked.

6. Two Scoops Of Raisin- Kind of an ironic song when you examine Common's persona... but I like the back-to-back rhymes.

8. Blows To The Temple- Only Common could get away with this weak-ass hook. As corny and easy as the rhyme scheme is, I love this song, more specifically the vibe that this song exudes.

9. Just In The Nick Of Rhyme- This sounds like a freestyle 2 pc. DRK threw a beat over. It sounds good as hell though...

10. Tricks Up My Sleeve- I'm sick of these lazy-ass/zombie choruses. This is Rayshel's only major album appearance, and for good reason, she sounds like a man.

11. Puppy Chow- I love the Isley Brothers sample... and this is more like how Common would sound on "Resurrection".

12. Soul By The Pound- how Main Source does this sound? The instrumental is like "Fireman" meets "Halftime".

13. Pitchin Pennies- A Busta Rhymes reference, and a pissing sample... thanks for the send-off.

I loved this album, even with the corny rhymes... I hate to say this but: "This is what used to be good about hip-hop". This is a great listen for everyone into Golden Age records, even though Common would soon become a different type of lyricist, this album is a landmark of Chicago hip-hop, think "Illmatic" of conscious rap.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

I give this album a 91, and I dare anyone to challenge the rating.

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Anonymous said...

people was doing consious rap before A Tribe Called Quest. KRS 1,DE LA SOUL, Hell EVEn Ice Cube