Album Review: Common – Go! Common Classics

I’ve been sitting here staring at my computer screen for a good long while now trying to figure how exactly to write a review for a “best of” album. I mean…how can you tell someone it’s a good album or not if it’s made up of the artist’s best songs of his/her career? If the reader likes the performer then there is a great chance that reader will like the best of compilation. Right? And if they don’t like the performer, then they won’t like the compilation. Should the album speak for itself? Just say: Here is the best of. You’ll probably like it if you like the performer!

That seems lazy, but also…not lazy. Like, okay, for example, the incredible Chicago rapper turned movie star, Common, has just released a retrospective best of called Go! Common Classics. The songs contained on it are his best hits from the past decade plus one new song called, “Next Time”, that will be featured in his new movie with Queen Latifah (who guests on the track) called Just Right. The album contains his great tracks produced by the likes of Kanye West, The Neptunes, and, as well as an early battle track called “The Bitch in Yoo” and his own guest stint on Erykah Badu’s, “Love of my Life (An Ode to Hip-hop)”.

Overall the album is very well sequenced and contains some of my favorite tracks including “The Corner”, “Testify”, and “The Light” – all of which show off Common’s incredible flow and lyrics. His flow is one of the smoothest in the game, and he’s been getting pats on the back from all the greats since he started. Even Jay-Z mentions in his song “Moment of Clarity”, that he wished he could rhyme like Common: “If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be lyrically Talib Kweli. Truthfully I want to rhyme like Common Sense.” Also, if you live in Chicago (or you’re from the Chicago area), I highly suggest you watch the video for “The Corner”. It contains some amazing shots of the Southside and the city in general.

So yeah, basically it comes down to this: If you like Common then I highly suggested checking this album out. It has some incredible tracks. If you haven’t heard much of Common and you’ve been curious, this is a great starter for you to get into him more. If you don’t like Common, well…you probably won’t get this album. I feel like it’s as easy as that. Though I do suggest getting it because maybe you heard one song you didn’t like and dismissed him; however, this album will show you Common in top form. It isn’t a groundbreaking collection of rarities or anything, and if you have Common albums you have these songs, but overall, it’s still a well-crafted and well-chosen compilation that is worth giving a listen to by hip-hop fans or fans of great lyrics.


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