written by Philip Oliver
For the last 15 years Common has been a dominant factor in hip hop music. Catapulted into the forefront by his second album ‘Resurrection’ and its lead single ‘I used to love h.e.r.’ The track awarded him a hip hop classic due to his clever wordplay interweaving his love for a woman but who he was talking bout was hip hop in its essence and real. Roughly the same age as the Chi-Town emcee I’ve grown up with him and seen him find his way to the critical acclaim he now has weather it be in music or his newly found forte in acting.
‘Be’ had its moments but it wasn’t as incredible as the critics made out. Before that ‘Electric Circus’ lost its way under Commons experimental phase and the same could be said for ‘Like water for chocolate’. Common needed some direction, he was a versatile emcee who could spit freestyle lyrics and then flip it on his love raps but he wasn’t fulfilling his talent. He didn’t make bad albums but they suffered somewhere after ‘Someday it will all make sense’.
10 years later and ‘Finding Forever’ begins with a swirling instrumental which is reminiscent of something Stevie Wonder would have included as an intro on one of his songs as it sets the tone fitting perfectly as a build up for ‘Start the Show’. A winding string arrangement accompanies a boom bap beat with Kanye announcing ‘Now lets start the show, step out of the cold…’ as Common takes to the mic the sample dissolves into something completely different for him to weave in and out until the it returns to the hook. Ironically an Album has not had this powerful an intro since ‘Be’, but where that suffered with peaking too early with an incredible opener things are kept at the same level throughout the rest of ‘Finding Forever’.
Original Article [extended]