Thursday, April 23, 2009

addressing the elephant in the room....

I have been noticing Common's instability for a while, but now it's reached a point where it must be addressed. Not only is the above commercial entirely whack, but it's also a representation of Common's constant contradiction. The man has spent a good part of the last decade establishing himself as a conscious MC. In fact, he was often one of the few rappers who accepted the "conscious" title with open arms (unlike Nas, Kweli, etc.). Common has often made very strange decisions with his music and career and as of late he has somehow transformed into a "bitch" loving playboy. Before we get into that, let's observe the past. I'm not sure when the wierd decisions began, but I'm pretty sure it was somewhere around here:

Miz Badu seems to have a way of turning men crazy and for certain people (Andre 3000) it has ended up being a "good crazy".... but it really didn't work out for Common because it seemingly led him to this:

Now I've heard the argument that Electric Circus was before it's time... IT WASN'T... Let's be honest people, it was a mess... I give Comm credit though because he was able to rebound with "BE" and a somewhat interesting "Finding Forever"... but this last year he hit us with:

Universal Mind Control is not only a transformation for Common, but it is a complete contradiction of everything he once stood for. On Universal Mind Control there are continuous references to women as bitches and a seemingly constant undertone of misogyny. The produciton is new age and synth laced, which is fine for the new breed of MC (a la Kanye, Lupe) but Common just ends up sounding like an old man who is desperate to be current. In a recent collaboration with Kid Cudi and Kanye called Poker Face (on my play list below) Common literally says:

"a stripper from the south looking for a pay day,
said bitch you should do it for the love like ray j,
she said but you be on that conscious tip,
get your hair right and get up on this conscious dick"

WTF? Keep in mind that this is the same guy who released "The Light" and "Come Close"... I don't want to sound too critical... but I must admit that I have quickly become uninterested and uninspired by Common. He used to be one of my favorite MC's, now he just comes off as desperate... Kind of like when MC hammer tried to come back as a gangster rapper! lol! I know that there is most likely a story and an explanation... but even that scares me... can money, fame and Hollywood really change an individual that much? Or was the conscious Common always an act? Guess we'll never know....



Anonymous said...

Yeah! That "Universal Mind Control" shit lost me!

Anonymous said...

Yea you're right...

'Be' was very inspiring to me personally

but U.M.C...

W. Felker said...

That is because Badu is VOODOO PUSSY.

Yup, yup.

x Will Felker (Woofmedia)

Love this spot.

chuk_etcetera said...

This post is quite interesting my man, and you make many good points. But i think UMC was actually a homage to proto-rap and very early rap (70s-early 80s) like Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Jozunz Crew, and the performers of Rappers Delight. If you look at it from this angle it looks a little more like a mild mid-life crisis and less like him falling off.

But I am pretty mad at these ads and his clothing line with (drum roll) Microsoft.