Once again, everyone's piling hate onto Common. Apparently Universal Mind Control is an abomination the likes of which Common has not committed on the (non)record buying populous since Electric Circus, according to the internets. Barring the fact that I actually like EC and think the backlash heaped on that record stems from old-fashioned Hip Hop head stubbornness (they wanted another Resurrection) and woman-hating (blaming Erykah Badu for putting a spell on rappers is a long running Hip Hop in-joke I've never found very funny), some of the tracks I've heard from the new joint do make me long for better days.
I'm not one to cry a river when artists want to go in a different direction with their sound and try new things. One of the major problems with Hip Hop is that the fanbase tends to abhor change of any kind, confusing experimentation with selling-out or going soft. I've often taken offense at the charge that some artists have made that Hip Hop as a musical genre is too stifling, but perhaps they aren't entirely wrong, just directing their angst at the medium instead of the fickle listeners. In the case of Universal Mind Control though, there is something to be said of remembering the foundation of one's career.
So for Throwback Thursday I decided to post up one of the ways I first became acquainted with the brother formerly known as Common Sense, "Invocation", from his 1997 album One Day It'll All Make Sense.
This actually ran as a split video back in the day but I couldn't find a good copy of it anywhere, so I'll just post the entire video for the second half of the split, "Hungry."
Rumor has it that Com's next album is going to be produced entirely by No I.D. (the producer behind One Day... and his two previous albums) and Kanye West (responsible for Com's last two albums). While I tend to think of Kanye's work with him as a little flat because it's trying too hard to sound like what heads think a Common album needs to sound like, I'm holding out hope that they can come up with a record that successfully marries Com's drive to experiment with the solid music we came to him for in the first place.