October 04, 2014

Common "Resurrection" (The Source, 10/94)

"While scores of other MCs are content to stick with the blunts, bitches and firearms routine as their subject matter of choice, Common Sense presents a thinking man's perspective on rhyming that's admirably down-to-earth and free of gimmicks. For a dose of where this brother from the Second City is coming from, check "i used to love h.e.r.," the lead single off his second  LP. When discussing a certain girl he once admired from a distance, eventually became involved with and slowly transform into a show-biz minded ho who forgot where she came from, Common extends the metaphor of hip-hop - as the longtime acquaintance - in a lyrical display that's as impressive as anything in recent memory. A unique variation on the ever-popular "back in the days"-type jam, the song is a potent articulation of what every true hip-hop fan must feel when faced with the sorry state of music today." Once again, check out these dope visuals for the track, cont'd below...

"While "i used to love h.e.r." effectively addresses the dilemma of what hip-hop has become, the rest of Resurrection doesn't always distinguish itself by providing equally slammin' musical solutions. It's not that the smooth keyboard dominated loops (courtesy of fellow Chicagoans No I.D. and YNot) or Common's nasal, off-beat flow are by any means toy. In fact, songs like "Watermelon," "Nothing To Do," and the title track sustain the album's pace nicely. But for all of their consistency, solidness and realistic day-to-day topics, few of the album's songs supply the immediate sonic impact necessary to take matters to the next level. If you can imagine that deeply, thought-out rhymes of 'i used to love h.e.r." over tracks that match the caliber of "They Reminisce Over You," then you'll have an idea of just how far things could have gone here. If Resurrection isn't quite the second coming of original flavor that the title suggests, it isn't for lack of effort, Common Sense's no-bullshit brand of hip-hop may not deliver the superficial thrills others have to offer, but there is no denying the intelligence and heart that guides it. This is one MC who does manage to live up to his name."