Music Spotlight on… Common


Honestly, I intended this blog to be more about tv shows and movies, with a side of music. But today I a) haven’t watched anything new lately, because of work and b) want to post and c) I promised in my last post that I would show off some of my favorite Common stuff, so that people know what he’s REALLY like.

Now, let’s start off with a little background info: Common’s real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. His stage name was originally Common Sense, but when some rock band took him to court cause they said they had that name first, he dropped “Sense” and therefore became Common. He’s been around since the early 90’s, but I only started listening to him about 4 years ago. Me and my boyfriend had just started dating, and while we have really similar tastes in a lot of rap, he was surprised I hadn’t really heard of Common before. And I liked.

Common is often referred to as a hip-hop artist. Here’s the thing about rap and hip-hop: Hip-hop is rap, but rap isn’t always hip-hop. Yes, there’s a difference. Kind of subtle differences, but I’ll try to explain best I can. Hip-hop isn’t often heard on the radio, because it’s not really club / dance music. Hip-hop usually has a more serious message – it often comments on social and political situations, while rap is more of the sexy / hard life / “gangsta” kind of stuff on the radio. Hip-hop’s music is a little different – it’s more melody, while rap is more of a consistent beat.

Like I said, it’s hard to explain. Let’s try this…

Hip-hop rappers: Common, Mos Def,Talib Kweli

NOT hip-hop rappers: Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, DMX, Eminem

Rappers that kind of fit into both categories: Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West

The rappers that I put in the grey area there have hip-hop messages – social, political, religious, economic, etc commentary, but their style of rapping and music in their songs sounds more rap than hip-hop, at least to me. I almost put Eminem in the mixed category, because his music definitely has a lot of serious issues – but they’re usually only about his personal life, not so much about social commentary- so into rap he went. This is all just how I see the differences anyways. I’m sure a lot of these points could be debatable. But anyways.

Now I’m not saying that Common is all serious-message all the time. But if you’re familiar at all with rap music, you know that Common is well-known for being a socially conscious, intelligent hip-hop artist. (He is NOT, despite what Sarah Palin tells you, well-known for being a “gangster” or “thug”.) And in fact, before Fox News started slamming him this past week, they actually called him a hip-hop legend.

SO, here’s some of my favorite Common songs!

This is Come Close, featuring Mary J. Blige. For those of you that like indie-type stuff, even you might really like this song. I wanna play it at my wedding reception.

This song is Misunderstood. It’s not an actual music video, it’s just the song with his album cover. But it’s an awesome song, and no music video means it’ll load faster for you.

This is Universal Mind Control, featuring Pharell. This is one of Common’s more fun, bragging type of songs. My little 6 year old nephew actually loved this song, he calls it “the robot song”. LOL.

And lastly, this is Drivin’ Me Wild featuring Lily Allen. I love that Common has a song with Lily Allen. Awesome combo.

So there you have it. I don’t expect this post to get a lot of love or comments. I’ve noticed that rap is sorely underappreciated in the blogging community. But maybe you’ll like a song or two that I listed. Hopefully :o)

For real though, no matter what you think, leave me a comment! Bummed that even though my blog traffic has been high, I’ve only gotten one comment. So you know… say somethin. Please?

~Sarah

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About Sarah Says Read

Sarah is 29 and lives with her amazing husband and their awesome cat.

Posted on May 14, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey Sarah, just wanted to say that I love the new blog. 🙂

  2. You got great points there, that’s why I always love checking out your blog.

    My blog:
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