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  • Writer's picturePigeon Montes

Common - A Beautiful Revolution Part 1: Review

Ever since the overwhelming hype behind Common’s single “HER Love,” off the album Let Love, the final product didn’t necessarily deliver. Frankly, Common hasn’t delivered anything remotely great since his album, Black America Again, a poetic battle cry for the non-violent protests of change the dynamics of social and political climate. He’s always had his hiccups like UMC (Universal Mind Control). But for the longest his thematic delivery and overall bare bones base style of jazz centric Chicago Hip-Hop have made imprints in the genre in their own way. With the surprise release of A Beautiful Revolution Part 1, he brings a lot of emotions to the table with poetic prose that impacts the mood of the social - political climate of the times.

Common has always been able to deliver something listenable, even at his worst, but it shows that he has no limitations in his technical skills. And the production from jazz drummer/DJ Karriem Riggins. The production is crisper and more bombastic, which in return allows the music to adapt to the arching empowerment movements.

The vigor in his voice and delivery on the rhymes also shows an uptick from his previous album, where his messaging felt distant and lost at times. And his anti-vax ideals that were of big concern at a time, has brought more understanding upon us to see his view. He isn’t completely anti-vax, but the way America has evolved, some things never change. With voter suppression and other hidden ways to manipulate law to lessen the voice Black Americans have, they have a right to be skeptical of any vaccine that is government mandated or approved.

However, not every track hits with such controversial tenacity. But it isn’t to say this project isn’t without its faults. The third track, “Say Peace,” offers a decadence of verses from Common and Black Thought. The instrumental came in predominantly weak and bombastic that half the time Black Thought’s verse gets muddled beneath the rubble.

Fortunately all the features on the album shine, like the abundance of PJ, an LA-based singer whose luscious vocals match the tone and constructs of the song. Her powerful writing and chorus lines on “Courageous,” weighs the views being imposed on them. The image isn’t what is painted in the books, but it’s up to their audience’s to see what they tell you they are. Lenmy Kravitz - opening guitar solo brings monumental hype to the drop for Common on “A Riot In My Mind.”

A Beautiful Revolution Part 1 works on many levels and delivers half of what seems to be an eventually great side B. Common doesn’t sugarcoat his emotions in his delivery and lyricism, leaving messages of courageousness, self love, and empowerment.


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