15 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album boasts some of the most dazzling wordplay ever documented — double-entendres and dizzying similes getting poured atop jazzy breakbeats by a Chi-Town MC that had just started coming into his own. Absent are the fast raps that comprised the-artist-formerly-known-as Common Sense’s 1992 debut. In their place are more laid back, intricate verbal spills that channeled the 22-year-old’s exuberance. Check out “Communism” and ”Watermelon” for champion wordplay. Listen to the final phrase of “I Used to Love H.E.R.” to discover the song’s a metaphor for hip-hop culture. (The lyrically dense gem gained so much attention in the hip-hop community that it sparked a feud with Ice Cube, who misconstrued one line to be a direct dis.) In addition to the nimble rhymes, producer NO I.D. also contributes smooth, funky, easy-to-listen-to beats in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, whose DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad makes a brief cameo. The result is an album with no filler tracks that you can put on for a carefree head nod, or give it greater attention to uncover layers upon layer of wordplay wizardry. 

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album boasts some of the most dazzling wordplay ever documented — double-entendres and dizzying similes getting poured atop jazzy breakbeats by a Chi-Town MC that had just started coming into his own. Absent are the fast raps that comprised the-artist-formerly-known-as Common Sense’s 1992 debut. In their place are more laid back, intricate verbal spills that channeled the 22-year-old’s exuberance. Check out “Communism” and ”Watermelon” for champion wordplay. Listen to the final phrase of “I Used to Love H.E.R.” to discover the song’s a metaphor for hip-hop culture. (The lyrically dense gem gained so much attention in the hip-hop community that it sparked a feud with Ice Cube, who misconstrued one line to be a direct dis.) In addition to the nimble rhymes, producer NO I.D. also contributes smooth, funky, easy-to-listen-to beats in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, whose DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad makes a brief cameo. The result is an album with no filler tracks that you can put on for a carefree head nod, or give it greater attention to uncover layers upon layer of wordplay wizardry. 

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
201 Ratings

201 Ratings

Xionc ,

A Classic

I've only had the album for about a week now, and I've probably listened to it at least 15 times by now. From beginning to end, every single track is pure lyrical gold. The best songs, in my opinion, are as follows:

1. I Used to Love H.E.R. (Hip-Hop in its Essence and Reality)
2. Nuthin' to Do
3. Resurrection
4. Chapter 13 (Rich Man vs. Poor Man)
5. Thisisme

If you're thinking about buying single tracks, don't. If you don't pick up the full album, you can't fully appreciate this album.

Julian T. ,

The Definition of

Classic. Legendary. Beautiful.

Arguably the best hip-hop album ever.

Just do it.

Brannu Sunyata ,

Lost fans ...

This album is a standout album in Common's career simply because it is BY FAR the greatest album he did. "Like Water for Chocolate" comes in a close second, but, this is one of the best testaments to lyricism in the history of hip-hop. During this time period in hip-hop, you really had to be on top of your game lyrically to compete in the growing field of hip-hop culture. A few years later, the importance of lyrical flexibility/dexterity fizzled and cats started doing nonsense. This is why I don't feel Common's later albums, as the fine lyricism that is reflected throughout this album has been lost in conversations about relationships ... for his ability to reach a larger audience.

Resurrection is the ONE.

Word.

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