The Evolution Of Common

The Evolution Of Common

Way back on Oct. 6, 1992, the world got its real first taste of one of the most innovative and gifted voices to emerge from the city of Chicago. Yes, it was nearly 20 years ago today that Common—then known as Common Sense—would make his squeaky-voiced debut with Can I Borrow A Dollar? The album didn’t receive much attention, a positive or negative depending on who you ask. For me, it’s a prime example of an artist who hasn’t quite found his footing yet and just wants to be heard. And that’s actually what is most enjoyable about the LP in retrospect: you know Com’s got a classic lingering in his brain, ready to emerge in 1994.

That classic, of course, would be Resurrection, an about-face to end all about-faces. A 180 to end all 180s. A … you get my point.If not, here it is: Dude didn’t just switch or clean up his style, he got an entire fucking makeover. You know, kind of like Jay-Z did before making his debut with Reasonable Doubt. Prior to that record’s release, Hov was a quick-spitting MC with a flow akin to Big L, which made sense given their proximity and time spent together. But with Reasonable Doubt, the Jigga man revealed that he knew just what he was and what he would be: a smooth-talkin’, sharp spitter with strong narratives, clever word play, and a choice ear for production (mostly).

But Common? He didn’t really have that same luxury, so to speak. And to say that he completely wowed the hip-hop world two years later with Resurrection would be a massive understatement. Somehow, he and No I.D. refined their approach, defined their sound, and crafted one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. They also paved the way for one of the more intriguing careers in hip-hop history. Has anyone else changed their style as much as Com over the years?

It’s with that in mind that we’re diving headfirst into how Common has developed in the past 20 years. Click page 2 below to continue reading.

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  1. Andrew Martin
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:24:00

    I totally understand that, it’s just that I expect more from a dude like Com. It’s notable that he stopped using homophobic stuff when he realized it was pretty offensive.

  2. Michael Jon Carter
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:21:00

    “Its rumours of gay MC’s just don’t come around me with it”. We can quote him all day but In hip hops context its nothing to do with homosexuality itself and more to do with battling an imaginery opponent. In battle rap terms like faggot, bitch etc come up but one does not litterally mean the opponent is a faggot or a bitch.

  3. Andrew Martin
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:08:00

    That song’s aight but the rest? I can’t.

  4. Andrew Martin
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:08:00


  5. Andrew Martin
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:08:00


  6. Andrew Martin
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:07:00

    “In a circle of faggots, your name is mentioned.” Yeah. No.

  7. Michael Jon Carter
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 08:55:00

    Homophobic rhymes? Nah, you were reading into some of those bars too figuratively.

  8. frank_bE
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 04:10:00

    EC is Common’s third best album. the end

  9. Đ℞ΞV/
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 12:28:00

    Common came for a book signing at my school for MLK day. All the girls were going crazy for him. It was crazy. I am talking about women in early forties to college girls wanted a photo with him. Mostly women were there

  10. DREK
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 12:07:00

    i always like UMC. Gladiator was an ill cut.

  11. Andrew Martin
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:20:00

    Word. I can dig a good amount of EC personally…but it does depend on my mood.

  12. Andrew Martin
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:19:00

    I tried so hard with UMC but I just couldn’t. I must have listened and shut it off like 10 times.

  13. Andrew Martin
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:19:00


  14. Colm O'Mahony
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:12:00

    One of the few of his generation to stay relevant. Have to admit, I stopped paying attention after Be, but what a run of albums. Invocation off of One Day……..is one of the most perfect hip hop tracks of its time.

    Nice one.

  15. mutme
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:10:00

    umc wasnt that bad yo…i mean definately his worst album but he was gettin on his afrikka bam shit n it kinda knocked in that weird 80s electo rap way nahmean? especially the fist song that shits flame

  16. Geoff El Terich
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 10:59:00

    i mostly agree with everything, but personally i thought electric circus was dope, but maybe i was just a little weirder back then. umc is just embarassing

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