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Be

Common

2005

Be
Album Summary

Be is the sixth studio album by American rapper Common. It was released on May 24, 2005, by Geffen Records and GOOD Music. The album was primarily produced by rapper Kanye West, with additional production from frequent collaborator J Dilla. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 185,000 copies in the United States. The album is Common's second album to sell over 500,000 copies (over 800,000 copies sold), becoming a certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Be was also a critical success, receiving acclaim and accolades from several critics and music publications. The album received a perfect "XXL" rating from hip hop publication XXL and was deemed Common's magnum opus by HipHopGoldenAge.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.39

Votes

11327
Genres
Hip Hop
Soul

Reviews

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Tue Oct 06 2020
1

I really don't get rap, and I am completely aware of why. I'm a STEM guy, specifically a Ph.D. student in mathematics. Although my verbal intelligence is quite high, it's still about a standard deviation below my quantitative intelligence. Therefore, it should not be too surprising that I prefer melodies to lyricism, and that a genre based on the latter doesn't wow me. I know I'm pretty far out of step with public opinion on this one, but that can easily be attributed to the fact that hipsters with humanities degrees (i.e. extremely verbal-dominant people) are considered the ultimate arbiters of taste for some reason. (Side note: this also explains why prog rock is seen as being for losers.) Best song: Be (Intro), which had a decent instrumental part at the beginning. Everything else just sort of ran together.

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Sun Dec 03 2023
4

I can’t believe the top review for this record (as of Dec 2023) is from someone trying to use their PhD in Mathematics as justification for not liking hip-hop. Weak.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

“The sweet taste of victory. Go ‘head, breathe it in like antihistamines.” I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this pop up. This is one of my favorite hip hop albums of all time, at least top five. It’s beautiful, it’s perfect. Produced almost entirely by Kanye West, save for two tracks produced by the late J Dilla. Features from Kanye, John Legend, and John Mayer—a galaxy of rising stars all together for this moment. Every track is immaculately produced, and Common makes a case for why he belongs in the pantheon of greats. “You love to hear the story, again and again, about these young brothers from the City of Wind.” It’s maybe the most organic hip hop album in existence. Hip hop almost seems like a misnomer, it’s pure poetry. The intro track is one of the best openers of any album ever. “I wanna be as free as the spirits of those who’ve left.” No matter how many times I hear it, the closing track always makes me cry. “Be amended....five fifths.” I would fight anyone for this album. I’d give this to the aliens. “I wish I could give you this feeling.” I’ll stop gushing but man, this is enough to make every two or three-star album worth it. Time to put the vinyl on and fall in love with it all over again. Favorite tracks: Be (Intro), The Corner, GO!, Faithful, Love is..., Chi City, The Food, They Say, It’s Your World. Album art: Iconic. Incredibly simple photo, but the contrast and colors immortalized this for me. I’m obviously biased, but this cover is imprinted in my DNA. 5/5

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Sun Mar 19 2023
5

"They say because of the fame and stardom I'm somewhere in between the church and insane asylum I guess it's messin' with my health then And this verse so crazy when I finish I'm just gon' check myself in" If only Kanye would've listened to himself in 2005

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Mon May 17 2021
2

I used to think of Common as the noughties rap Dementor, sucking the joy out of whatever song he popped up on, sounding like another rapper's dad come to the the studio to balance the bragging and naughtiness. I appreciate him more now, though I was kind of right. He is dad-ish--temperate, reasonable, calm--but not overbearing. Worst of all to bratty kids, he's genuinely open and empathetic towards people who aren't the same as him, i.e. he never pretends the street life his raps explicate was his own, just wants to understand and communicate it. So not a rap Dementor but a do gooder doing good for anyone not dumb enough to not want good done to them. Plus he's got poetry (more than that last sentence) and some pacified Kanye beats to boot.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Bro. Fuckin perfection holy damn!! Mad I’m so late to the game but happy I finally got to hear !!

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

THIS CAT RAPS AS SMOOTH AS A PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

This is a solid album. Like, legitimately great. The only reason it didn't get a 5 is because there's a significant amount of batshitcrazy on display that detracts from the overall goodness. Also, as a point of personal preference, I'm not a fan of the overly R&B tracks. So, yeah. Great record docked a star because "it's me, not you."

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Tue Mar 07 2023
5

Common: the intelligent rapper. I love his storytelling. He seems to be one of the more enlightened, and enlightening, rappers to ever do it. Hip Hop Golden Age has referred to this album as Common's mangnum opus. It came out in 2006 and is produced by Kanye West, who was at the top of his producing game way back when circa Late Registration and Graduation. The good old days. This album, Be, is just so smooth from front to back. I loved the tracks Go, Be, Chi-City and Love Is... A solid rap album. Thougtful. Enlightened. Long lasting.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

not my usual, but very engaging

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Tue Apr 18 2023
2

This was fine, I guess. But it also has Kanye West on it so to hell with it.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
2

Very repetitive but not unpleasant to listen to.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
2

Some good parts but a bit too smooth and "Kanye-pop" for my tastes. I've said it before, but the rap I like is either angry and fast, or built virtuosically from Funkadelic samples. Common sounds too much like a lifestyle brand to keep my interest, sorry.

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Sat Apr 03 2021
5

Love this shit. It makes me love Chicago rap even more. Common talks about real shit as cringy as that sounds, and features Kanye all over the album, notching it higher in my book. Bars are smooth as hell, beats are the same. Be, Chi-City and They Say are the best songs. There is probably heavy bias here because of how much I love this kind of music, but fuck it it's my rating, 8/8, a hip hop classic.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

I knew I was going to love this album just based off the first bass-line. The introduction of the synths and strings hit like a truck, and the lyricism right out of the gate showed that this was going to be a mind-blowing experience. I love how this album has classic Kanye all over it, it gives me so much joy to hear that unique production style, given that I haven't heard this album before, I feel like this is the closest I can get to what a Kanye "revival" would feel like. I know it's cliche, but I do miss the old Kanye. Common's voice is so commanding on each song, his flow is like syrup, slow and heavy but it packs a punch. The story telling and poetry on this album is astounding. I love so much about this album and it makes me reminiscent of a by-gone era in hip-hop, probably one of the best ones in terms of mixing intelligent lyrics with catchy and bombastic production.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
5

Really enjoyed the intro, “Be” and “Faithful” Didn’t expect the beat to be so swaying to the point where I am melting on the floor.

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Tue Feb 21 2023
5

When people say they “miss the old Kanye” THIS is what they are talking about, even if this album is technically Common’s. The soulful production sounds great rather than dated and the social commentary and songs like “Love Is” give us the opposite experience from the Marshall Mathers LP. Hip hop can be a beautiful genre as this album, and later work by Chance the rapper (clearly inspired by this and samples it) shows. Would give 4.5 if I could but what the hell.

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Sat Mar 25 2023
5

Common's first 6 albums are milestones of the more sophisticated jazz rap of the 90s and early 2000s that was influenced by neo soul too. 'Be' doesn't waste time and puts you into all the things you would need to know as a Chicago kid. Common's lyrics are better than ever because he puts some subtle humor in the stories he tells. And then of course there is producer Kanye West. I never thought of him as a genius (albeit a great producer, of course always aided by an army of other talented people). I think 'Be' shows more than his own albums that West has talent.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
4

Wow, a rapper who really has music in his production. Plus he's speaking in language that isn't full of cuss words, adolescent misogeny, and is spoken slowly enough that an aging white girl like me can understand it. I don't know why, but this reminds me of Al Green. Go figure. But I like it. I'm surprised! And I listened to the entire album. I don't always. The last song, It's Your World, is just lovely!

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Mon May 17 2021
3

Listened to this twice through, and both times it became good and enjoyable background music. The element that pushes it over the top, and potentially justifies its place here are those J-Dilla beats, chopped up, bouncy, flowing like water following the natural lines of the earth. The whole thing feels very well constructed and probably warrants further attentive listening.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
2

It sounded ok I guess, didn't connect with it though and won't be back. Seems like a waste of my time to give it a longer review.

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Fri Oct 02 2020
5

Excellent production and lyrics that help bring about empathy

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Mon Jan 11 2021
5

Common and Ye in their primes. It doesn't get much better than this.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

He so real about being soft af and I love him for it

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Dope Record, Great flow and beats

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

Great album, and worth multiple listens. The beats are great and Common is out in full force on this one.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Every track is masterful, beats fantastic. One of my favorites.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Can't get enough of this one

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

I thought this was excellent, I would like to come back to this one.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

An absolute hip hop classic. Common and Kanye simply made magic on this album.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Really liked this album. Have any listens to Common in a long ass time. That was a mistake.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

first time listening to the full album. i LOVE it.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

great album, Kanye could not miss the mark back then. 5 stars

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

Really liked it! Rap with some jazz and r&b influence.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Muito boooom, adorei! Será que eu gosto de hip-hop e rap mesmo??

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Ah, here we go. I love this album. I had seen it on posters and at stores for years and never listened until last year when I was catching up on hip-hop. This is an incredible album and I love every song on it. Kanye and John Mayer and a few other guests make this extra special and I love the beats. I think Kanye produced this album too which would explain a lot. The album cover makes it seem like it's a gospel album and in a way, this is the good news.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Easy to listen to. Nice rhythm and sound.

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Like an early kanye album, have loved the album for years

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Eclectic in topic choices & theme. Yet contiguous in overall emotional impact.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Very well produced. Certainly a instant classic that shaped and defined a era.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

beautiful hip-hop album, some hints of a classic 70s soul sound, love the overall sound. favorite tracks: faithful, the food,

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Straight fire, rhymes, message, music, production this is real hip hop

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Fri May 14 2021
5

Awesome rap album, not just about coming up, deep and has an array of nice sounding tracks

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Sun Aug 01 2021
5

They don't make hip hop albums like this any more because a) Kanye finds it impossible to just let his productions do the talking and b) hip hop has subsequently discovered fucking auto-tune. I absolutely love this album but I do find Common's delivery dull at times compared to his '90s peak. Imagine how incredible Resurrection era Common over Kanye/Dilla beats would have been, sigh.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

Ironically, Common is not common at all. In fact, he’s uncommon - a special breed of rapper/poet unlike most others. Maybe that’s what he was going for? Seriously though. This is a great rap album. One of my favorite. It’s also nice (and a little weird) to hear Kanye before he was crazy - or before we all knew for sure he was crazy.

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Sat Nov 06 2021
5

Well this is interesting - reviewed Nas yesterday and today this Common album opens with a reference to "Big Nas." I assume that is the same guy? It's interesting because these two have some pretty different vibes in their music. Not to mention this album is centered around Chicago while Nas' is all New York. I have seen Common perform live a few times at music festivals and really enjoyed it. So I was excited to have a chance to check out one of his albums I've never heard. I loved the album. The music and samples are fantastic, and Common is so good. I particularly love the warm and cozy music that accompanies most of the tracks, with the electric organ enticing you to settle in and listen to the lyrics. "Be (intro)" is a great opening. Other songs that jumped out at me included "The Corner", "Go!", "Love Is...", "Chi-City", and "They Say". But I guess I can say all the songs are quite good. My favorite I think is "Real People". I love the smooth easy-listening vibe with the saxophone. Yet Common's performance still tackles a lot of uncomfortable observations of the world around him. I listened to this three times in a row... just kept letting it repeat and was happy to hear the songs again. A beautiful album!

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

I was surprised I never sat down and listened to Common. This album mixed with sounds brought in with Kanye was amazing. I’m looking forward to exploring more his work.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

Another classic hip hop album from the 2000s. Lots of Kanye on this album as well

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Loved it, great to listen in one go, powerful positive message

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

fav - Faithful gospelly, techno, nice storytelling i love the guitars in the very very intro

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

Full of works of art would highly recommend to anyone. 4.6/5

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Excellent production, songwriting, and lyrics.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

So SO smooth and beautifully produced. It's soulful, conscious rap, and I loved the features!

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Nice conscious rap with a jazzy vibe (somewhat reminscent of the Jazz elements on 'To Pimp a Butterfly'). I especially like the first song on the album 'Be (intro)'. Doesn't reach the same levels of insight as Kendrick does (but who does, really) but has interesting mixes of black consciousness, religious inspiration, and promoting ideas of being something in this world. I like the bookends some of the in between songs not being as interesting to me. Probably on a 4,1/2 stars but let's be nice.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

I took the time to listen to this carefully. So solid.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

A 90s throwback without the 90s

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Fri Mar 18 2022
5

Really good. I'm not a Kanye fan at all, and he had some of his fingers in this pie, but I guess Common managed to keep it good.

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

THE LAST TRACK WAS CUTE Good times were had.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Head bobbing, nice elec guitar over a grooving beat, strings, high hat, I like Common's voice. Songs move nicely.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Loved this. This album has been on my “to listen list” for well over a decade. When I saw it pop up, I immediately grinned and KNEW today was the day. I put it on and was instantly blown the fuck away. From the smooth rhymes to the fantastic music, this one hit on so many different levels. So glad this came up, because it didn’t disappoint one bit.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Good hip hop album. Cool story, great beats. Crazy ye makes an appearance. Cool representation of Chicago hip hop

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

Be (Intro); The Corner; Go! ; Faithful; Testify; Love Is… ; Chi-City ; It’s Your World (Part 1 & 2)

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

Everything Common does is *****.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Common continues the sounds he had from the previous record with excellent support from Kanye's production. To me, this album is a bit stronger overall, with some marked improvements in sonic quality.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Just full of good vibes and deep thoughts, and Kanye behind the beats really brings out the best in him. This is a new classic for me for sure.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

Good album, Never heard a whole Common album before. He's very serious.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

It’s an album that I listen to often and Kanye’s production shines throughout. Be (intro) and the the food - live are up there on songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life. Be is also a song you can show anyone and they’ll like it Slow motion is better than no motion

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

One of the greatest / most influential hip-hop albums of the 2000’s. Young Kanye throughout most of the album, and his production is insane. Along with J Dilla. Common speaking the truth through insightful rhymes and Melodie’s. His flow is spectacular within the entire album and his message is clear and takes the listener into the hard-life of a person stuck in the South Side of Chicago. And though Common takes the listener into this, he doesn’t glorify it. It’s a necessity for living, and providing of a harsh reality. Common takes you through life lessons that we all should consider. He legit teaches the listener what love is, should be, and how beautiful it is. Be (intro) is arguably one of the greatest intro’s to a hop-hop album. It takes insane courage to put a live song (The Food) on your album and have it hit as hard as it does. People forget that Common represented Chicago just as much as Kanye at this time. I listened to this album all the way back after I finished it, and throughout the rest of the day. I love it. Started the day today with “They Say”. This is true Hip-Hop and what a real MC is. These are the messages Hip-Hop should convey, and this isn’t an album to take for granted.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Common and Kanye really brought out the best in each other here. The opening tracks are untouchable. Starts with a beautiful thesis and swings for the fences on The Corner.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Banging album, sick production, great flow and rhymes

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Flawless. Surprised I didn’t know Kanye was involved quite a lot.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Excellent - can see he was a big influence on Kanye

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

I'm not a rap fan but even I can tell that this is good. I like the retro influence and the lyrics are clever.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Jučer sam slušao njegov klasični Resurrection album, i dođe mi danas ovaj - također odličan koji je producirao u potpunosti gospodin West (čudo od producenta i njegovu produkciju mogu nanjušiti ko svinja tartufe). Stvarno jako dobrih stvari ima na ovom albumu. Be je jedna od najboljih pjesama koje postoje - a koja je ispod 3 min. Još odličnih stvari u nastavku: GO!, Faithful, Testify, Love Is..., The Food...uglavnom sve pjesme su odlične, neke su još bolje. Eto. Po mom skromnom mišljenju ovo je nekih 4.5/5, 9/10. Znam, da, opet hip hop opet ja "skroman" sa brojkama, ali šta da ja radim? Obožavam to, a ovo mislim da je više za širu publiku, ovo je baš onako lagan album, mellow, uplifting album sa odličnom produkcijom, gostima, ne traje previše, i mislim da je to zadnji njegov koji sam baš slušao.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Taman sam htjela mu pisat mail da mu je Kanye malo ukro zvuk. I onda sam vidila ko je producent pa ima smisla. SVE mi se svidjelo. Al apsolutno sve.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Classic. It’s been a minute since I’ve listened to it, forgot how good it was.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

Really liked this. Hip-hop from this era seemed to soften a bit, in a good way. Appreciated the 45 minute length as well, just right.

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Sat Dec 24 2022
5

This one slipped through the cracks somehow, only coming back to it now. I only knew a few Common songs before so glad to give this a full listen. It's a real gem of hip hop; thoughtful lyrics, great instrumentals and production. Common does just seem like a really nice guy, even though does have some weird ideas about interracial relationships. Great features from Kanye too, back when he was a serious artist.

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Sun Dec 25 2022
5

Riktigt bra! En blandning av jazz, r n b och hiphop. Tar ut svängarna bra!

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