The Dream/The Believer
(Think Common Music Inc.)
As the title of Common’s new album, The Dreamer/ The Believer, suggests, the rapper aims to bring some inspiration with his 12 new tracks. Unfortunately, alongside that positive message is a whole lot of typically “common” rap attitude, which confuses the message. Despite its shortcomings, fans will be pleased with Common’s trademark wordplay plus the amazing beats from producer No I.D. who’s at the top of his game.
The standout tracks, like “Celebrate” and “The Believer” featuring John Legend, are positive but conflict with the equally strong, street tracks like “Ghetto Dreams” featuring Nas, and the Drake dis “Sweet,” which presents the most impassioned rhymes. “The Dreamer” is a track that sums up the rapper’s issues on the album so its appropriate that it gained some notoriety after Maya Angelou, who’s featured on the track, spoke out about his “N”-bombs and while the two quickly patched things up for the sake of solidarity, her point is well taken because the piece gets watered down thanks to plenty of unnecessary self-aggrandizing. Common came from the streets and is wildly successful according to anyone’s standards, so there’s no need to state the Grammy’s yours when you already have two in the closet along with your Armani, films, and autobiography.
So even though Common fails to reach his true potential this time around, the album still holds up. As Dr. Angelou said “We’re all in process,” so we’ll give Common a break on the B.S. and hopefully someday he can be compared to John Lennon by someone other than himself and learns to dream bigger.