Common: The Dreamer, The Believer and Ghetto Dreams on: July 13, 2011, 11:20
Just weeks ago, Common and Nas released the first single off of Common's up coming November album, "The Dreamer, The Believer", called "Ghetto Dreams". The album is scheduled to be G.O.O.D. Music's exclusive holiday release just months after the release of the highly anticipated Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration effort, "Watch the Thrown", which is tentatively set for an August 2nd release. Common has been working on his latest effort for the past 6 months to a year and hopes to silence his critics after the disappointing reviews he received on his latest album, "Universal Mind Control", three years ago. People think that Common Sense has gone stale and is over the hill. However, the disapproval on his rap game isn't entirely unwarranted, after all, the last time we have heard Common lay down serious work in the studio was before Obama was president.
Never the less, Common's lack of production isn't because he has lost a step, but rather it is because Hip-Hop lately hasn't been his main hustle, it has turned into more of a side hustle. He is still as sharp as a machete and with the release of this track, he proves that he is still capable of putting out fire. He has been keeping himself busy as being more of a ghost writer, producer, advocate of G.O.O.D., and being more politically active. A lot of people forget how intelligent Lonnie Rashid Lynn truly is. Common has always had the poise and the demeanor to be a diplomat as well as being a heavy hitter in the game of rap. This is what partially made him so famous in the early to mid 90's--his brutal honesty and his determination to spit the truth. He has always been one of the most politically conscious and socially aware rappers of his time, which is why he has remained so close to his Queensbridge counterpart, Nasir Jones. He and Nas with this release have vowed to take their listeners back to the 90's, back to their golden days of Hip-Hop, and back to the type of content that made them famous. Common in interviews and in the studio has said that he wants the entire sound of the album to take his audience back to the "old school". If you can't tell from the deep bass, grainy sound, and the intermittent turntable scratches from No I.D. (who will handle the production responsibilities for the entire album), of the single, the entire sound is a throwback to the days of Coogi sweaters and Big Daddy Kane.
Common in the past three years has pursued his career as more of an actor, model, and business man and has been ridiculed by some as being soft or unmotivated in doing so. This being said, he has starred alongside Hollywood's biggest actors and has been in blockbusters such as "Smokin' Aces" with Jeremy Piven and Ryan Reynolds (2006), "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington (2007), "Street Kings" with Keanu Reaves (2008), "Wanted" with Angelina Jolie (2008), and "Date Night" with Steve Carell and Tina Fey (2010). He has also been heavily involved in working with PETA's campaign "Think Before You Eat", "Knowing Is Beautiful" to support HIV/AIDS, and LGBT organizations to eliminate gay and anti gay remarks in his lyrics. Also in the past couple of years he has dated stars such as Serena Williams, Alicia Keys, and Erykah Badu--not a bad track record as far as relationships go. But with all of these achievements, people still question his hunger for what made him famous, Hip-Hop.
The long and the short of the matter is that haters will always hate and doubters will always try and bring you down. But Common is determined not to let the gossip or the negativity effect his production on his 9th studio album. It is evident from his track record that Common is successful in whatever he puts his mind to and long term, childhood friend No I.D. said that Common is eager to make this next album a classic. Similar to the way Jay-Z did with his release of "American Gangster", the album will be a journey back through time. The cover "Ghetto Dreams" is Common and Nas on the set of a Fat Joe, New York City music video from '95. As Nas said in an interview, he wants people to connect Chi-Town, Queensbridge, Langston Hughes, and "Ghetto Dreams" of turning fantasies into reality. It is hungry, it is gritty, it is strong, and it is powerful. Don't sleep on it, don't miss it. Common X Nas X No I.D. "Ghetto Dreams".
No I.D. is currently working with J. Cole on his new album and taking some of the production responsibilities on Nas's upcoming album. Below is a high def, behind the scenes short film, directed by Brian "B.Kyle" Atkins, on the making of this album as well as the inspirations the three artists had while making this single. The artwork and the single itself are also linked...enjoy.