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Monday, July 23, 2007

Damn Com: Say It Ain't So

(Originally wrote for HipHop DX)

Disclaimer: Yea, I know what kind of response I'm going to get for this post--especially from loyalists of the artist. I really don't care. I only call it how I see it and what I proffer through my blog is the truth to me; hence my prior alias, "The Only Opinion that Matters."

With that said, as many of you know (or at least those of us who know how to use bit torrents and the such for the purpose of, shall we say, advance album review), the Common Finding Forever leaked between Thursday night and Friday morning. I actually found out about the leak reading a blog here. I was geeked to say the least as I've been an avid Com fan since his days of only dealing with NoI.D and since before he got sued by that rock band to drop the Sense. The expectation from myself, and many others, was that with Finding Forever, Common was going to surpass his prior effort, Be and cement his status as one of the greatest to ever do it. I think we were all ready to see Com get his props, financially and critically, especially after he was teabagged at the Grammys. Many were set to deem his 7th lp a classic based on the singles "The People" and "The Game."'s certainly not that...I hate to be the one to drop the bomb on those who haven't heard it yet, but fuck it; it's actually kind of wack.

What prevented Be from being a classic, to me, was that the songs dealt with broad topics like love and faith but in a very loose way that didn't really address anything in particular. They were just as I put it before "romanticized musings with no true point." And Com has dealt with those topics before but in the past he's done it in a more focused manner. I respect the fact that Com delves into issues that most emcees don't touch, but that doesn't mean he gets a pass to mediocrity and truth be told, that's what Finding Forever is. Laden with lame pop culture references (Lance Bass/Vince Vaughan etc.) and beats that attempt to emulate Dilla's unique sound but fail, miserably (sorry Kanye you're not Dilla bruh). The weaknesses of Be are amplified on Finding Forever. The lyricism on the lp is Com at his weakest and if you compare it to his progressive peers' releases i.e. Pharoahe and really doesn't compare, creatively or lyrically, to either's latest releases. I understand what he's doing--getting his mainstream paper, do your thing bruh--with Lily Allen features, dumbed down lyrics and alot more syrupy ballads to woo the women but it hurts that much when it's someone you like. Consider Finding Forever Common riding off (to Hollywood) in a Bentley waving bye-bye to his core fanbase for the greener pastures of that thick MTV guap. I'm sure I'll have to debate some Com fans here but trust me, it doesn't give me any pleasure ripping one of my favorite emcees--especially someone from the same place as you. In memorial of the Com I used to know I'll list a few tracks for nostalgia purposes.


"Like They Used to Say"

"Soul by the Pound"


"Real Nigga Quotes"

"Every Stolen Moments"

P.S. Spare me the retorts about how this is a "grown man" album or how I should let the music just be what it is because accepting mediocrity is why shit's fucked up in the first place. Also, one flop doesn't eliminate the man's legacy. He's still a legend and probably one of the best to ever do it but this album sucks. It is what it is.

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