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Resurrection

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Album Review

Although Chicago is often praised for its blues, jazz, and house music, the city has failed to be successful when it comes to rap. One of the few Chicago MCs who has enjoyed any type of national attention is Common Sense, whose complex style of rapping and jazz-flavored tracks inspire comparisons to De La Soul, Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Pharcyde. On his sophomore effort, Resurrection, the South Sider doesn't hesitate to let you know that he has considerable technique, and in fact, he sometimes displays too much of it for his own good. Nonetheless, his intelligence, wit, and originality make this CD impressive. Resurrection's standout track is "I Used to Love H.E.R.," which seems to describe a lover's moral and spiritual decline, but is actually addressing what Common views as hip-hop's decline (in particular, gangsta rap's exploitation of sex and violence). Also quite noteworthy are "Nuthin' to Do" (which speaks out on the deterioration of Chicago's neighborhoods), and the introspective "Book of Life," a commentary on trying to keep it together in a society that has lost all traces of sanity.

Biography

Born: 13 March 1972 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Common (originally Common Sense) was a highly influential figure in rap's underground during the '90s, keeping the sophisticated lyrical technique and flowing syncopations of jazz-rap alive in an era when commercial gangsta rap was threatening to obliterate everything in its path. His outward looking, nimbly performed rhymes and political consciousness certainly didn't fit the fashions of the moment, but he was able to win a devoted cult audience. By the late '90s, a substantial underground movement...
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Resurrection, Common
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