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Universal Mind Control

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iTunes Review

Common has long been interested in expanding the boundaries of his music, but with Universal Mind Control he dissolved the walls that separate hip-hop from modern electro, indie rock, and emo. The Neptunes oversaw almost all of the album’s production (with the exception of “Make My Day,” “Changes,” and “Everywhere,” which were produced by Mr. DJ) and their trademarks alight in the woozy fancy of “Punch Drunk Love,” and the piledriving pulse of “Sex 4 Suga” and “Announcement.” “Universal Mind Control (UMC)” and “What A World” contain the most relentlessly club-friendly rhythms of Common’s career, although the songs also hearken back to the old-school electro of Afrika Bambaataa and the Fantasy Three. Common still has hip-hop in his heart, and despite its messianic complex, a song like “Gladiator” shows the rapper’s fundamental rhyme skills remain intact: “Syncopated is the style that I fight with, write with / Mr. Excitement, change your face up like a white chick.” While Universal Mind Control might be the last straw for fans of Mobb Deep, the album stakes new ground that Common can share with artists as diverse as Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, and TV On the Radio.

Customer Reviews

Universal Mind(less) Control

Common is a classic class act. "I Used to Love H.E.R.," "G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition)," "The Light," "The 6th Sense"...shall I continue? His albums are monumental movements in the hip-hop industry. He is one of the brightest emcees on the planet. His songs are poetic social observations, laced with wisdom and positivity. Let us forgive Common for his "Electric Circus" misgivings. I blame...well, I don't know whom to blame—let's just say that Com was feeling an odd bit of wily creativity gone sour. He rebounded swiftly and gracefully with "Be" and "Finding Forever," both soulful, soul-filled albums. And then he drops "Universal Mind Control," a pop-dance tweeny-bopper piece of garbage? He is abandoning his VOICE, his STYLE, and his EVANGELISTS in this new (and inevitably ill-fated) effort. Com doesn’t make club bangers. He makes introspective, timeless masterpieces. What, pray tell, is introspective or timeless about “Gucci, rockin’; coochies, poppin’; movie, watchin’; booties, shoppin’; body, movin’, showin’, groovin’, stylin’ and being fly.” Save for "Changes," the depth isn't there. The jazzy, soulful beats aren't there. This time, however, I think I know whom to blame: Kanye. "808s and Heartbreak" is every more hideous than "UMC," if that's possible. Chicago must be downwind from some pretty poppy trends. (Because, as we well know, Green Bay and Milwaukee are Pop Culture Central, USA.) Download "Changes" and "Gladiator," skip the rest. If you don't already own "Resurrection," "One Day It'll All Make Sense," or "Like Water for Chocolate," open up iTunes and purchase them NOW. I forgive you, Common, because you have given me 5 classic albums to 2 rotten tomatoes. Don't tip the scale anymore, though. You're officially on notice, my man!

It's seems that most people are blind to what this album is!

I find it very strange that a lot of people who call themselves "real" hip-hop fans are not feeling this album! This is Common's homage to old school hip-hop! Tracks like "Sex 4 Suga" is a direct nod to the JB's (that's the Jungle Brothers, for the sub 30 year-old readers!) You have to look at this album based on what he was trying to do with it. How many times can he release albums of what people call "true Common material"? Don't you ever want him to try something different?...I guess not! I didn't like every track on "Electric Circus", but I respected him for trying it! UMC is fun, timely and refreshing! To see him explore different material out of his comfort zone, reminds me how little most other "artists" ever do that.

what is this

Please Don't buy this garbage. It's not common at all its all pharrel and its lamer than kanye west. Don't support the people messing up hip-hop. Lcikc yes if you agree with this please!!!!!


Born: March 13, 1972 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Common (originally Common Sense) has been one of the most highly influential figures in rap music, keeping the sophisticated lyrical technique and flowing syncopations of jazz-rap alive in an era when the mainstream and hardcore have increasingly threatened to obliterate everything in its path. His outward-looking, nimbly performed rhymes and political consciousness haven't always fit the fashions of rap trends, but his albums have been praised by critics, and he achieved mainstream popularity with...
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Universal Mind Control, Common
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