Inside the Listening Session for Common’s New Album Universal Mind Control


COMMON is known as a lot of things — a conscious rapper, a one-time backpacker and even a starlet (TERMINATOR SALVATION, anyone?) — but electro-dance emcee is a new one for him.

Whether or not it has something to do with his space-agey producers THE NEPTUNES, the Chi-town smooth talker switches it up on his upcoming albums’ first two singles — “ANNOUNCEMENT” (which features a guest verse by PHARRELL) and the title track, “UNIVERSAL MIND CONTROL” — with frenetic, aggressive club beats and a speedier flow. We’re not mad at him for crossing genres; it’s refreshing to see a hip-hop original bridge the gaps in the ever-expanding world of music, and pick up where cats like CEE-LO, ANDRE 3000 and ERYKAH BADU left off.

We had the chance to listen to the entire album (!), but we’re not supposed to talk about that until after it drops on December 9th.

But what we can tell you is that Common has small feet, loves Jimi Hendrix and can’t wait for an Obama presidency. And when we suggested that he dress as ISAAC HAYES for Halloween he just laughed us off — people are always telling him that they look alike.

Come on, you see it too.

Check back for a full album review next month.

– Chloe Leichman