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Old Yeller'd - Common

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By: Brendan Ryan
Common : Sweet : Be : The Dreamer/The Believer : Chicago : Hip Hop

If you hadn't heard by now, Common has a new album coming out, and to promote it he decided to take time out of his day to say bad things about Drake. Drizzy, "Baby you my eahythang" Drake. It's almost as if he felt like he absolutely needed to dis somebody to get his album any publicity at all, so he went after the only dude in the music industry that's softer than he is. If it were me, I'd start shit with Wiz Khalifa, because that dude looks like he never eats. I bet Bieber could knock him out with an open hand.

So Common releases a video for "Sweet," which is equal parts dull and whatever the opposite of sweet is. Sour, I guess. There's shots of Common punching the air in a tight-fitting scoop-neck tee, trying to look tough and younger than 40, while standing on a rooftop that overlooks Uruguay or some other place that's not America. One part in particular stood out to me, and it's this interlude:

"Come around my crib/
You know where I'm from/
(A lot of stuff about guys who sing aka Drake)"

Two things here: Common, I know where you grew up. It's a considerably different neighborhood than the one you now live in. I'm not going to give the exact location of your new digs, but I can't afford to live there. It's pretty ritzy, and this is coming from a guy that lives about a half mile from Rosie O'Donnell, so I'm not exactly slumming it up. I would love to come around your crib, because there's a great cafe there, and I haven't had a decent croissant anywhere else in town. And I know pastry. Drake seems like the kind of person who could appreciate a light, flaky croissant, so if your invitation is sincere, I would suggest he take you up on it. There was some nonsense about killing people in Sweet that was seemingly related to the "come over to my house" bit though, so that could potentially be offputting.

I will not, however, be visiting your former neighborhood, because I don't really know if there are cafes down there, nor do I know what kind of pastry they serve.

Also, can Drake get a pass on the singing if he doesn't sing well? Because he doesn't.

I think at some point you have to just stick to the acting. Seeing Common in Hell on Wheels, half a dozen romantic comedies, and that stupid Ryan Reynolds flick where he carries Alicia Keys out of a hotel even though they both just shot like 40 people has sullied the rap image for me. Now when I see him talking about guns and cars, with a knit cap on even though he's sweating, I'm just confused.

When he was rapping, Common used to assume different personas. He was a roots-rap Chicagoan, he was a neo-soul weirdo, Kanye prodigy, Talib rip-off, positivity rapper, etc. He kept it moving. In movies, he's just... Common. If I see him in a film or TV show, I think to myself "Oh how nice for Common, I'm glad he's getting work." Then I black out until his scene is over because he's possibly the worst actor of all time. So it's odd to me to see him try to affect a different image for this "Sweet" video, because the key to his recent success has been stifling any urge to portray a character in favor of just being himself.

If I were him I would have released a song about how he's Common, he used to live in Chicago but he doesn't really any more (although he maintains a property there for visits), he's been in some things you may have seen, if not go check them out. Plug season 2 of Hell on Wheels, AMC Sundays, and then go on Sway's show and say all that was a subliminal Drake dis. Sway will definitely believe you, because he's had that head wrap wound so tight around his dome for so long that he's cut off all circulation to his brain. That way you can eliminate all the swearing, start doing children's movies, and get that Ice Cube money. shit, Common could be the next triple X.

It just doesn't make any sense. Common is really too old to be doing this. I realize he's hooked up with Kanye, who's made him a lot of money, so he's got to put on appearances and try to sell records, but this album is going to suck. I think a third wind is too much to ask for. The people who matter all remember Resurrection, and Be was a very surprising effort. I mean, you got T.O. in your video, what else could you possibly hope to achieve?

What we're seeing with Common is the last breath of a dead era. I hear that when people die, they empty all the air out of their lungs, their eyes open, and they piss and shit themselves. Common's new album is the musical equivalent of that. I've had a lot of good times with Common records, and had some amazing nights seeing him live around the city. I'm cool with that. I have no desire to listen to this new album, I just want to go back to ignoring his lackluster performances in terrible movies. I heard this whole fight is about Serena Williams, as if that makes sense. She scares me. One of her legs weighs as much as I do, and I'm 6'1". She looks like she could kick a Clydesdale to death.

I just wanna Be.

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