Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Something in Common

You might know Common as the Chicagoan rapper who was vilified by Fox News after being invited to the White House earlier this year (he did record a duet with Lily Allen, so I have some sympathy with their position).

He's nothing of the sort, of course. If you want lyrics about blunts and hos and brutal murders, Common is not your go-to guy. He's more likely to be recording sappy love songs or pleas for social responsibility. The People, an album cut from his Kanye West-produced album Be, is a tribute to the "unsung heroes" of the ghetto who are "tryin' to stay legal" (it is also the only rap record to namecheck Finding Nemo).

Common's new single, Sweet, is not in that tradition. It's one of those "I'm the greatest rapper and you are a poo rapper with a stinky bum" tracks. Even here, however, the rapper's lyrical dexterity sets him apart. My favourite line: "I'm a breath of fresh air for all you asthmatic rap addicts".

The video was shot in Haiti... If you wanted to watch it in the first 24 hours, you had to pay a $1 donation to the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation. Maybe you still should?

Common - Sweet

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