In a time where positive, conscious and intelligent Hip-Hop and Rap albums are scarce, Common (a.k.a. Lonnie Rashid Lynn), is bringing back some much needed positive and soulful rhymes to the Hip-Hop world. Common’s choice to re-connect musically with his old producer friend, No ID from Chicago on “The Dreamer, The Believer” is truly a sonic marriage made in heaven. In fact the last time No ID produced one of Common’s cd’s was 1997’s, “It’ll all make sense in the end”, which is arguably one of the last, most solidly consistently good albums from Common, other than Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate”(2000).
However, I think what sets apart “The Dreamer, The Believer” from “Like Water For Chocolate” is that this album is almost entirely tracks written and performed by Common, with the exception of a few collaborations, such as, “The Dreamer”, which features a few inspirational lines; “Ghetto Dreams”, featuring Nas and “The Believer”, featuring John Legend. Moreover, Common seems to really be at the top of his game lyrically and spiritually on this album. For instance, some of my favourite tracks from “The Dreamer, The Believer” are: “The Dreamer” (featuring Maya Angelou); “Ghetto Dreams” (featuring Nas); “So Sweet”, and “The Believer” (featuring John Legend).
Furthermore, Common’s “The Dreamer, The Believer” is such a timeless bonafide classic Hip-Hop album, because the album is filled with incredibly poetic, intelligent and inspirational rhymes that any fan of music could appreciate. For instance, in terms of inspirational lines, one of my favourite lines from Common’s “The Dreamer, The Believer” is on “The Dreamer”, when Common raps “I rhyme for the commoners, my name is synonymous with draminous; I am Hip-Hop, but Obama is the politics”. Also on the “Dreamer”, Common raps: “at the mountain top, you still gotta dream for the dreamer”. However, personally the most inspiring track on “The Dreamer, The Believer”, was “The Believer”, which features a heavenly main vocal chorus from John Legend and on “The Believer”, Common rhymes about how he has hope for all of the people, and in particular, Black people who are going through struggles in these difficult economic times, and believes that they will rise like the kings before.
All in all, Common has clearly laid his heart and soul out on “The Dreamer, The Believer” and this album only reconfirms those in doubt that Common is one of the most soulful, poetic and inspiring emcees to ever walk this earth.