This project is a statement about the state of America for Black people in the country. It also has a wider message as other minorities will recognise the oppression that Common raps about and relate to it.
The production is smooth and while not being aggressive, reflects how Common feels about the message of each song. It all flows together beautifully with each cohesive song becoming the next effortlessly but with a definite break. With the politically charged nature of this album, the production works beautifully.
The lyricism is smart with Common making poignant comments and striking remarks in his rhymes about a subject close to his heart. He pours his emotions into what he is saying and you can tell he truly believes what he is rapping. There are no issues with Common’s performance at all.
The features do a great job of reinforcing what Common is saying and helping to keep the political message fresh. Each shows talent and works very well within the confines of the theme which helps keep the message clear. For this to work at its best, Common has chosen some of the best guests to make this project great.
Overall, this is a really amazing album with a beyond strong signal to America and the world. Common should be commended for his work here and will hopefully keep campaigning for equality among the human race.
This version of the album is great with all the greatness of the first outing with the addition of extra tracks that take nothing away from the original ones. The great chemistry between the duo continues on all four extra songs.
The production is all as great as it was before with the additional tracks only boosting the cohesiveness of the project overall. The extra songs all still have thier amazing drive and cuts, while the new ones do a really good job of showing that they have even more greatness in the vault. There are no problems with the beat selection on this.
The lyricism is still fantastic with Royce showing his level of consistency on the new tracks. He does not dip for a second and his unique flow help give him the edge over a lot of formulaic rappers out there right now. There are still no problems with what Royce is showing on these tracks.
The features all do a great job fleshing out this album and the extra tracks have the same thing. Each of the guests does a great job of pushing the track onward to further greatness and the comparison to Royce works wonders to boost ability. Some singers could have shown more sides of the duo, but thier selection of people to work with is fantastic.
Overall, this has all the greatness of the original but with the extras on here, it propels it further to stardom. Congratulations on taking something amazing and making it even better.
This is a great album to end 2014 on. Both Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier bring their best to this extremely cohesive album that radiates pure Hip Hop all the way through. The beats and lyrics work very well together to create great songs for a great new debut.
The production is fantastic. DJ Premier has done very well crafting this album’s beats so that they can cause the listener to flashback to older times as well as compare to the new age of Hip Hop production. The tracks can have jarred sounds but are smooth to listen to and creates a very enjoyable listen.
The lyricism is very clever and engrained in the very DNA of the tracks. Royce Da 5’9 does a great job of weaving great images and story telling through the whole project which works well with the production. The wordplay is complex and shows why Royce is considered one of the top lyricists in the rap game today.
The features are excellent. They all bring top level rap to the project without overshadowing the others. Each spins a great verse that strengthens each track without weakening it and it keeps it as a very cohesive project. It is also good to see members of Black Hippy mixing with members of Slaughterhouse considering all that has been discussed about cyphers and battles between them.
Overall, this is a great album that is very cohesive and very entertaining to listen to. Both DJ Premier and Royce have created a project that has all the elements of a rap album that can be enjoyed by all and seen as a milestone in Hip Hop.
This may not be a banging party album, but it has a clear and strong message. The title says it all. This is an album about the state of Chicago and Common’s take on the state of affairs there.
Common brings his signature tones and lyrical ability to every track and he shines on each one. Tracks with features on have good features but Common outshines every single one of them.
The production is mostly dark and edgy, but this fits beautifully with the message of each track. The production ranges between smooth and jarring which leads to a great experience when you listen to the whole album all the way through, It gives you a complete feel on how Common perceives Chicago now and when he was growing up.
Overall, this is a great album and deserves to have great sales and reach high in the charts. Common is a skilled rapper and flourishes on this album.