Common Previews “Universal Mind Control” for DJBooth.net
To control the minds of your listeners, you need not only superb lyrical abilities, but a musical backdrop that can take the listeners to a realm of symphonic bliss. Common is back with his 8th studio recording, entitled Universal Mind Control, a relatively short but adventurous and nostalgic journey through the many metamorphoses that brought hip hop from its origins to what it is today.
DJBooth was invited to preview the 10-track recording, and the experience was nothing short of a trip to a hip-hop version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Over production by the Neptunes, with three tracks coming from Mr. DJ of Dungeon Ratz Productions, Common channels flows reminiscent of Afrika Bambaataa, but goes a bit light on his usual socially-conscious subject matter.
Universal Mind Control’s eponymous first single finds Common playing with flows and venturing from his time-tested rhyme style. The album diverges considerably from his last two studio efforts, the Kanye-produced Be, and most recently Finding Forever. Radio-friendliness may have not been the intention for this album, but the up-tempo synths and thumping bass tracks may make it Common’s highest-charting release to date.
Fans of Common’s Resurrection days shouldn’t be completely disappointed though; Common still has the skills to silence the skeptics, and he proves it on tracks like “The Announcement”, “Gladiator”, and “Inhale.” There is a lot of rock influence on this disc, and tracks like “What a World” and “Everywhere” have a Gnarls Barkley-esque feel. Lonnie Lynn, however, is no biter; by pulling together a beautiful collage of hip hop that pays homage to the genre's origins, Common shows his ability to create truly universal music.
Written by Mikey Fresh on 10/24/08
You Might Like...
- The Hip-Hop Albums I Need to Hear in 2015
- 4 Fresh Songs (& An Album) You Might Have Missed (12/15)
- Meet Fanesha Fabre, the Voice Behind the “La Musica De Harry Fraud” Drop
- 1 Listen Album Review: Nicki Minaj’s (Kinda Boring) “The Pinkprint”
- Mike WiLL Made-It - Ransom
- All 93 People Named on J. Cole’s “Note To Self” Outro
- 1 Listen Album Review: J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” (aka F*cking Up Hip-Hop)
- The Most Sampled Rapper Voices in Hip-Hop History
- Your Favorite Indie Rapper is Secretly Signed to a Major Label
- The DJBooth - Top Prospects EP (Vol. 2)
- The Best Hip-Hop & R&B Songs of 2014 (Ongoing)
Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.