Common has created yet another masterpiece with Black America Again“. The project starts with a rousing introduction on the song “Joy and Peace.” It sounds like an opening prayer as Bilal’s layered vocals fill the track towards the end. There is a strong political message throughout the project, speaking to politicians and citizens to take responsibility for the change that is necessary. Common has not veered away from what has kept him relevant in the industry for over two decades. He is a lyricist with a conscious, who uses his platform for change.
The song “Black America Again” is an impassioned poem/song that pays respect to Trayvon Martin and any and every injustice that continues to be an issue in the Black community. The song points a finger but it doesn’t absolve anyone of their actions. “We hold these truths to be self-evident all men and women are created equal including Black Americans,” Common raps. Stevie Wonders blends in toward the latter part of the track, singing “We are re-writing the Black American story.”
“Love Star” (feat Marsha Ambrosious and PJ) along with “Red Wine” (feat Syd and Elena) give the ladies what they expect from Common. Both songs convey that smooth Chicago vibe that is ever present in his work. “Pyramids” is the song for the emcees, and a few of the verses and acrobatics that you hear in this joint can explain why Common is in many Top 5 discussions. In one verse, he spits, “Shift the paradigm with a pair a rhymes.” That lyric in itself speaks volumes to who Common understands himself to be and what he is here to do.
There is an honesty and authenticity that lives in this project. It’s fluid. Every lyric, drum, horn and interlude is purposeful. It manages to deliver a much-needed message without sounding like a sermon.
Black America Again is unapologetically Black and undeniably hip hop.