Warner Bros. Records releases Grammy award winning rapper, actor, and author Commons highly anticipated album The Dreamer, The Believer. Common has been a fabulous partner for the Warner Bros. label, says Warner Bros. Co-President and CEO Todd Moscowitz. His cross-over appeal, work ethic, and heightened visibility, have allowed us to maximize his exposure and cross market him not only to his core but to a broader fanbase. Joie Manda, head of Warner Bros. Urban division further adds, Common deserves his spot in the history books as one of the best rappers to ever do it. Anyone who does not have this album is missing out on a true body of work.
Reviews of The Dreamer, The Believer have been nothing short of stellar. SPIN Magazine gave the album an 8 of 10 rating while Entertainment Weekly listed the album in The Must List: The Top 10 Things We Love This Week. The Chicago Sun-Times finds the spirited and soulful album a U-turn to reconnect with his South Side roots following 2008s Universal Mind Control while the Chicago Tribune applauds the effort for returning to his 90s foundation: uplifting songs about everyday folks rising above their circumstances. The Associated Press comments further chimes in, In all, the combination of Common and No I.D. make The Dreamer, The Believer work. The rapper finds balance with his complex lyrics and supplies a clear message that all dreams can be achieved with an unwavering belief system in yourself. In their review of his New York album listening session last week, The Village Voice exclaimed, The sleeping giant has been awakened. The Dreamer, The Believer puts Common back on the proverbial hip-hop map[.] No matter whether he really ever left in the first place, this is where he belongs. This week, Complex Magazine named the record in their Top 25 Album of 2011 stating that Common remains one of the best pure emcess in hip-hop, still spitting that raw after two decades in the game. With his new album, The Dreamer, The Believer, the Chicago-getter is back to doing what he does best: flowing over rugged breakbeats.
The album is a full-circle journey through life, love and reality. I wanted to make an album that everyone could relate to and also showcases my experiences. My career has taken many directions in the past couple of years as well as my personal life, reflects Common. The lead single Blue Sky touches on the importance of reaching for your goals despite your current circumstance: Daylight beams, night-life schemes/ This is my inception I'm writing my dreams. Elsewhere, Cloth demonstrates a symbolic view of relationships and the belief that your mate has to be cut from the same values and beliefs (We can cover each other through the coldest nights/ Tight, never smother, It's two things that seems to hold us together/ God is our tailor and forever), while Raw (How You Like It) is a throwback to real hip-hop battles and natural bravado (Dude got vile like crack in the 80's/ You don't want to test this yo/ You never know who got a tech up in the disco). Common takes to his nay-sayers and frustration with the commodification of hip-hop on Sweet which is arguably the most contentious record on the album: My name synonymous with prominence/ I'm the hip hop what Obama is to politics. Lovin I Lost, one of the more personal records on the album, touches on his very public relationships (How could someone you to talk to each and everyday, that you about to marry be on their merry way?/ I'm singin' through the pain like I was Mary J.
Guests for the 12-track album includes the honorable Maya Angelou who showcases her prowess with an original poem on the opening track The Dreamer, hip-hop legend and traditionalist emcee Nas who rounds out the evocative storytelling record Ghetto Dreams, soul crooner John Legend who is featured on the uplifting track The Believer, and Commons own father Lonnie Pops Lynn who gives a Gil Scott-Heron inspired benediction to close out the album. All production for this cinematic journey is at the hands of longtime friend and renowned producer NO I.D.
Without a traditional radio set-up for the album, Common relied on the strength of his music and the viral support of his fans to push the record and its contents. Following a real-time performance and interview at Youtubes headquarters, Common received monumental praise for the record which resulted in the emcess previewing the entire album one week before its release. I thought it was important to reach my true fans, they motivate me, reveals Common. I am rooted in hip-hop and the blogs keep me on my toes. They dont bite their tongues.
Leading up to the release, Common has made a number of highly-visible appearances including a Haiti-inspired documentary for CNN Heroes, a panel position on HBOs Real Time Bill Maher, a performance tribute to GrandMaster Flash with LL Cool J, Rick Ross, and Lupe Fiasco at the 43rd Annual Grammy Nominations Special, a resounding performance of Blue Sky with Marsha Ambrosius at the 40th Anniversary Special of the Soul Train Awards, and even gracing the couch of Chelsea Lately. Upcoming appearances include BET Honors and 106 and Park, Wendy Williams, the VH1 Divas Live special on December 19th, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on January 12th, Live! With Kelly on January 13th, BET Honors, the Kennedy Center Honors special, and even a cooking segment showcasing his lifestyle regiment on ABCs The Chew on December 22nd. Common can currently be seen on the covers of Michigan Avenue , JET Magazine and M Musician Magazine. Fans can catch him this week in front of a packed house at the Spotify sponsored Highline Ballroom in New York City on Monday December 19th or at the sold-out House Of Blues show on December 21st.
Common also stars in the AMC series, Hell on Wheels, which premiered to the second highest ratings the network has ever had. Common plays the role of Elam , a freed slave who comes west in post-Civil War America seeking work on the Transcontinental Railroad. Common has also recently finished filming the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture fantasy film The Odd Life of Timothy Green alongside Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and Ron Livingston. Next up, Common will star alongside Danny Glover and Michael Rainey Jr. in L.U.V. as Uncle Vincent, a troubled ex-con who finds companionship with his shy 13-year-old nephew. Also serving as a producer on the film, Common will travel to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where L.U.V. has been accepted to the U.S. Dramatic Competition.