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[whitespace] Common

Spring Music Guide 2003


Support: Talib Kweli, Goapele, Marques Houston

Date: March 16, 8pm. $35. The Fillmore, 1805 Geary St., San Francisco. 415.346.6000

Current Album: Electric Circus (MCA, 2002)

Vitals: Chicago-based rapper discovers power of music and rediscovers inner self.

Breakthrough: "I Used to Love H.E.R." (1992)

Current Single: "Come Close to Me" (2002)

Scouting Report: Despite his name, there's nothing ordinary about this Chicago-born microphone mathematician. He carved out a niche as one of the most gifted MCs in hip-hop before submitting to and departing on a musical journey on par with Marvin Gaye's. Many rappers would permanently give up their whips and chicks to record an album like Common's high-water marks: Resurrection, Like Water for Chocolate and One Day, It'll All Make Sense. Rather than bank on his wealthy rhyme skills and record the same album over and over, Com reinvents himself each time. His latest album, Electric Circus, focuses on the music more than ever, thanks to co-producer Ahmir "?uestluv" Thompson of the Roots. There are faint shoutouts to Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and Pink Floyd. Common even looks like the old-school folkies he's emulating (Ritchie Havens, especially). But don't play Common for soft. He's still got the power to rip MCs to pieces and piss people off--as he did when he launched into an anti-gay tirade during a 2000 San Francisco visit. But Common gets people to listen, dissect and deconstruct every word, and that's a rare trait among MCs these days. (TI)

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From the March 6-12, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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