At this point Common is the rap version of electricity. He's been around for so long, become so prevalent, that we take him for granted, forget what an integral part of hip-hop he's been, and is. Phife Dawg's passing was a reminder to appreciate hip-hop greatness while its still in front of us, and that's why we did a double take when Common revealed that he's working on a new album on Kelly and Michael this morning.
After the usual morning show shatter and scripted joke, Common did one of his first rhymes ever and then had this to say about a new album.
I'm so excited. I'm working on a new project with this great, talented producer named Kariem Riggins. Man, I just feel good about the music. And Robert Glasper, whose a great musician, a pianist, I'm working with them."
This being a national morning show and not Microphone Check, they of course immediately cut to a commercial and never returned to learn more about the album, but the mere knowledge that a new Common album is on the way is big news. Let's not forget just how good 2014's Nobody's Smiling was, and the fact that he's working with Robert Glasper, who hip-hop heads likely know best for his work on To Pimp a Butterfly, and Karriem Riggins, who's worked with the likes of Kanye, Dilla and many more, means we could be in for one of the best albums of Common's career. (Which is, obviously, Be. Obviously.)
What if Common, Kanye, Lupe and Chance all put out new albums this year? Chicago just can't be stopped these days, and neither can Common. Let's not take that for granted.