The People (Common song)

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"The People"
Single by Common
from the album Finding Forever
B-side "The Game"
Released May 22, 2007
Format 12", CD single, digital download, vinyl
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:31
Label GOOD Music, Geffen
Writer(s) Lonnie Lynn, Kanye West
Producer(s) Kanye West
Common singles chronology
"A Dream"
(2006)
"The People"
(2007)
"The Game"
(2007)

"The People" is a song by American rapper Common, released as the lead single of his seventh studio album Finding Forever. It made its first appearance on Kanye West's Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape. The song features production by West and contains background vocals provided by soul singer Dwele. The original version of the song had Common singing the hook by himself, but this was later replaced with Dwele singing the hook. It contains samples of "We Almost Lost Detroit" by Gil Scott-Heron as well as vocal samples of "Long Red" by Mountain (the latter of which was sampled on Wouldn't Get Far featuring West).[1] This action was part of West's intention to pay tribute to J Dilla through the production style expressed within the album.[2][3]

Though it performed moderately on the charts, "The People" became one of the most critically acclaimed songs of the year. The song was listed at number twenty-nine on Rolling Stone's the 100 Best Songs of 2007.[4] It also received a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "The People" was directed by NEON and filmed in Brooklyn, NY with footage from Chicago, IL. The video premiered on June 22 on Y! Music and features stills of Common rapping in the middle of a field on the outskirts of the city, interspersed with scenes of various locations throughout the metropolis.

Track listing[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Information taken from Finding Forever liner notes.[1]

  • Songwriters: Lonnie Lynn, Kanye West, Gil Scott-Heron
  • Producer: Kanye West
  • Recorder: Andrew Dawson
  • Mix engineer: Mike Dean
  • Callowhill electric bass: Derrick Hodge
  • Keyboards: Omar Edwards
  • Background vocals: Dwele

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 11[5]
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 55[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Finding Forever (Media notes). Common. Geffen Records. 2007. 
  2. ^ "Track by Track: Common's Finding Forever from Fader Magazine". Retrieved June 11, 2007. 
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Jayson (2007-04-11). "Kanye West, Lily Allen Finding Something In Common". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved June 13, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2007". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  5. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles – The People". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-08-25. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – The People". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-10-13. [dead link]