Can I Borrow a Dollar?

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Can I Borrow a Dollar?
Common - Can I Borrow a Dollar.jpg
Studio album by Common Sense
Released October 6, 1992
Recorded 1991-1992
Genre Hip hop, Midwest hip hop
Length 49:34
Label Relativity Records
Producer No I.D. (Immenslope)
The Beatnuts
Twilite Tone
Common chronology
Can I Borrow a Dollar?
Singles from Can I Borrow a Dollar?
  1. "Take It EZ"
    Released: September 4, 1992
  2. "Breaker 1/9"
    Released: January 12, 1993
  3. "Soul by the Pound"
    Released: July 13, 1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
RapReviews (7/10)[2]
Rhapsody (favorable)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[4]
The Source 3.5/5 stars[5]
WordPress (favorable)[6]

Can I Borrow a Dollar? is the 1992 debut album by Chicago rapper Common (then known as Common Sense), released in the United States on October 6, 1992. The album was entirely produced by No I.D (then called Immenslope) and Twilite Tone, with addictional production by The Beatnuts. It contains guest vocals from Immenslope, Miss Jones and Common's then-girlfriend Rayshel. Entertainment Weekly's Neil Drumming described it as "a clever but little-noticed first album".[7]



In 1991, a feature was written about Common in the Unsigned Hype section of The Source. Relativity Records soon signed Common, and prepared to release three singles for his debut album. The first and best-charting single was 1992's "Take It EZ". It reached #5 on the Hot Rap Singles chart while his next two singles, "Breaker 1/9" and "Soul by the Pound," reached #10 and #7 respectively. All of these singles combined to give Common a strong underground reputation prior to the album's release.[8]


Can I Borrow A Dollar? shows Common's early style of rapping; namely a sing-songy and inflection-heavy vocal delivery, as well as lyrics packed with word play and popular culture allusions.[1][2] The album's production, utilizing samples, keyboards, and drum breaks prominently, tends to be minimalistic, jazzy and laid back.[1] The Source called the production top notch.[5] Although receiving a lukewarm reception, Stanton Swihart of Allmusic considers it to have put Chicago hip hop on the map and to be an underrated debut album. [1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "A Penny for My Thoughts"   Common, Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Kenny Aaronson (bass) 4:23
2. "Charms Alarm"   Common 4:30
3. "Take It EZ"   Common, Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Tony Orbach (saxophone) 4:08
4. "Heidi Hoe"   Common 4:29
5. "Breaker 1/9"   Common 4:01
6. "Two Scoops of Raisins"   Common, Immenslope, Kenny Aaronson (bass) 5:28
7. "No Defense"   Common 1:14
8. "Blows to the Temple"   Common 4:39
9. "Just in the Nick of Rhyme"   Common 2:30
10. "Tricks Up My Sleeve"   Common, Rayshel, Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Kenny Aaronson (bass) 3:21
11. "Puppy Chow"   Common, Miss Jones (background vocals) 4:01
12. "Soul by the Pound"   Common 4:20
13. "Pitchin' Pennies"   Common 1:58

Chart positions[edit]

Album chart positions[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
1993 Can I Borrow a Dollar? 70

Singles chart positions[edit]

Year Song Chart positions
Hot Rap Singles
1992 "Take It EZ" 5
1993 "Breaker 1/9" 10
1993 "Soul by the Pound" 7


  1. ^ a b c d Swihart, Stanton. "Can I Borrow a Dollar? - Common Sense". Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Jost, Matt. "Can I Borrow a Dollar? Review at". Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  3. ^ Rhapsody review
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 187. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  5. ^ a b Album reviews at CD Universe
  6. ^ WordPress review
  7. ^ Drumming, Neil (May 30, 2005). "Confidence Man at". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2007. 
  8. ^ Huey, Steve. "Common Biography at Allmusic". Retrieved March 24, 2007.