Can I Borrow a Dollar?

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Can I Borrow a Dollar?
Can I Borrow a Dollar.png
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 6, 1992
GenreHip hop
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
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]
The Source[5]

Can I Borrow a Dollar? is the debut studio album by American rapper Common Sense, now known as Common, which was released on October 6, 1992, by Relativity Records. The album was entirely produced by No I.D. (then called Immenslope) and The Twilite Tone, with additional production by The Beatnuts, and includes 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]

1."A Penny for My Thoughts"Common (rap vocals), Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Kenny Aaronson (bass guitar)4:23
2."Charms Alarm"Common4:30
3."Take It EZ"Common (rap vocals), Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Tony Orbach (saxophone)4:08
4."Heidi Hoe"Common4:29
5."Breaker 1/9"Common4:01
6."Two Scoops of Raisins"Common, Immenslope (rap vocals), Kenny Aaronson (bass guitar)5:28
7."No Defense"Common1:14
8."Blows to the Temple"Common4:39
9."Just in the Nick of Rhyme"Common2:30
10."Tricks Up My Sleeve"Common, Rayshel (rap vocals), Lenny Underwood (keyboards), Kenny Aaronson (bass guitar)3:21
11."Puppy Chow"Common (rap vocals), Tarsha Jones (background vocals)4:01
12."Soul by the Pound"Common4:20
13."Pitchin' Pennies"Common1:58

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 Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  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. rolling stone common album guide.
  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.