Resurrection (Common album)
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|Studio album by Common Sense|
|Released||October 4, 1994|
|Genre||Hip hop, jazz rap, alternative hip hop|
|Producer||No I.D., Ynot|
|Common Sense chronology|
Resurrection is the second album by American rapper Common (at the time, who was known as Common Sense). It was released on October 4, 1994, by Relativity Records. The album received critical acclaim, but not a significant amount of mainstream attention. Resurrection was entirely produced by No I.D. (who also produced the bulk of Can I Borrow A Dollar?). In 1994, the record was originally rated 3.5 mics in The Source. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums .
The album is divided into two sections; the "East Side of Stony" (tracks 1-7) and "West Side of Stony" (tracks 8-15). Stony Island Avenue is a street that runs through the South Side of Chicago, where Common was raised. The closing track, "Pop's Rap" was the first of a series of tracks featuring spoken word and poetry by Common's father, Lonnie "Pops" Lynn, which Common has used to close several of his albums since. Interlaced throughout the album are short interludes which form a loose narrative concerning day-to-day life on the South Side.
Songs such as "Thisisme", are full of self-assessing raps that reflect the rapper's personal growth since 1992's Can I Borrow A Dollar?. Likewise the crasser moments found on that LP, such as the misogynistic "Heidi Hoe" are greatly toned down for Resurrection, and replaced by thought-provoking narratives such as "Chapter 13 (Rich Man Vs. Poor Man)", and "I Used to Love H.E.R." - a song that re-imagines Hip hop as a formerly unadulterated woman, led astray after being enticed by materialistic elements of life. The use of a conflicted woman as an allegory for Hip hop allowed Common to covertly express his disdain at the genre's turn towards gangsta rap inspired content, and what he saw as the resulting reorientation of rap artists.
This song, which brought Common to the attention of fans and music critics alike, would also become the cause of a rift between the rapper and West Coast emcee Ice Cube, who took exception to the insinuation that the West Coast pioneered style of gangsta rap was detrimental to Hip hop - even going as far as to claim that Hip hop altogether "started in the West". Together with his Westside Connection compatriots, Cube hurled insults Common's way on the song "Westside Slaughterhouse" and throughout their album Bow Down, to which the rapper replied with the equally venomous "The Bitch in Yoo". In the aftermath of the murders of both Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., the rivalry would be settled out of public view at a peacemaking function held by Louis Farrakhan at his home.
The lyricism of Resurrection is acclaimed. Using a combination of irony and double entendre, the rapper related on "Book of Life":
- They say become a doctor, but I don't have the patience
- Adjacent to that situation
- I want an occupation that I'm into
- 'Cause yet if I begin to
- Live to my potential
- I went to school for fourteen years and my best teacher was experience
In The Source, Chairman Mao wrote that "Common Sense presents a thinking man's perspective on rhyming that's admirably down to earth and free of gimmicks". Common's style of delivery, speedy and somewhat erratic on Can I Borrow, is here smoother and more evenly paced. As before he occasionally ventures into a faux-singing mode, albeit less frequently (for example, he quotes the refrain of "Get Up, Stand Up" in "Book of Life"). Many of the songs hooks are provided by scratches and samples.
For Resurrection, producer No I.D. polished up on the production techniques from Can I Borrow, providing for Common, a canvas full of lush jazz samples, deep, throbbing basslines, dusty, thumping drums, and crackling snares. With the majority of tracks handled by one producer (the exceptions being "Chapter 13" and "Sum Shit I Wrote" by Ynot), the album maintains a cohesive feel and fluid sequencing. Fans of No I.D. often cite this album as his best work.
The sounds range from the upbeat ("Communism") to the downbeat (""Nuthin' To Do""), and from the smooth and sleek ("I Used to Love H.E.R."), to the rugged ("Sum Shit I Wrote"). Similar to other Hip hop productions of the time, the sources for many of the samples are from less obvious choices such as The New Apocalypse, and their cover of "Get Out Of My Life, Woman", which is used for the song "Watermelon".
Reception and aftermath
Resurrection is frequently held to be a classic album by rap critics. This album signified both the arrival of a level of maturity in Common's work, and yet the end of his first phase, which was characterized by a more straightforward, and underground based sound. Subsequent albums by the rapper would see him delving into experimentation and themes such as love, which perhaps marks his second phase.
In the Rolling Stone review, Touré wrote of the album: "Resurrection belongs among the best recent hardcore albums: Illmatic, by Nas, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), by Wu-Tang Clan, and Ready to Die, by the Notorious B.I.G.." Despite the acclaim, the album sold poorly, barely charting inside of the Billboard 200. The album sold 2,000 copies and was dropped from the billboard charts.
|2||"I Used to Love H.E.R."||4:39||Common|
|4||"Book of Life"||5:06||Common|
|5||"In My Own World (Check the Method)"||3:32||Common & No I.D.|
|6||"Another Wasted Nite With..."||1:02||Common|
|7||"Nuthin' to Do"||5:20||Common|
|9||"WMOE"||0:34||Common & Mohammed Ali||
|11||"Orange Pineapple Juice"||3:28||Common|
|12||"Chapter 13 (Rich Man Vs. Poor Man)"||5:23||Common & Ynot|
|14||"Sum Shit I Wrote"||4:31||Common|
|15||"Pop's Rap"||3:22||Lonnie "Pops" Lynn|
Album chart positions
Singles chart positions
|Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||Hot Rap Singles||Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales|
|1994||"I Used to Love H.E.R."||91||31||34|
- The album was originally released under Common's original stage name, "Common Sense." However, the "Sense" has since been dropped from the album's listings because of a legal case between Common and a ska band named Common Sense.
- The song "Thisisme" is used as the name for Common's greatest hits compilation, Thisisme Then: The Best of Common.
- Chairman Mao (October 1994) Original Album Review. The Source.
- ~~~~ www.rocklist.net ~~~~
- Coleman, Brian. Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villard/Random House, 2007.
- Henderson, Alex (1994-10-25). "Resurrection - Common". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "CG: Common Sense". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Resurrection". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- Simelane, Vukile (2002-07-20). "Common Sense :: Resurrection :: Relativity Records". RapReviews. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- "Common - Resurrection CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- Chennault, Sam. "Music: Resurrection by Common". Rhapsody. Archived from the original on 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- Toure (1995-02-09). "Resurrection | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Classic Review : Resurrection in The Source (1994) « Press Rewind If I Haven't…". Ifihavent.wordpress.com. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- Vibe - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Common Video, Pictures, Biography". AskMen. 1972-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-07.