It’s Tuesday night, May 24 and Common is celebrating the release of
his sixth album, BE with a live performance at SOB’s in Manhattan.
Staying true to the album’s theme, Basement Experience, Common sets an
intimate, chillin-with-my-peeps kind of vibe, backed by musicians Karieem Riggins, Omar Edwards and Brooklyn’s DJ Dummy.
Soon after, he’s joined on stage by Blackstar’s Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Common and Talib run through their verses from Kanye West’s “Get Em High”, Talib solo’s “Get By” and Mos croons “Umi Says.”
Of course, Common delivers gems like “Go!,” “Testify,” “Chi-City” and “They Say,” from his new album, which was executive-produced by Kanye West and features two tracks by Jay Dilla. But he also drops classics like “The Light.” More surprise guests include Bilal, Music Soulchild and Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets for the finale of “The Corner.” For diehard fans, Common even returns to the corner, kicking impressive freestyle about still loving H.E.R., going Platinum and Mos Def‘s acting career. Fans were also treated to a Mos Def freestyle, turntable wizardry courtesy of DJ Dummy and a sex-symbol skit starring Common and a female fan plucked from the audience.
Though heads said he fell off with Electric Circus, BE is stacked with crack production from Kanye and has already scored a classic album review in XXL. But don’t call it a comeback. Common’s been here for years.