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Forum nameOkay Artist Archives
Topic subjectCommon revolutionary?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=19&topic_id=15414
15414, Common revolutionary?
Posted by Federisco, Wed Jul-25-01 12:43 AM
How revolutionary do you see common as?
When i saw him in norway he seemed very revolutionary to me. Compared to other american hiphop artists who only talk about their problems, common was global

"Brand Nubian and Common - Maybe one day" is much more revolutionary than what most other rappers can come up with. ("Revolutinary is like a pussy, i try to stay up in it".. what does he mean with that?). And that he is as international as he is puts him one more level above the others (see, when other rappers talk about their situation, common's message can work on all continents)!

What you think?
15415, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by guest, Wed Jul-25-01 04:28 AM
I think I don't like Norwegians... I'm in Sweden. And I'm just kiddin', don't take offence.

I think that Common is reactionary rather than revolutionary. His lyrics tread a fine line between classic braggadocio hip-hop and judgment on the state of the art in its current form, and comment on the social circumstances of the black american population. common is an artist first, an activist second. You should listen to Dead Prez. Their album, on the other hand, is not really a work of music, it's a manifesto detailing a way to live life. Those guys are - I would say - revolutionary, though one is not necessarily any better than the other, just different approaches to solve the same problem. Bear in mind that these are all only opinions.

The thing about staying up in the pussy, is classic Com. The dude likes revolution as much as he likes sex. Actually, whenever he likes anything, he relates it to his basic need for procreation. Word, just listen to the whole of "Thelonius". And when he doesn't, he relates it to homosexuals, the now classic example being the line in "Dooinnit" where he says "in a circle of faggots, your name is mentiones".
Like it or not, one has to respect the fact that the guy says what he thinks.
15416, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by Federisco, Wed Jul-25-01 05:00 AM
Ahhhh you answered even better than i hoped for! I had dead prez on my mind when i posted the thread. But i also had my mind fixed on that a revolutionary should be able to tell his message to a greater crowd than his home crowd. Dead prez can't do that, they wouldnt do it as well in stockholm as they do in philly. (Sweedish hiphoppers would be off the hook, but dead prez' message is more for the african american, not for the african sweede or the sweede.)

Common is far better than most overground rappers in USA because his message is better, yep? But the revolutionary that i thought about would be both activist and global --- what are the chances for a person to be both that, and do it well?! (plus would we need one having both things anyways..) Common and Dead Prez got one of those two sides but not both: dead prez are more active than global and Common is more global than active (i have a feeling he pretends to be more activist than he is... that mofo!!!)

Hehe i start not liking the man more and more..... he had me fooled there. But it was good job of him with the che guevarra shirt and the hard look and raised fist, he made the show good.

>The dude likes revolution as
>much as he likes sex.



>Actually, whenever he likes anything,
>he relates it to his
>basic need for procreation. And when
>he doesn't, he relates it to

15417, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by guest, Wed Jul-25-01 09:59 AM
Sant, jag e inte sjuk, bara svensk.

Inga noeman-skämt här, det får vara.

Anyways, the message being presented by most of these artists is a reaction towards the erroneous belief that being black is somehow a source of shame, when indeed it's a source of pride. If you're into this type of stuff, you need to get some Rawkus stuff, man, especially Kweli&Hi-Tek and Mos Def (and Black Star). Whereas Common concentrates his efforts on judgement of hip-hop as an artform, Kweli concentrates on the strengths of the black people. "For Women" by Reflection Eternal is a brilliant piece of music, and one that holds several layers of meaning, not leasst in its circular meditation on the development of black culture. Black Star's "Thieves in the Night" has one of my all-time favourite rhymes, detailing the inherent contradictions of african-americans. What these artists have in common is a use of their music to say something, as if the impact of the spoken word is multiplied when combined with music.

The thing is, you wouldn't really consider Common as a commercial rapper. So far he hasn't shifted sufficient copies o warrant that and before LWFC, most people didn't know who he was. But it's interesting that he's Kwelis inspiration and favourite rapper. This type of hip-hop is moving up from the underground and creating a place for itself, but Common, I feel, is experiencing this at a point in his life when he wants to grow musically as well as finding a larger audience. Therefore mabe the message that's being presented is less revolutionary than it was back when Resurrection came out.

Artists like Dead Prez get occasional flak for being too revolutionary, and artists like Common get occasional flak for not being revolutionary enough. So where's the the line that these people apparently keep falling short of?

"Not strong, only aggresive 'cause the power ain't directed
That's why we are subjected to the will of the oppressor
Not free, we only licensed not live, we just exciting
'Cause the captors own the masters to what we're writing
Not compassionate, only polite we're well-trained
Our sincerity rehearsed on the stage it's just a game
Not good, but well-behaved because the cameras survey
Most of the things that we think, do or say"

Mos Def, Black Star "Thieves in the Night"
15418, up
Posted by Federisco, Fri Jul-27-01 01:02 AM
she goes, because of soulswede's posts alone. I hope someone else will answer him, or is what he says common knowledge for most okayplayers?
15419, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by Federisco, Wed Jul-25-01 05:05 AM
>I think I don't like Norwegians...
>I'm in Sweden. And I'm
>just kiddin', don't take offence.

No offence taken.. :)
*sjunger "jag e inta sjuuk, jag e bara svensk"*

15420, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by pey, Thu Jul-26-01 04:17 AM
>I think I don't like Norwegians...
>I'm in Sweden. And I'm
>just kiddin', don't take offence.

dieeeeeeeee, you filthy swede. dieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
just kiddin', don't take offence. ;-)

15421, RE: Common revolutionary? Yup
Posted by guest, Wed Jul-25-01 11:08 AM
Anybody who stands for free expression for Black people is revolutionary to me.

"If your man is cuter than me then why you fucking with me!!!!" (Me to some Jawn)

Shit that I'm listening to:

1)Erasure: The Innocents
2)Blur: Blur
3)Galaxie 500: On Fire
4)The Cure: Galore The Singles
5)David Bowie: Low
6)Big Youth Box Set
7)Various: Paris is Sleeping Respect is Burning vol.2
8)Ken Ishii: X-Mix
9)Sonic Youth: Sister
10)My Homemade Radio Mix Tape featuring:
Echo and The Bunnymen, Herbie Hancock, GayDad, The Rentals, Weezer etc.

Top ten Genres that the "Cool People" in your school will laugh at you for not knowing about as well as the responses that you are liable to hear when disscussing them.

1)Brit-Pop: "Yeah they pretty much sound the same"
2)Detroit Techno: "Yeah they were Black shocked me too!!!!"
3)Neo-Soul: "I guess it is time for me to grow dreads!"
4)Dub: "No not Bob Marley"
5)Indie Rock: "Well Grunge was sorta like the mommy and Sub-pop and SST were the stork"
6)Underground Hip Hop: "I don't usually like Rap but..."
7)Two-Step: "God England is soooo cool!"
8)Nu-Metal: "Don't worry it'll be over soon"
9)European Free Jazz: "Sure it's cool I read this interview with Thurston Moore..."
10)Shoegazing: "Just remember the term 'etheral melodies' "

And now a word from Cam'ron:
"I'm in the whip,pedal smashing it Mase went to church settled down imagine it who me? Devil's advocate!"
15422, RE: Common revolutionary? Yup
Posted by GOD, Sat Jul-28-01 11:49 AM
I am quite possibly the world's biggest common fan but what has he ever done to make him revolution. He critique's consumerism and goes to cuba but he appears in Reebok ads. Wearing Ché t-shirts and pumping black fists is not revolutionary. Being an ative homophobic (he frequently uses the word faggot to refer to homosexuals and to other people he deems unfavorable) and spouting misogonistic lyrics (calling women bitches)does not lend oneself to the revolutionary ideals of people like ernesto guevara, whose image he wears on his chest.
Allow me to reiterate: He is my favorite rapper. But a revolutionary he isn't.
15423, What defines a "revolutionary" MC?
Posted by misteranonymity, Sun Jul-29-01 10:16 AM
What we have to remember about these artists is that they're human beings just like everyone else. They may say something contradictory from time to time, but who doesn't. Personally, I don't care why Common decided to promote Reebok. I just see it as an opportunity for more people to hear not only his music, but also of his collaborators and peers. I don't even care if it even undercuts his credibility as a "revolutionary". As long as he keeps making good music and puts on live shows, I'll always have his back.

15424, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by guest, Sun Jul-29-01 03:34 PM
Ok, Soulswede and frederisco hit it on point, I can't argue. I feel like Common's messages are very very good and very inspiring, but I'm more inspired by the tracks and the way his voice flows over the tracks. I tend to view what Mos Def and Talib Kweli have done as more on the revolutionary side. Especially when I see how Michael Jordan was inspired to make that commercial using UMI says! When I think of revolutionary artists I think of Bob Marley. Strong message, great delivery, great music, not too heavy, not too light:

"The power of philosophy floats through my head, light like a feather, heavy as lead" -Bob Marley
I just think that's the tightest line I've heard in any song!

Another thing too is that common just like any one of us is human and an artist in his own right, so I appreciate what he has to say because of his motives. I also really respect common because of his directions that he's been going in. No one really seemed to appreciate the one day it will all make sense album, but I loved it. He's doing what he wants to do, making his political statements when neccessary and having fun while doing it. It is difficult to maintain a balance that will satisfy all critics and that is just not reality.

Revolutionary, not quite.. but definitely a figurehead in the revolution!

Enter the DREAD - http://www.geocities.com/coolpoete