15. Resurrection, Common
Common ain’t for everybody. He was always a little… affected. If Nas was rapping from the project window, Com was rapping from the laundry room. Just look at what Ice Cube did to him. But he had styles, like the wonky voice fluctuations that he freaked on his debut, Can I Borrow A Dollar? Those were mostly demos that he reworked with No I.D. and Twilite Tone after dropping out of college, so when it came time for his sophomore LP, he had matured, started listening to Coltrane and The Last Poets, and focused not only on raw rhymes, but entire song structures too.
Signed to Relativity, Common also put No I.D. in position to get in the studio with the label’s first artists, The Beatnuts; hence the jazzier sound that informs Resurrection—No I.D. claims he learned about digging for records from Les and JuJu. Gone are Com’s battle rhymes in lieu of contemplative verses, and couched with Ahmad Jamal and George Benson samples, Resurrection is more Tribe than Freestyle Fellowship. There’s an underpinning of wisdom to each song, like he’s telling you epiphanies he’s had throughout the years. It’s a soothing album, a coming of age tale that bridges the brusque personality of his debut and the refined, Soulquarian-ordained fourth album.