44. BE (2005)
Production: Kanye West, J Dilla
Acclaim: Common and Kanye connect for a hearty soul soup seasoned by chopped samples, captivating concept records and weighty musings that make you go hmmm.
Peak moment: The title track symphony explodes from solitary bass strings to all-out, grown-up band camp on the album’s opening seconds. And the grooves never taper.