Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated hip-hop release of the year, Commonâ€šÃ„Ã´s Be delivers on all fronts. The Chicago veteran, best known for his socially conscious rhymes and his multi-pitched smooth delivery, linked up with Chi-townâ€šÃ„Ã´s (and perhaps Americaâ€šÃ„Ã´s) hottest producer, Kanye West, to create an album that has already been dubbed as an instant classic.In Kanye West, Common has found the best production to compliment his style since his earlier work with Chi-town legend No ID (who, ironically, was one of Kanyeâ€šÃ„Ã´s all-star mentors). Surprisingly, Kanye (who handles the bulk of Beâ€šÃ„Ã´s production) refrains from using his signature, high energy, sped up samples, bringing a mellow yet raw sound that is tailor made for Commonâ€šÃ„Ã´s style. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s clear that both were on the same page creatively throughout the length of the album. This is an amazing accomplishment in an era where hip-hop albums are composed by mixing and matching producers and emcees like shirts and ties.
In essence, Be brings back the love that hip-hop is often criticized for dismissing. The production is soulful and perfectly paced, the overall message is inspirational, and for once, a widely anticipated album exceeds all expectations. Common has made a promising comeback with the help of Kanye West and hopefully theyâ€šÃ„Ã´ll continue collaborating on future projects.