Bestselling author, actor, and previous basketball player reminds all that not only can he still rap, but he remains a lyrical master and Chicago mainstay. When it comes to this album, starting with the title, I was enthused, but a little hesitant considering how previous albums and tracks with titles such as this; like “Be” for example, were nothing more than cheesy, yet inspiring ‘be positive and you can do whatever you set your mind to' type of tracks; and while I enjoy them, I enjoy Common breaking loose with his lyrics and listening to him really get lost in the beat.
I would have to say as far as lyrics and lyrical flow go, “Gold” beats out the rest of the tracks on the album. Not only is it pretty deep and speaking about something, but he also includes little snips of how great he is in the game of hip hop and rap, which always brings a laugh of enjoyment in his lyrical genius that brings out his pride simultaneously. “I am the voice of the meek and underprivileged, The smell of success, I want y’all to get a whiff of this.”
The greatness of this album is definitely due to the legendary artists featured on the album who contribute greatly to the main songs dealing with the album title and overall idea. Maya Angelou, who says lines of her poetry on the track "The Dreamer"; as well as John Legend, who sings majestically on the "The Believer" track; and Nas adding his hard rap and more explicit lyrics in "Ghetto Dreams", which add that extra element of soul and depth to the album. Each Common album contains such an element in some way; and in my opinion, contributes heavily to whether a song is good or not.
Each song on this album is a little different, but you can definitely recognize the flow of the 'dreamer and believer' idea with the soulful beats and packed lyrics.