JHopper wrote a pretty interesting review of the Common show this week in the paper...I haven't been really sure what to make of it. Partly because out of the world's LARGEST sense of CONTRARINESS--that is, watching Common make everybody's rokritik top10 lists this year in that lone-negro-artist way--the way Outkast was It and only It a few years ago--I haven't listened to his new album much, so I wasn't all set up to be disappointed. This sounds even stupider written out--why not just listen to the album? It's the critics I'm annoyed with--but I always get so *wary* when everybody loves something, and the strange politics of Liking Things in this top 10 World makes it even easier to be contrary. Even when you're cutting off your own nose. Yes indeedy. Especially then. So Common hasn't yet become the great feminist hope for me quite--even though I think "Come Close" w/ MJBlige may be one of the genuinely SWEETEST, melancholy, person-to-person songs ever and still stands out for being unsually pro-woman--so I didn't feel as shocked at the idea of how he acted on stage as I might have, although I felt like I understood Jessica's conflicted sad feelings about the show. I dunno.
It's a lot less of a jump to this show from where I've been thinking of Common, that is, in an narrow obsessive way about five of the best minutes on TV last year, five minutes I watched 2 or 3 times a week on my raggedy video tape before it ran out. T.I., Common, Black Thought, ?uestlove from The Roots and Biz Markie paying tribute to Big Daddy Kane on the 2nd VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors. This fantastic 5-minute thing where the momentum built through "Smooth Operator," "Set It Off," then Common GOD BLESS IM spinning windmills during "Raw," until Kane took the stage with "Warm It Up" and BLEW. EVERYBODY. AWAY. It went on just the right amount of time, he took the momentum and ran with it, it worked, and even if Kane's hiding his beautiful eyes behind shades these days (and wearing what I guess is a bboy homage to the hip-hiding Lane Bryant schmatte?) it was grand, right down to the fact that he did a lil JBs/Juice Crew at the end. Yes, I know, I was shocked too: VH-1 a strange home for occasionally neat things these days. Very weird. But totally fabulous. And Common was great, I thought -- his goofy dancing fit in (he was doing the same windmills that night), seemed fun and without a lot of hubris, and really pretty great ("Raw" is hard). Just..amazing, fabulous energy. Not the right words I haf.
Anyhow, I don't know what I would have thought the other night. Need to, um, FREAKING listen to the album.