Rapper, author, activist, and bestselling author Common has released his 13th album, titled A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 and out via Loma Vista Recordings. A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 contains a variety of features, including Lenny Kravitz, Black Thought, and even contributions from Chuck D and Stevie Wonder.
The nine-song album digs deep into the actions of protests and civil rights movements, tying together the legacies of Black musical movements. With a backing band comprised of Robert Glasper (keys), Karriem Riggins (drums), Burniss Travis (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), and Paris Jones (PJ) (vocals), A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 delivers tastes of jazz, soul, afrobeat, and of course, hip-hop.
A song like “Say Peace”, which features The Roots co-founder Black Thought, combines an old-school hip-hop bassline and vibe reminiscent of Eric B. & Rakim or Black Sheep with a conscious lyrical flow and instrumental outro. Comparatively, “A Riot In My Mind”, which features Lenny Kravitz, takes on a whole different feel. The song begins with a guitar intro from Kravitz, whose clean sounding six-string teeters on the edge of break up, before dropping into a thick and heavy hip-hop beat. Kravitz’s guitar chugs along with distorted palm mutes while Common attentively delivers the first verse. Kravitz then adds some vocals on the hook, before another verse from Common and an instrumental outro.
PJ, who is credited as a feature on four songs, really helps to pull the album together. Her vocal contributions on “A Place In This World”, which Michelle Obama recently used in her “When We All Vote” initiative earlier this month, add depth to an already excellent track by Common.
“A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 is affirmation. It’s recognition. It’s elevation. It’s music to go with a movement. Because the truth is, there is still so much work to do,” Common said in a statement according to Stereogum.
He continued, “Regardless of the outcome of the election, we need to make sure things do not return to the status quo. The intention of the music is to channel all of our pain and outrage into something productive, inspirational, and good. It’s to help lead a movement into our next phase of the work to be done.”
Check out the full album below and click here for more listening options.
Common – A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1
Furthermore, Common will celebrate his latest project this Friday, November 6th, with an album listening party on his YouTube channel. Be sure head to his official website for details and more information.