UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | MPC: MC x Producer Combo - Common x No I.D.
Welcome to the fourth installment of UpNorthTrip 's MPC (MC x Producer Combo) series. Here we breakdown classic works put together by a specific MC and their producer counterparts. We've already taken a closer look at some other dope combos such as: M.O.P. and Primo , Prodigy and Alchemist , and Nas and Salaam Remi . And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Common 's debut album, Can I Borrow a Dollar? , we thought it would be fitting to take it to The Chi, dig through Com's catalog, and profile some of the illest joints he's worked on with his signature producer, No I.D. Knockoff Oakleys
In today's pro-tools-centric rap world, where studio sessions are emailed back and forth, that special relationship between a rapper and their beatsmith is one that holds less and less weight, making it important to celebrate the great collaborations. Com and Immenslope (as No I.D. is officially known as) are one of those great collaborations we all know and look forward to. Lonnie and Dion have been successful working partners since day one, and have not only made a name for themselves, but the alchemy of No I.D.'s sound and Com's rhymes put the Windy City on the map. Twenty years deep in the game, Com's nine albums stand up against the discography of any of the hip-hop's greats, and No I.D.'s musical knowledge and hustle landed him a gig as Executive VP of Def Jam Records. Celebrating their long-standing partnership makes a lot of sense.
"Peace to No I.D. and my nigga Y-Not!"
No I.D. ft. Dug Infinite & Common - "State to State"
Release: Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)
Breakdown: Way before Hov had a Black album, No I.D. had his own. On the first of his two solo albums, he recruited Chicago brothers Com and Dug Infinite to rep side by side and state to state, and the results were great.
Common - "Stolen Moments Pt. 1, 2 & 3"
Release: One Day It'll All Make Sense
Breakdown: Although Common's fashion sense may be questionable, his lyricism is not. Here, on his third album, he masters the art of storytelling with this whodunnit about his crib getting broken into and all his shit getting taken. Split up into three chapters, each track builds more suspense as Com gets closer to discovering who the culprit is. Joined by Black Thought (on Pt 2) and Q-Tip (Pt 3), Com finally gets to the bottom of things.
Common - "Soul By The Pound" (Thump Remix)
Release: "Soul By The Pound" (12") Cheap Oakley Sunglasses
Breakdown: The third single off of Com's debut really wasn't the breakthrough for him, it was No I.D.'s remix that really made noise. Matter of fact, a music video was made for this version, labeled the "Thump Mix." It was different (and way better) than the original and featured new lyrics. No I.D. flipped three very timely vocal samples for the hook: "Jazz (We've Got)" by A Tribe Called Quest, Redman's "Tonight's Da Night" and Grand Puba's "Check It Out."
Common - "Resurrection"
Breakdown: The title track off of Com's excellent second album exemplified the lush jazz sound of No I.D.'s production. Originally created with a different beat, Com rips it over the Ahmad Jamal sample flip and hard drum breaks. Half-storytelling, half-preaching Com spins a mean tale of his coming up in Chi-Town. The scratches, done by Mr. Sinista of the X-Ecutioners, were originally gonna feature the Illmatic line from Nas' "The World Is Yours": "My son, the star, will be my resurrection," but Com felt that it "didn't come off as well."
Common - "Blue Sky"
Release: The Dreamer/The Believer
Breakdown: The second single from Com's ninth effort was released in a one-two punch following up the Nas collabo. Maybe out of excitement? Perhaps, or maybe just supplying a demand after his two-year album hiatus. Either way, the light, airy aura of this joint is in sharp contrast from the street single that came before it. Some may find No I.D.'s loop of E.L.O.'s "Mr. Blue Sky" to be lazy, but the track (including the vocals from Makeeba Riddick) all comes together just right.
Cocaine 80's - "Summer Madness"
Release: The Pursuit EP
Replica Oakleys Year: 2012
Fake Oakleys Breakdown: Dropped on the first day of Summer, this was the first record released from the collaborative group called Cocaine 80′s, which consists of No I.D., Common, Steve Wyreman, Rob Kinelski, Kevin Randolph, James Fauntleroy, Makeba and many more. The EP is more on the R&B tip than a straight up hip-hop EP, but this track satisfies without a doubt.
Common - "I Used To Love H.E.R"
Breakdown: One of the illest concept joints hip-hop has ever conceived, there aren't too many true heads who don't know "I Used To Love H.E.R." In Complex's Making of The Resurrection feature, No I.D. says "[the record] was a brainchild of the style I developed on ‘Soul By The Pound.’ I had a bassline sound that I would play with the SP1200 — it just had a certain sound and a feel to it. I was really into the melodies of the George Benson sample [‘The Changing World’], but I wanted to make it harder with that bassline." And that he did.
Common - "Hungry"
Release: Fake Oakley Sunglasses One Day It'll All Make Sense
Breakdown: This is a personal UNT favorite out of Com's entire catalog. There's no coincidence this lyrical coming out party happens right around the time he dropped the 'Sense' from his name and became known simply as Common. There's a ferocity in his rhymes and Com absolutely DESTROYS the track. No. I.D once again links up with Mista Sinista who does a hell of a job scratching BDP with an intensity that matches both Common's flow and No I.D.'s adrenaline pumping beat.
Common - "No Sell Out"
Breakdown: Discount Oakley Sunglasses The most recent Com x No I.D. collab comes right on time to make the list. It's not clear whether this was a left-off cut from The Dreamer/The Believer or The Cocaine 80's project, or possibly a leak from a newer project. Whatever the case, it's dope. The piano-driven sample No I.D flips is courtesy of Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm's "Getting Nasty". After two decades, these two still have the magic.
Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Common ft. Nas "Ghetto Dreams" Cheap Oakleys
Release: The Dreamer/The Believer
Year: Knockoff Oakley Sunglasses 2011
Breakdown: How overdue was this collabo? When the first single off of Com's ninth album leaked, the Internets went crazy — and rightfully so. Chicago to Queens showed up on this one, causing rap nerds to cry tears of joy.