Common At The White House: NPR Tiny Desk

Common at White House NPR TIny Desk

I just backed into this. Looks like Common at the White House a few months ago (October 2016). Performing a classic, I used to love Her, which may be more relevant now than at any other time. He also brings up Bilal, to perform a song from Ava DuVernays’ Netflix documentary 13th. Also featuring Derrick Hodge on bass, Karriem Riggins on drums, Elena Pinderhughes on flute, Keyon Harrold on trumpet and Robert Glasper on the keys ….

¬†There is a nod to legendary hip hop producer J. Dilla to close out this classic performance by Robert Glasper and Derrick Hodge.¬† It’s well worth listening to this all the way through, just for that close.

But, as you’ll hear, he starts out with a Sick version of a bonafied Instant Classic. ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ was always one of my favorite songs and I can still remember the first time I put it on. Probably the best part though, that all real fans will agree, is how the song ended. Paused. Then came right back with that pure hip hop jazz infused beat. Common has always been one of our brightest stars.

Through several changes in the industry Common has continued to shine brightly.

Bringing along an artist who, I believe he has made some of his dopest music with, Bilal, he really gave it to us in this short 4 song performance. Lending his voice effortlessly, Bilal and Common perform ‘Letter To The Free’ (From 13th) and also ‘The Day Women Took Over’ from the album, Black America Again. If you are aspiring to make it in this ‘world’ of using rap to communicate your thoughts, please let Common be your guide.

He drops so many nuggets here on this ‘tiny stage’…. “Prison is a business”;

The musicians playing live are legendary professionals at work. As Common mentions, he met these musicians through, Bilal. One of the problems we see in the hip hop world today, is that too many are going it alone and forsaking the benefits of forming networks.

Also, let this influence of Real live music be an example for all aspiring artists as well. This performance at the White House isn’t the first time Common has used live instruments. He’s been doing that for most of his career. He’s also worked with the legendary No ID, who produced the original I Used to Love H.E.R.

So many real themes get touched on when you hear Common spit. Closing it out with his song, ‘Little Chicago Boy’, dedicated to his pops is a perfect example. If you’re a fan who has had the benefit of following the career of Common ever since he went by Common Sense, you’ll remember his pops.

Who Believes in The Peace?

Raise your hand if you believe in the Peace. If you believe that hip hop music is still alive, and that old heads like Common at the White House and everywhere else he continues to perform will inspire new messengers who believe in the peace, (like Murs’ version I still Love H.E.R.) let us know below.


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