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Monday (Dec. 12) Warner Bros. Records held an intimate listening session at Catch for Common’s ninth album, The Dreamer, The Believer.

It took place in the heart of the Meat Packing District in New York City. The dimly lit room created a calm ambiance as the excited crowd awaited Common’s arrival.

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It’s been three years since we heard from the Chicago native. In 2008, he released Universal Mind Control which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Now, Common is back and candid as ever. Fans and supporters are ready to receive his new music including the queen-of-all-media Wendy Williams who sat patiently in the reserved section of the crowded lounge.

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Finally, Common arrives outfitted in a maroon sweater and casual denim jeans.  He wore a big smile and still carried the daytime television glow from appearing on The Wendy Williams Show hours before. The man was in good spirits and had every reason to be. His latest book One Day It’ll All Make Sense recently made the New York Times Best Sellers list and he’s about to release what critics describe as his best album yet, The Dreamer, The Believer.

Common’s good friend and original producer NO I.D produced the entire album, bringing out the beast in the respected emcee. Although Common is known for his conscious lyrics and thought-provoking flow, this time around, he appears to be a lot more honest. During the session the 39-Year-Old rapper introduced a personal song off the album called “Lovin’ I lost,” which explores a romance. “Ya’ll know Common be talkin’ that love shit,” he confessed. After a bad relationship break-up Common admitted “it’s hard to take down the pictures.” He joked with the crowd some more before calling himself a “hopeless hip hop romantic.”

He does the same on the track called “The Dreamer” which features Maya Angelou. As the crowd screamed for more, Common dropped “The Believer” a song that holds the lyrics of the famous poem he performed for President Obama and his wife Michelle at the White House for a poetry slam.

Clearly Common felt supreme when holding the microphone; his face remained lit and joyous as he continued to play tracks. The song “Sweet” showcases Common’s raw side, he confidently trash talks rappers in the industry that he considers to be sweet. “Sweet motherf*cker, sweet ass bitch mother*cker,” it’s a rarity to hear Common go off like this but in an album commentary he claims “that’s hip hop baby, this is hip hop.”

As the session comes to a close Common demonstrated why fans have such a strong amount of reverence for him by kicking a freestyle a cappella. The crowd erupted in applause and cheered Common on. “This is hip hop you gon’ love,” Common declared of his new album.

The Dreamer, The Believer is due out Dec. 20 and features John Legend, Nas and the legendary Maya Angelou.

The Dreamer, The Believer Tracklist:

  • 1. The Dreamer Feat. Maya Angelou
  • 2. Ghetto Dreams Feat. Nas
  • 3. Blue Sky
  • 4. So Sweet
  • 5. Gold
  • 6. Lovin’ I Lost
  • 7. Raw (How You Like It)
  • 8. Cloth
  • 9. Celebrate
  • 10. Windows
  • 11. The Believer Feat. John Legend
  • 12. Pops Belief

Lathleen is a freelance writer based in New York City. Meet her on Twitter @Lathleen.