In a story I broke earlier, music under the Obama administration is gonna suck. The latest case in point, Obama’s Chicago brethren, Common, who managed to make an even cheesier pro-bama song than will.i.am’s two silly diatribes with Changes. And Common’s is actually scary because he forces a child to spout lines about the future president. That is right out of Third-Reich playbook of propaganda using children to make something seem alright for political gain. With that said: Anh Cao 2012!
Thankfully that was Common’s only politically charged song on Universal Mind Control. Unfortunately like his other Chicago brethren, Kanye West (who shows up on the uninspired Punch Drunk Love, but at least 'Ye does not sing), Common seems to have been listening to too much of one genre. Where 808’s & Heartbreak relied too much on emo and auto tune, Universal Mind Control has set up shop in the Zulu Nation with an overabundance of techno beats throughout the album.
It is set up well with the title track opener with Common spitting a few decent rhymes over The Neptunes production but the schick gets old quick leaving you wanting something different by the third track. As luck would have it, Cee-Lo shows up on that third track, Make My Day, which would have fit nicely on a Gnarls Barkley album even without the Danger Mouse production.
The real downside is Common spends way too much time only the album trying to act like he is the king of the booty rap with lines like, “You be Smoky, I’ll be the bear.” (Sex 4 Suga) Seriously, what does that even mean? He even claims that stripper always choose his songs to do their job too. Even though I can’t say I have ever patroned a strip club, I doubt any Common song ranks high on their playlist.
But the worst lyric comes in the other wise solid Gladiator, which intertwines lines from the Russell Crowe epic with A Tribe Called Quest references, but is bogged down by suggesting to get Michael Vick out of jail. I am certainly not on PETA’s Christmas card list, but even I can agree dude needed to spend some time behind bars. Hopefully by the next album, Common doesn’t suggest O.J. Simpson got a raw deal and he drops the techno.
Song to Download - Make My Day
Universal Mind Control gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.