Thanks to the Internet, you can listen to Common's latest single right now, before the album is released later this year.
“Speak My Piece” is currently streaming on Common's SoundCloud page. The single is the second from the hip hop star's upcoming 2014 album, Nobody Smiling. The first single from this album, “Kingdom”, dropped on iTunes two months ago.
The new single opens with a distorted sample of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” before Common busts onto the track and lays down verses for his home town of Chicago. It runs nearly four minutes long, but Common never lets it feel like it's dragging too long.
It's an amazingly well produced track, and it should be, considering how many people dipped into it for its inception. The list of people who lent their talents to create “Speak My Peace” is a staggering one: alongside Common, there was Lonnie Lynn, Ernest Wilson, Randy Alpert, Deric Angelettie, Andy Armer, Sean Combs, Ron Lawrence and Christopher Wallace.
That's a total of nine people on one Common track, if Wikipedia is to be believed. But it doesn't sound at all that busy. It's pure Common, speaking the truth to the beat for a song built for summertime radio.
Nobody Smiling, Common's tenth studio album, will be released on July 22. It will feature guest artists such as Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, and upcoming Def Jam rapper Vince Staples. The album is co-produced by Common and No I.D.
According to Consequence of Sound, Nobody Smiling is a concept album, with lyrics and sounds inspired by the current violence taking over Chicago's streets.