Photo By: Jason Griffin

Common is at the top of his game. You can tell by his near-flawless performance, barely missing a beat as he flows from one song to the next. He’s not a young rapper anymore, but he’s got the performance stamina of someone half his age. Occasionally, he would put his fist in the air, as a sign of both power and unity. The Chicago rapper, who celebrated the release of his 10th studio album Nobody’s Smiling Monday night (July 21) at the Gramercy Theatre, was running through songs like it was just another day at the office. He made it look easy.

At promptly 9 p.m., Common started off his concert with “The Corner” to a packed crowd. With such a large discography, he mixed in both old and new tracks, and the audience kept up, rapping every word. “Blak Majik” blended into “Get ‘Em High,” which then quieted down for the piano line off “The Food.” He performed his pair of collaborations with young, bright talents—“Out On Bond” (Vince Staples), “Hustle Harder” (Dreezy)—back to back, a veteran giving shine to the next generation.

Common built a career on conscious raps that sparked thought and emotion. Many of those songs like “The People” and “The Light” filled the room with loud sing-alongs that showed the power in his words. The heavy dose of hip-hop continued when the DJ broke down Biggie’s “Hypnotize” on the 1s and 2s that cleverly flipped into “Speak My Piece.” Shortly after, Common picked up the energy with “Diamonds” that’s grown into a fan favorite.

While performing “Rewind That,” Common emphasized certain verses of the J. Dilla tribute by rapping them a capella. It almost doubled as a theater performance as he acted out memories of meeting Dilla, creating “The Light” and learning of his illness. To show more love to JD, whom he called “the greatest producer in music,” he brought out his Grammy as a big salute to their work together. By the time he got to “Be (Intro),” toward the end of his set, people were throwing peace signs in the air and chanting Common’s name.

After a brief intermission, Common delivered a strong encore for his devoted fans. These last few joints, classics like his verse off of Black Star’s “Respiration,” “Go” and “I Used To Love H.E.R.,” got the loudest responses. He left us with “Universal Mind Control,” a future-inspired hit that got everyone dancing. Like the other rappers in his generation (Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey, Nas), Common simply showed that age is nothing but a number. Studied this rap shit, he don’t need a mic test.—Eric Diep

Previously: Stream Common’s ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ LP
Join Common And XXL In A Google+ Hangout

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Ray J Is Being Charged With 10 Crimes

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 by

According to TMZ, Ray J is in big trouble. The “Sexy Can I” singer is being pinned with 10 crimes dating back from a drunken incident he had in May. The Los Angeles County DA has aggressively smacked Ray with a handful of crimes including sexual battery.

In May Ray J was arrested outside of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for allegedly brushing up on a woman. The drunk singer was belligerent and began behaving inappropriately. After being arrested and placed in the cop car, the R&B singer kicked out the car window and spat at an officer.

Ray J explained his behavior by saying that the reason he kicked out the car window was because he’s “claustrophobic.” The DA is currently fighting against the sexual battery case because they claimed that the incident wasn’t intentional. While the DA is adamant in removing the sexual battery charge, he’s remaining steadfast with the other crimes, which consists of four counts of resisting arrests, three counts of assault, and two counts of vandalism.

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Is the song from Tha Carter V or is Wayne just playing games and keeping people on their toes? Only time will tell.

[X17 Online]

If picking up the mic was a part of Greg Hardy’s post NFL plan reports from a recent performance might be cause to reconsider. The Carolina Panthers defensive end, known as The Krakken, took the stage at Club Label on Sunday July 20th at a party he was hosting and got a less than stellar response.

According to TMZ Fans reportedly walked away as he went through his set which was cut short during the second song forcing Hardy to leave the stage.

Hardy, who was recently sentenced to 18 months probation for domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder during an altercation, might want to concentrate on the upcoming appeal his lawyers are currently prepping.


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Popular 90s rapper Coolio has traded his residence in the gangsta’s paradise for one in a porn company’s pocket. Coolio and adult site PornHub have…

There will be food, fun and entertainment at the festival, but there’s also a serious side to the event.

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