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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/faa82f359feba45023566e0f958dfd313062d34f.jpg Universal Mind Control

Common

Universal Mind Control

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
December 11, 2008

Huh? A Common album without a soul-jazz opener? Well, rap's deep thinker wanted to make club bangers. So he got the Neptunes to shape this sexed-up set. He's still history-minded; the title track is textbook Eighties electro. Elsewhere, he name-checks Fiona Apple (the bouncy "Make My Day," with Cee-Lo) and dubs himself "rap's Ziggy Stardust" ("Gladiator"). On the Biggie-style "Announcement," he calls hip-hop his "bitch" — shocking for a guy who made hip-hop his girlfriend on "I Used to Love H.E.R." Only "Change" finds him back in street-preacher mode; it's a hopeful tribute to his Chicago homeboy, Obama.

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