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Common Buzzing on "Be"

Rapper's Kanye West-produced album due in May

February 24, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Illinois rapper Common will drop his fourth album, Be, May 24th. The record, his first since 2002's Electric Circus, will mark his debut on Kanye West's Good Music label. Kanye is one of two producers on the record, the other being Detroit's J-Dilla (De La Soul, Busta Rhymes).

In working with just the pair, as opposed to a handful of producers, Common decided to go with quality over quantity. "I'm really excited for Kanye because we're working together," Common told Rolling Stone during Grammy weekend in Los Angeles, where the two hung out frequently. (West would win Best Rap Album for The College Dropout). "I'm really feeling the energy now, like I'm connected to it."

Common recently shot the video for Be's first single, "The Corner," and he plans to hit the road this summer with some heavyweight tourmates. "We're planning to do a Good Music tour, which will be myself, Kanye and John Legend," he says. "We're gonna pump it."

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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