Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Jam Behind The Jam: Common-Blue Sky

Common, recently featured on these pages as a topic of the interview with Professor Adam Bradley, is putting out a new album, The Dreamer, The Believer on November 22nd. His first two singles have definitely done a great job of helping the faithful listener put the relative debacle of Universal Mind Control even further into the recesses of our mind. "Blue Sky," released last week, is one of those songs that is an immediate jamandahalf. The song feels, above all, large. Sounding like it would have fit right in on Kanye's last album, "Blue Sky" gives us Common as he is right now: successful beyond most people's wildest dreams yet still doing what he loves. Name dropping Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Obama, while talking about Prada and Aston Martin, Common risks at times sounding like every other rapper out there. His witty rhymes and uplifting message squash that fear.

What makes this song into an instant jamandahalf is the sample. His producer and longtime friend No I.D. (read about their friendship in Common's new memoir) deftly flips "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra into a banging beat. A Portland favorite, "Mr. Blue Sky" was written by Jeff Lyne, lead singer of ELO, in Switzerland after a bright blue day finally ended a bad case of writer's block and rainy weather. A trippy journey into happiness, "Mr. Blue Sky" has been a personal favorite for years now and I'm glad that No I.D. did the jam justice. The sample does raise a question, what's next for hiphop? When ELO is being sampled for tracks which are likely to blow up, what's the next frontier? Only time will tell. In the mean time, enjoy.

Click here to download Blue Sky

Common Blue Sky

Click here to download Mr. Blue Sky

Electric Light Orchestra Mr. Blue Sky

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