Common ft. Stevie Wonder ‘Black America Again’ Song Review

I totally take back what I said in the Bas song review that his track is the best rap track we’ve heard this November, I’ve made a grave mistake… See I didn’t even know this song existed at the time since it’s just coming to my attention now. This song isn’t just the best rap track of November thus far, it’s the best rap track of the year; newly crowned knocking off ‘Surfin’ by Kid Cudi. This song is practically a modern masterpiece; I’m still left speechless a half hour on from originally listening to it. Even trying to think of ways to approach reviewing this song has my mind all muddled.

Production wise the song is bang on for the most part. I love the urban acoustic drums, I thought the vocals sounded raw and organic; and the strings, ugh, those strings are so gorgeously mixed I’m genuinely jealous. The piano even sounds crisp and clear in the mix; in fact it’s probably up there with Kensington’s latest track for best piano tone of the year. The only qualm I have with the whole track production wise is that the piano is a couple milliseconds off the metronome in some parts; my inner producer got a little distracted by that.

Musicality wise however this song is perfect; it’s the epitome of what I look for in a rap track. It’s progressive, it’s unusual, it’s poignant and it’s completely unpredictable. Coming from the latest Future track to this is like eating drinking bin-juice and then being offered a fine chardonnay. The song is intelligently arranged, beautifully phrased and just a delight to listen to. The piano progressions are gorgeous, the vocal melodies are catchy/memorable, the strings follow sequences that are mouth wateringly good and the track is honestly faultless when it comes to technique. The rap is section is masterfully put together and I love the juxtaposition of his flurried approach with Stevie’s repetition of the hook; it sounds great and refreshing.

Lyrically the song is deep and metaphorical; usually I hate politically charged songs, especially during a weary election period, but here I felt everything worked. Although some lines I thought were a little shaky (the whole Star Wars thing is just wrong factually), the underlying message is as strong and thought provoking as it’s ever been. Definitely one of the best socially driven tracks I’ve heard this year; Common has had a blinder.

All in all then this song is definitely worth a listen. If you haven’t already, you’re doing yourself a disservice. This is what happens when you get a ton of talented folks in one room and ask them to speak their mind; you get pure poetry.

9/10 – Best rap track of the year, I don’t see it being beaten for that point either.


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