Tag Archives: Common

Profound Hip Hop Quote #48: A Blue Sky is “Common” Where I’m From

21 Jan

“Day light beams, night light schemes
This is my Inception, I’m writing my dreams
Immortal view of a star doing what I’m born to do
I see the blue sky, say the Lord’s coming through “

—“Blue Sky” by Common (Featuring Makeba on vocals)

Common Blue Sky

Most people are happy to hear the meteorologist say, “Today is going to be sunshine and blue skies” when they check the weather forecast, and the reason is obvious.  People tend to associate blue skies with good weather or even beautiful weather for that matter because it usually means that there will be no clouds, rain, snow or any storm brewing on the horizon.  With blue skies, it is very seldom necessary to cancel outdoor plans such as picnics in the park, a sporting event or just simply sitting outside and enjoying some fresh air.

Figuratively speaking, there is something awe inspiring about the blue sky.  I correlate it with a higher power,  hope and dreams, as does Common in his song entitled “Blue Sky” off of his ninth studio album, “The Dreamer/The Believer.”  Have you ever thought about how some areas of the world have blue skies a minimum of ninety percent of the time while others are lucky if they experience a blue sky with no precipitation ten percent of the time?  Common presents this juxtaposition of worlds, “daylight beams, night light schemes” which can be interpreted on multiple levels.  Someone else’s daylight is another person’s night light.  Also, to beam is to radiate and reflect the light.  Whereas schemes can be underhanded actions covertly done with the intention of accomplishing something in an unscrupulous way.  Furthermore, we all have our moments when the “blue sky” is shrouded in darkness, but it is pertinent to remember that the blue sky is still present, and we can still scheme through the night, in a positive way, to reach our goals by day light.

Have you ever been so busy or consumed with your daily routines that you don’t stop to admire the beauty of the blue sky and breathe in the fresh air of the day?  I love to just daydream and look up at the sky as I think about all of my aspirations as I reach for the sky.  In wonderment, I reflect about life and if I’m on the right path and if I’m doing what I’ve been called to do.  “This is my Inception, I’m writing my dreams,” Common proclaims.  Looking up to the sky is just the initial step; it is when we come to the realization that we write our own dreams, and each day, with the blue sky above us, from the inception of those dreams, we must think about what we have done, are doing or plan to do make them a reality.

We are all immortal views of stars.  Our actions today will have a impression on the people of tomorrow.   The problem is that many of us are to searching for what we were born to do.  What’s wonderful about the figurative blue sky is connects us to God.  When we are unsure, when our faith begins to waver, when we just need our hope and determination in our dreams restored, we can look up to the blue sky and be reminded that life is beautiful and that we are not alone.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
When it comes to figurative language, Common is as adept as they come.  To select one example, Common using an allusion when he says, “This is my Inception.”  He is making a reference to the movie Inception and employs an extended metaphor where the blue sky represents God.

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Profound Hip Hop Quote #23: Rappers Need Love Too

11 Jun

“I just want you to know
Your whole being is beautiful
I’ma do the best I can do
Cause I’m my best when I’m with you


—Common featuring Mary J. Blige, “Come Close”

I love hip hop music and culture! The raw passion of some of the artists, their lyrical finesse and swagger is what ultimately captivates me.  I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with rap music from the days of Pre-K to present day; however, one attribute has remained constant: the love!

CommonAs I continue my month long tribute of the best rap “love” songs, I must acknowledge that I’ve had a multitude of crushes on different artists, but one that continues to persists is my enamored feelings for Common.   I have been following his career since he appeared in The Source under “Unsigned Hype,” seen him in concert on numerous occasions and am still an avid fan.  It’s not just his urbane look or swagger that attracts me but his humbleness and sincerity that comes across in his lyrics.  Common has released many rap “love” songs over the years, but one that I really resonate with is “Come Close” featuring Mary J. Blige.

Though Common is a strong man, his song displays his gentleness and vulnerabilities as he exhibits the necessity to have a strong woman by his side.  Wow, how often does a rapper do that?  He acknowledges that this woman of interest is not a mind reader by explicitly stating, “I just want you to know your whole being is beautiful.”  Sometimes a woman needs to hear what her man is thinking and not just assume.  Such a statement also helps to make her feel wanted, that is considering that the comment is sincere.  Furthermore, Common does not simply say, “You are beautiful,” but “Your whole being is beautiful.”  When is the last time you complimented someone of were complimented on your whole being not just your looks alone?

In two months I will be starting the chapter of marriage in the book of my life.  Quite frequently people say, a relationship or marriage is a lot hard work and requires dedication and some give and take.  Common also provides some terrific advice by stating, “I’ma do the best that I can do.”  Do people really put forth their best efforts in relationships or just get comfortable…maybe too comfortable over time?

When you “Come Close” to experiencing love or are immersed in it, do you think about what makes your relationship so sacred or special?  Have you thought about what that special person has done or will do for your life?  The media often uses the term “power couple” to describe the hollywood elites, but cannot common day people be power couples.  The ideal situation is to be in a relationship where you both bring out the best in each other.  Can say to the person you’re with, “I’m my best when I’m with you?”

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Common often incorporates poetic techniques such as slant and assonance rhymes, and this song is no exception.
“I just want you to know
your whole being is beautiful…”

In this instance, Common uses the “Oh” sound as part of his rhyme.  Some people may argue that this is not a rhyme; nevertheless, this is a common practice among past and present poets and allows that writer to manipulate and play with the language.

Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #1

8 Jan

“Never lookin’ back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift, and I just wanna be…”
—Common, “Be (Intro)”


How often do you dwell too much on the past or focus too relentlessly on the future without acknowledging what is going on presently? This is something that I have constantly struggled with until I heard Common put it so simple yet so eloquently.  Of course, it is important to evaluate my past to avoid making the same mistakes again.  Yes, considering future goals and aspirations is necessary in order to establish a game plan and be successful.  However, I know that I must take time to live in the moment and appreciate my present accomplishments.

Where are you presently?  Is it where you want to be?  If not, then it might be pertinent to examine what you have done in the recent past and plan to do in the near future so that everyday will be a present or gift for that matter.  Were you inspired by the same line or a different line in this song?  Please feel free to share.

~Anonomz

Bonus English Lesson:

Even though Common does not utilize the word  “present”  in an indelicate way, it is a good example of  a double entendre because present presents some ambiguity with two meanings: “a gift” and “related to time.”