If you weren’t at the World Bar (formerly known as Chromium) at 817 W. Lake last Tuesday, you literally missed a “hot” performance by Chi-town’s resident MC-turned-thespian, Common.
The sweltering heat inside the World Bar wasn’t enough to keep away Common’s most die-hard fans. Before the doors even opened, there was a line down the block for the invite-only album release party given by Power 92 and Geffen Records. All were in tow to help celebrate Common’s seventh album release, “Finding Forever”, one of his most prophetic and introspective releases to date.
Once inside, patrons made a beeline for the bar to get a cool refresher from the Sahara winds that were swirling inside. Did someone forget to turn on the AC??? Power 92 mixologist, DJ Kid Scratch kept the sweat beads running as he pumped an infectious mixture of classic hip-hop joints that ranged from A Tribe Called Quest to Eric B. & Rakim to Souls of Mischief. Occasionally, he threw in a current hit that you’d hear in rotation on Power’s playlist to satisfy the new hip-hop aged audience.
Slideshow: Common Comes Home
An hour later, I made my way up to the VIP area to check out the scene and low and behold, the man of the hour had just arrived. Common was sporting one of his signature Soji caps and looked “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails” as the heat didn’t affect his swagger. He took a moment to pose for a few pics while flanked by two large F.O.I. bodyguards. It was no surprise that Rasheed “Lonnie” Lynn’s celebrity has grown somewhat these days, although he remains as humble as ever.
As the crowd on the main level grew restless, their patience didn’t have to wear any thinner. The morning show team of Kendra G. & Trey “Da Choklit Jock” made their way to the stage for the introduction.
The ladies and “b-boys” at heart showed lots of love for their hometown hero when he hit the stage. The “socially conscious love artist” gave a brief appreciation speech and then launched right into songs from his brand new album, “Finding Forever” including the first single, “The People” and his ode to 87th Street, “Southside”, which features the man behind most of the production on “Forever”, Kanye West. Just when you thought the show couldn’t get better, Common brought in a surprise guest to assist him…fellow MC and actor, Mos Def. Mos drew huge cheers from the ladies and the fellas as he executed a freestyle assault that nearly stole the show. Mos and Common sent the crowd into a frenzy with they performed two of their legendary collaborations “Respiration” and “The Corner (Remix)”.
Common did his thing and left the crowd screaming for ‘more’. He proved why he’s had longevity in the game and stayed true to his hometown base. This was definitely one of the most talked about events of the summer and I was glad to be a part of hip-hop history. Check out “Finding Forever” and you’ll get a taste of it for yourself.