‘Finding Forever’ a certified classic banger

Beats and rhymes have been very, very good to Lonnie Lynn. The Chicago MC, better known to the world as Common, has gradually evolved from little known backpack rapper to the scholar’s favorite rhyme maker. Everyone from Oprah to Dr. Cornel West has acknowledged the skills of the gifted Chicago wordsmith. In the face of increased criticism over the self-destructive content, Common has stood as proof that rap music can stand without perceived ignorance.

In the face of hip-hop’s recent troubles, Common released Finding Forever. What’s so weird is that there really is nothing wrong with this album. Common has effectively put together the best album that probably won’t go platinum.

It’s not too long at only 12 tracks (13 on iTunes). It has just enough conscious content without being preachy. He has a bona fide b-boy anthem in “The Game”; a proper follow-up to Be’s “Chi City” with “Southside”; and a strong love song in “I Want You.”

Once again, Common has galvanized his chemistry with Kanye West, who provides the bulk of the production. Will.I.Am also provides an excellent contribution, as well as Devo Springsteen. The most surprising inclusion has to be “So Far To Go,” which was produced by the late Jay Dilla.

Lyrically, the album is near flawless, with Common demonstrating a nearly impenetrable flow that showcases something that hasn’t really been heard on the radio lately – intelligence.

It’s sad to say that this CD might not go platinum, especially since it’s everything you might want in a good hip-hop album. It has dope beats, dope rhymes, and it tells great stories.

Finding Forever flows like a series of short stories, and each story is a prized work. Bottom line, Finding Forever is Common’s greatest lyrical achievement, and that’s saying a whole hell of a lot.