At the end of every Common album, after we saw a man struggle to understand his place in the world, we heard the steady voice of his father, whose knowledge seemed endless. Common’s father was in many ways the anchor of every early Common album, the arbiter waiting for us at the end of every adventure. He was calming, soothing, omniscient. He was Pops. This past Friday, September 12, he moved on to a higher realm.
In a Los Angeles interview yesterday, Common had this to say about his father:
“He was truly a natural poet and master of words. His personality and soul shined through his work. The way he said things made me look at life and the world in a new way, in a different way. They always sparked a thought in my head. His words would always make me strive to achieve higher, to write better, to be more truthful with my words.”
The father-son relationship wasn’t always so rosy. In Common’s 2011 memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense, he spoke of his father’s addiction to drugs and their strained relationship before they eventually resolved their differences.
Yeah, yeah, bring it on
Uh huh, with the ya ya, yeah
Just sitting around kicking it a little bit
I thought we would record something tonight
And I do want to dedicate it to two very outstanding people
I live the spirit of
Gentlemen Crispus Attucks and Mr. Marcus Garvey
Thank you so much
If I were a believer, I believe I would believe in the beginning
Mine, that my very first ancestors were front row and present
When God stepped to the mic
I believe from the creation of the Garden of Eden
The separation of the tribes
Our long marches across the desert
Being Yacub’s kids
For instincts born in caves of ice
All, each and every one, the souls of one God
Granted earthly existence to allow each to earn
The blessing of transcending, time-traveling throughout the universe
With the blessings and well-wishes of my fathers, prophets of my own
No search, no steer, no mysteries
We inherit the power to turn nightmares into dreams
For those of us who come from less than [?] circumstances
Dreams. good dreams, sweet dreams, dreams come true
Truthful dreams, truthful dreams become life
Life becomes belief, belief becomes live!
Live the life you believe
The American dream, the black American dream, the universal dream
For the sake of the unwritten laws of humanity, I believe in God
I believe in my ancestors, I believe in my offsprings
I believe in Dr. Saviour, I believe we must stop Willie Lynch’n mention each other
I believe in the truth, truth
See you next lifetime
Below is a playlist of every Pop’s Rap from Common’s albums. His wise, wizened voice has soundtracked the lives of Common Sense fans since the early ’90s. He’s gone, but his lessons remain. See you next lifetime, Pops.
Via Hip-Hop Wired.