This morning, Common released "Diamonds" featuring Big Sean. The third single from Common's upcoming 10th studio album, Nobody's Smiling, has the feel of a big record because of masterful production, a catchy chorus, and exemplary rapping. The whole album is produced by G.O.O.D. Music's No I.D., who has collaborated numerous times with both artists. The last time Common and Big Sean collaborated was on another No I.D. produced track, "Switch Up," one of the stronger songs off of Sean's 2013 album, Hall of Fame.
Both of Common's verses are delivered with the spoken word / rapping style the emcee has epitomized for years. The highlight of the first verse is the gambling pun in this clever line: "Pino noir style, better with time / I’m gambling with watches, getting better with time." Common Sense starts off the second verse artistically stating, "Cars in alignment, stars in alignment / Raw off consignment, God’s in the diamonds / Evolve from the science, power and refinement / Read between the lines, hard to define us."
Big Sean performs a rousing, anthemic hook, and delivers a truly energetic verse. The song could be a radio hit because his "ohhhhhs" and "noooos" help make the song a lot catchier. The best lyric he has is a reference to Dame Dash's departure from Rockefeller records, when he says, "Walk up in this thing like a real Rockefeller / But you can’t take my dame away." Big Sean has been relatively quiet since Hall of Fame, so hearing him rap with so much energy is an exciting sign of things to come.
The victorious theme of the song may come as a surprise, because Common " target="_blank">told Revolt TV Nobody's Smiling will be a "call to action" on Chicago's problems with gun violence. While "Diamonds" certainly strays from the album's noble message, it definitely is an impressive lyrical cut from the two artists.
You can download pre-order Nobody's Smiling off of iTunes, which is due out July 22nd.
For all of Common's music, news, and video, check out his Zumic artist page.