I Still Love H.E.R.: Common @ The Green Stage, Roskilde Festival June 29th 2002

Amongst Danish HipHop enthusiasts, a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the programming at Roskilde has been prevalent these last few years. This time around, headz found the last minute choice of Common as the HipHop headliner questionable due to several reasons. The obvious are that he has hit the country with three gigs in recent years and the fact that he has not had a substantial new record out since January 2000. What I suspect to be the main reason, however, has nothing to do with those kinds of logistics – people basically think Common is boring.
While I can certainly sympathise with the two first objections, and the discontent with Roskilde’s HipHop programming in general, and also recognize that Common leans towards the banal every once in a while, I simply fail to understand how people can find a prodigious talent in bloom like him boring. He is still one of the most skilled MCs around, he delivers a live show to raise the roof and, most important, he has ambition with his music, an ambition he meets with a soulfulness rare in music of any genre. His show at Roskilde this year, although for a large part similar to the one in Lille Vega last year, delivered the goods on all these accounts, but in addition to that, there was, as we shall see, yet another very good reason to invite him this particular year.

With DJ Dummy to hold him down, the Artist Formerly Known as ‘Sense’ entered the stage sporting the regal beard of an Assyrian prince, immediately lighting up the venue. The show was kicked off by the modern classic ‘Sun God’ – a track that calls attention to the incredible potential a Hi-Tek produced album by Common would have… (Please, let it happen). Energetic renditions of ‘Dooinit’ and ‘Resurrection’ followed, and it quickly became clear that the all-dominant theme of the proceedings was raw, positive HipHop. A hype, Dummy-mixed version of the conceptual classic ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ spearheaded a foray into the artist’s love of his subcultural roots: ‘1-9-9-9’, ‘Funky for You’ and ‘Love of My Life’ followed it like beads on a string, after which Dummy smacked down the ‘Thelonius’ instrumental for the B-Boys of Copenhagen All-Stars and Common himself to get down and bust some moves to. The raw, but refined HipHop spirit was further accentuated by an equilibrist show by the DJ and a dope freestyle by the Man himself, that proved he has not fallen off in that respect, in spite of having followed largely different avenues of lyricism on his latest albums.

This would all have made for a memorable night in itself, but Com still had a treat for us. A major fuckin’ treat.

After a hurried delivery of The 6th Sense, the music stopped. Suddenly Common got emotional. He started talking about ‘that special one in our lives’ and implored everyone in the audience to think about somebody treasured. People familiar with HipHop gossip for the last few years already knew the time and started hollering like crazy. He said he wanted to do a lover’s dance, and for that he needed “a very special lady to come to the stage”. Casually dressed with a slightly embarrassed smile playing on her lips, his girlfriend of the past few years, the soul sister who earlier that evening had taken Roskilde by storm, Erykah Badu, entered the stage. And the crowd went wild.

The two of them embarked upon the sweetest rendition of ‘The Light’ imaginable together. Like star-struck lovers they went through classic courtship patterns with a naïve, almost cute naturalness – all the while singing and rhyming their asses off. The music ended to the enormous applause of the audience, Ms. Badu calmly exclaimed: “Better watch out, ‘cos we’re dangerous!” and let her man bundle her up in his arms, after which they left.

It was enough to make a hardrock smile.

Fotos af Klaus Heinecke © RapSpot.dk

I Still Love H.E.R.
Common, Green Stage 23h30, Roskilde Festival – 29th of June, 2002

As always a strong, positive and competent Common delivered the goods

OnPoint faktor:

What a night!
A more intimate venue would have enhanced the proceedings further
street cred.:
Badu. ‘Dangerous’ ‘Nuff said!
set af:
sådan læser du karaktergivning:
7 x = On Point!
3 x = Nice Shot

6 x = Almost Bulls Eye
2 x = Target Practice

5 x = Heavy Hitter
1 x = Not Even Close

4 x = Hit Potential
1 x = Greatest Miss

Skrevet af Mat 29.06.2002 arkiveret under LiveSpot |