Nearly two years since his last album, Common is set to return this summer with Let Love Have the Last Word.
During a private listening session at Gold Diggers in Los Angeles on Tuesday (May 21), which Rap-Up attended, the Chicago MC previewed several tracks off the unfinished project, which inspired his new memoir of the same name. The soulful, instrument-driven set was mostly produced by Karriem Riggins, with contributions from J Dilla, Jill Scott, Daniel Caesar, Leon Bridges, Swizz Beatz, and BJ the Chicago Kid.
The album kicks off with “Good Morning Love,” followed by “Her Love,” which serves as a sequel to 1994’s classic “I Used to Love H.E.R.” Over a previously unreleased J Dilla beat, with vocals from Daniel Caesar, Common cleverly name checks today’s rappers including A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, and Kendrick Lamar.
It was followed by “Hercules,” an aggressive hip-hop track with a boom-bap beat and a hook from Swizz Beatz. Common joked that the song came about after he noticed that no one works out to his music in the gym.
On the Leikeli47-assisted “Fifth Story,” which recalls 2005’s “Testify,” Common narrates a suspenseful tale of a man who cheats on his girlfriend, while questioning his performance as a father on the Jill Scott-assisted “Show Me That You Care,” inspired by a late-night phone call he received from his daughter.
On the personal “Memories From Home” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, Common opens up about issues that are rarely discussed in the black community, including mental health, and reveals that he was molested as a child, something he also discusses in his book.
The album caps off with “God Is Love,” a gospel-inspired track featuring Leon Bridges that nearly brought some of the people in the room to tears.
Let Love Have the Last Word is due in August via Loma Vista Recordings, while the first single, “Love Her,” is set to drop June 14.
Prior to the album release, Common will kick off his “Let Love Have the Last Word Tour,” starting July 11 in Denver and wrapping July 26 in Newport Beach, Calif.