Common Kicks An Incredible Off The Top Freestyle For 5 Minutes (Video)

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Common has been rapping about his love for Hip-Hop for 25 years. While his 1994 song “I Used To Love H.E.R.” was a clever metaphor, it was not a gimmick. Comm’ Sense truly has love for the culture.

His love has been on display in the 4 odes he’s made to H.E.R. (Hip-Hop in its Essence is Real). He has showcased it in battling MCs like Ice Cube and Drake, when he didn’t believe they were representing the culture correctly. And, it was in full effect when he busted into a windmill, during his Hip Hop Honors tribute to Big Daddy Kane. Perhaps, Common’s passion for Hip-Hop is in its purest form, however, when he freestyles.

Unlike most MCs who either recite pre-written verses, or refuse to freestyle entirely, Common typically goes “off the top,” rhyming about whatever comes to him in the moment. Despite the Emmy, Grammys and Oscar, he is unafraid to step to the mic and put it all on the line. His rhymes are not always perfect, but art rarely is. Whatever precision or complexity may be lacking is more than made up for with the heightened stakes that come with composing an extended verse right on the spot.

In a recent appearance on Power 106’s L.A. Leakers show, Common brought his A-game. The Leakers’ Justin Credible set the stakes high from the jump, noting that this was freestyle #81 in their series, and saying the game was going to change just like it did when Kobe Bryant dropped that magic number of points against the Toronto Raptor. Without hesitation, Common proceeds to deliver 5 minutes of madness, over both “I Used To Love H.E.R.” and “HER Love,” his new J Dilla-produced song about where he is with Hip-Hop now.

As Common gets into the groove, he weaves in references to everything from the tracks that are playing to the people in the studio watching him to current events, like the Raptors recent victory over the Warriors in the NBA Finals. At his apex, he goes on a dazzling display of rapping about the various albums in his catalog, name-checking producers involved with the projects, too. Later in the video, they show a split screen that reveals Common is actually reacting to prompts that the DJs are giving him by pushing various album covers in front of him. He does it all seamlessly, while crafting rhymes that make sense.

By the end, Comm’ does not want to stop. After the hosts thank him, he responds with another quick rhyme. It is Hip-Hop in its purest form.