Common ft. Pharrell – U.M.C. (original video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on October 3rd, 2009 by Hyphen

It’s always interesting when videos like this end up leaking.  Were they really that upset with this final result that they felt the need to go create another video with all the robots?  Shrug…I like ’em both.

And for the record, this album is still dope.

Swiped from 2DopeBoyz.

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Common’s Universal Mind Control x Sound Session

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Sound Session on December 24th, 2008 by Hyphen

(watch part one in HD on HyphenTV)

On December 13th, the legendary Common Sense made his 4th appearance on Sound Session here in Seattle. Since we just talked to Com in September (check it out here), we wanted to do something a little different instead of our traditional interviews.  With help from our good friends at Interscope/Geffen/A&M we threw a listening party for his new Universal Mind Control album with 50 lucky winners, some customized Microsoft Zunes, and other assorted goodies.

In the video recap, you can watch Com talk about the creative process for every track on the album and what it was like to work with the Neptunes, Mr. DJ, Kanye West, Cee-Lo, and more.  Be sure to watch both parts of the video and enjoy them in HD on the HyphenTV Vimeo Channel courtesy of Organic Digital Videomedia.

(watch part two in HD on HyphenTV)

Since the entire interview lasted about an hour, I’ll be posting up the full audio for all you die hard Common fans sometime in the next week.  As dope as the video clips are, there’s even more interesting tidbits about UMC‘s creation in the extended interview (the reason why the “Announcement” video was pulled, the story behind the original mix of “Punch Drunk Love,” etc.).

Stay tuned for that and hit up Com in the blogosphere over at his new site,  Be sure to go cop Universal Mind Control in stores now and still available at for 99 cents!  It makes a great last minute Christmas present…

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Yo…calm DOWN.

Posted in Artists, News, Politics, Random Ish on December 3rd, 2008 by Hyphen


(Pardon the language, but I never did get the chance to use one of my favorite pics of the year)

Alright, there are two things that are slightly bugging me right now, at least enough that I felt the urge to blog ’em.  Welcome to the rant.

Issue #1: The buzz around the net about the new Common album is off the charts.  Unfortunately, I’m seeing damn near nothing but negative reviews.  What album are y’all listening to?  You really wanted him to make a 3rd album in a row that sounded pretty much the same?  Eff y’all, Universal Mind Control is heat.  My dude Dru suggested I do some reviews every now and then, but working 2.5 jobs kinda kills that.  Here’s my track by track faux review:

  1. “Universal Mind Control” – you’ve heard this.  Either you like it or you hate it.  If you’re fun, you like it, it’s your jam when you hear it in public, and you can’t let it finish without attempting some horrible popping and locking.  If you don’t like it, your Jansport might be too tight.
  2. “Punch Drunk Love” – Dope.  Kanye + Skateboard + Com?  Say no more.  “Am I crazy”?
  3. “Make My Day” – Love this record.  So bouncy, so melodic.  [Thugnificent] stop hatin’, get money [/Boondocks].
  4. “Sex 4 Sugar” – Fair enough, swing and a miss.
  5. “Announcement” – Nice ode to Biggie and P kills his verse.  Nobody at Geffen/Interscope will tell me why they pulled the video down, so I’ll have to ask Com on the 13th.  The animation was dope.
  6. “Gladiator” – FLAMES.  Hard ass beat, crazy horn sample, classic Com battle rhymes.  Absolutely insane in concert too.  “Are you not entertained?”
  7. “Changes” – Good positive joint inspired by the late stages of Barack’s candidacy.  Would fit right in on Be or Finding Forever.
  8. “Inhale” – Smooth.  Crazy synth and percussion.  Ill record.
  9. “What A World” – Com kills it with the old school flow and them Chester French boys add some Freddie Mercury-esque swag.  All that’s missing from the beat is Pharrell’s “sexy breath” style adlib in between the hook and verses.  Could easily be a Kenna song…and that’s a good thing.
  10. “Everywhere” – Reminds me of the new Foreign Exchange record.  Great way to end it, but I would have let this one ride out for like 8 minutes and let the beat/melodies go crazy.

So look.  9/10 songs are good and one isn’t.  That’s 90%…that’s a A-.  You messageboarders, bloggers, and Debbie Downers in general need to calm down.  If you want to hear Resurrection again, go put in your CD.

*bangs gavel*

Issue #2: The political pundits (worth about as much as hip-hop pundits) are getting all worked up because Barack has been hiring people associated with both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and they’re wondering what happened to “change.”  First off, the people he’s picking are very qualified and are all excellent choices.  Secondly, these people are respected across party lines, which was a huge theme of Barack’s campaign.  When I worked for them, the official mantra was “respect, empower, include.”  You can’t change things for the better when you alienate half the people in the country.  This is the beginning of a new way of politics, perhaps not ‘post-partisan’, but moving towards that.  And it’s certainly a HUGE ‘change’ from Dubya’s (mis)management style.

Thirdly, Barack has been set up for these attacks since day one.  Regardless of what he does, people will try to criticize him because they are, rightly so, fed up with government.  However, let’s not forget how we got here and who was at the helm.  We’re at the lowest point in American history since the Great Depression.  Literally every day for the past 2 weeks I’ve heard of either personal friends losing their jobs or seen large business make massive cuts.  Finally, at the first of the month, CNN sent out the hilariously titled “breaking news” that we were in a recession since last December.  Thanks for the update fellas.

If Barack picked a team of brand new faces, he would be ridiculed for selecting unknown commodities when we’re in such dire straits.  When he picks a balanced and diverse group of accomplished and, gasp, intelligent appointees, people flip because they aren’t “change-y” enough.  Miss me with that, please.  Anyone want to let these people actually get in office for…I dunno…a week…before trying to tear them down?  Barack’s not going to be able to fix things completely in 4 full years and you already want him solving the world’s economic crisis 2 months before he’s sworn in?  Wow.  We really do live in an “instant gratification” culture.  Speaking of which…

*pops dinner in microwave*

Ok, I should wrap up this rant.  Before I do though, I need all you conservatives, particularly the bombastic, comically dimwitted talking heads on the “news” to do one thing.  Shut.  the hell.  up.

Really now, these people shouldn’t even be allowed to speak about issues.  You lost your rights when you voted for George Bush.  TWICE!  This is like getting driving erratically and crashing your car, only to tell the ambulance driver to be more careful as he’s taking you to the hospital.  No.  You can’t say anything right now.  Just sit in the back and let the adults try to fix the problems you created.

If your beliefs and policies have brought America to its knees, I refuse to sit there and let you talk about what ANYONE should be doing.  Do you let Shaq coach your free throw technique?  Do you let Soulja Boy help you with your bars?  Do you let Chris Webber handle your clock management down the stretch in a NCAA Championship game (still bitter)?  NO! So why listen to former Bush sycophants whine about what we should do to fix any of the myriad of problems they helped create.  Like George himself said:

Don’t get fooled.  These people have no ground to stand on.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog…

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It’s here…it’s here…it’s here…it’s here – Com

Posted in Artists on December 2nd, 2008 by Hyphen

cop it!

Ha, word to my first post.  But yeah, Invincible Summer Universal Mind Control is finally here and set to hit stores a week from today on the 9th.  Fresh.  If you’re on top of things, you can even cop it from Zune for 99 cents on release day.

If you missed my last interview with Common from Sound Session in September, peep game.  Also, we’re going to have a special event with Com down at KUBE on the 13th.  If you’re in Seattle and want a chance to attend the listening party for this album, click here for info on how to win.

We’ll also be interviewing him again during the party, so if you have something you want me to ask, drop a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

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Common on OkayplayerTV

Posted in Artists, Other Peoples' Interviews, Videos on October 30th, 2008 by Hyphen

It’s a beautiful thing to see some of my favorite people all working together.  The homies GregTheDude and Tunji linked up with the other homies Com and Okayplayer to cook up a couple videos for y’all.  In these clips, Common talks about his upcoming Universal Mind Control album, politics, his past work, and more.  Hit the jump to watch the other two pieces and click here to check the last time we had Com on Sound Session.

Read more »

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Common ft. Pharrell – Universal Mind Control (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on October 7th, 2008 by Hyphen

It’s 3 in the morning and I just got home after being out of the house from 8am on.  So in other other words, I’m damn tired.  Despite that, I saw this clip earlier today and wanted to make sure to post it up before I crash.  I’ve been waiting for the “U.M.C.” video for a minute and it’s finally here.  Enjoy the freshness…

Video courtesy of OnSmash.

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Common on Sound Session

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Sound Session on September 22nd, 2008 by Hyphen

(if you prefer watching in higher quality on YouTube, peep parts 1, 2, and 3)

This past week, the “Seeing Invincible Sounds of Summer” tour swept through  Seattle and N.E.R.D. and Common tore it down at the Showbox SoDo.  Besides these guys being some of my favorite artists of all time, they’re also some of the coolest dudes I’ve met in the industry.  When I really think about, it’s mind blowing that I’m actually cool with Common, a living legend and inarguably one of the top MC’s in rap history.  Wow.  How the hell did that happen?

Anyway, aside from a few random wack encounters, everyone I’ve interviewed has been pretty nice and down to earth.  However, Com is on another level.  This dude is seriously one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and it was ill to have him come through the studio and make his third appearance on Sound Session.  Random SNSS trivia: 3 years ago, Com was our very first interview as we had him on the show for an hour long discussion, running through stories from each of his albums.  Classic.

This time, we talked all about his upcoming Invincible Summer Universal Mind Control album and what it was like working in full with the Neptunes and Mr. DJ.  We also touched on his acting work, including updates on the next Terminator movie and his role as Green Lantern in the oft-delayed Justice League project.  And you can’t sit down with Com and not talk about politics, so we discussed how the media has been affecting the presidential race and what he would do if he was given executive power.  Before he left, we reflected on his past work and brainstormed some of his favorite verses.

You can either watch the interview above, or, as recommended, download the broadcast audio feed (with his “U.M.C.” single included) through one of the links below.  Enjoy:

Common on Sound Session
(back up / streaming link – )

Universal Mind Control should be dropping sometime in November and you already know it’s an instant cop.  Also, be sure to check out the tour when it hits your town.  Com performs a few tracks off it that sound incredible, namely “Gladiator.”  You really need to see it live, trust me.

Last night’s Sound Session will be posted later today, hold tight. I’ve got some things I need to tend to first, like…a new job!  Don’t worry, SNSS ain’t goin’ nowhere.  Your boy just got a [Kanye] good ass job [/’Ye], that’s all.

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