Dream team Common and Bilal continue to impress with "Joy and Peace" and "Home" - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing “Letters to the Free” at The White House | via NPR’s YouTube page

Just a few days after premiering the politically-charged “Letter to the Free”, Common has share not one, but two new collaborations with Philly soul singer Bilal. All three songs come off of Common’s hotly anticipated new album Black America Again and see the dynamic duo continue their winning streak.

“Joy and Peace” opens the album with a sweet, tasteful bass line and sour, spindly guitar clusters as Common looks for signs of God in everyday life. Meanwhile, “Home”, which immediately follows “Joy and Peace”, takes a more hard-nosed approach with its sharp, steady hi-hat pattern and bursts of sampled horns.

Similar to Kendrick Lamar’s landmark album, To Pimp a Butterfly, the beats are only as flashy as they need to be, keeping the majority of the focus on the emcee, and rightfully so. Common has really brought his A-game this time around, and the same can be said for Bilal, who really demonstrates his versatility across these two tracks.

Everything we’ve heard so far points to Black America Again being a fantastic release, so November 4th can’t come soon enough. Stream the tracks below, and watch Common and Bilal perform together at The White House during Common’s Tiny Desk Concert here.


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