Last Night: Common @ The Fillmore Auditorium

“And fuck Bush,” Common proclaimed at the end of a sick freestyle at the Fillmore Auditorium on September 13 -- and the crowd went nuts. His flow touched on everything from gang-banging to economic standing before he walked the crowd through a melodic hip-hop history in which he covered everyone from Public Enemy and the Pharcyde to N.W.A. and A Tribe Called Quest.

The night started off with a bang when Blackalicious warmed the stage up for Common, who bounced around all night long, stopping just for a second to sit down and spit romance lyrics to one lucky girl in the crowd who was celebrating a birthday.

Common covered a track off of Kanye West’s first album and wasn’t shy to plug Mr. West’s new album, encouraging everyone to pick up Graduation instead of 50 Cent’s latest.

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Toward the end of the night, Common introduced a guest speaker, an older gentleman in a white suit with Air Jordan sneakers circa 1984: Lonnie Lynn, his father, who lives in Denver and has appeared on most of Common's CDs, including his latest, Finding Forever. Quite a few members of the crowd didn't seem to know who Lynn was, but they listened to him respectfully -- and when he handed back the microphone, Common rewarded them with a series of personalized shout-outs to to the 16th St. Mall, Carmelo Anthony and Park Hill. Then he reeled off a list of names, complete with a single-word description he felt fit all of them:

“Darrent Williams,” Common told the crowd. “Misunderstood.”

“Tupac Shakur. Misunderstood.”

“Michael Vick. Misunderstood.”

“Malcolm X. Misunderstood.”

But Common’s point was not misunderstood. -- Luke Turf

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