Last night, Common was at the Oscars, where he theatrically rapped his Best Original Song nominee “Stand Up For Something,” and where he also appeared, speaking enthusiastically about the world-changing effects of technology, in a really irritating Microsoft ad. But now that the Oscars are over — and now that Common fell short of winning a second Oscar — he’s moving onto something a whole lot cooler.
Common is one third of August Greene, a new supergroup that also includes two jazz stars, the pianist Robert Glasper and the drummer Karriem Riggins. Glasper and Riggins both have plenty of experience in rap music, as well, and the three of them find an easy, effortless chemistry on August Greene’s new self-titled album, which comes out next week. Common sounds a whole lot more relaxed over these mellow, jazz-inflected tracks than he usually does on his own, and Riggins’ drums, in particular, move in fascinating ways.
We’ve already posted a couple of August Greene tracks: Their version of the Sounds Of Blackness oldie “Optimistic,” which features a smoothly masterful Brandy, and the utopian original “Black Kennedy.” And right now, you can stream the entire album, which makes for a relaxed and deeply pleasant Monday-morning listen. It’s streaming at NPR.
August Greene is out 3/9, and it’s an Amazon Music Exclusive.