North Coast Music Festival 2011, Saturday: Common
Common is a breath of fresh air. The hometown rap poet has been at this so long, he's enticed the crowd in without hammering dubstep or "The Percolator."
His jazzy soul and thoughtful wordplay are a welcome respite from the cacophony of beats from the other two stages emerging from the din at the back of the Groupon stage. It's our smoke break.
"The Corner" snapped us out of recovering from Rusko, bringing some of that South Side funk to the mix and getting our hips swaying again. And "Go" reminded us that hip-hop can be more subtle than "How Low Can You Go." This is why he's the elder statesman here and today's most seasoned performer so far.