Common, Can I Borrow A Dollar? (1992)
Label: Relativity Records
Common's first album, back when he was known as Common Sense, went largely unnoticed to the rap masses. It got some love nationally, and helped put Chicago on the rap map with three Top 10 rap singles, "Take It EZ," "Breaker 1/9," and "Soul By The Pound." But Com was young, and spitting a Das EFX type style, rapping about regular guy shit like drinking 40s and bagging shorties. He hadn't found his inner voice yet. The jazzy production on Can I Borrow A Dollar? felt current with the times, but Com had yet to display maturity on the mic and show that lyrically, he was on some next shit.
Underground heads took notice of Can I Borrow A Dollar?, but the first single off his opus Resurrection, "I Used To Love H.E.R.," was the first song of his to make real waves coast to coast. That was our real taste of what Common had to offer on his second album, which was so impressive that it almost instantly put him in the "best lyricists in the game" conversation, even with New York faithfuls. Not to say that Can I Borrow A Dollar? is a wack album, but Resurrection was clearly the body of work that set him apart from the pack. And No I.D., who had produced on his first album also and handled almost all of Resurrection, stepped up his production, too.