Throwback: Common-1-9-9-9 Feat. Talib Kweli & Sadat X
Common’s “1-9-9-9” collaboration with Talib Kweli and Sadat X was one of the jewels from the Rawkus Records catalog. The label, which was dedicated to underground hip-hop, gave an important platform to the careers of Kweli, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Hi-Tek and Bahamadia in the ’90’s. Soundbombing 2 featured several prominent underground stars including Pete Rock, DJ Spinna, Diamond D and Dilated Peoples among others. Q-Tip and The Beat Junkies performed on the intro to “1-9-9-9.” The video had cameo appearances from late skateboarder/actor Harold Hunter and Jeru The Damaja. Common addressed Black consciousness using the style of The Black Panthers, a police state and the future of hip-hop in the song and video. In 1999 Common had just moved to New York City and he was recording for his critically acclaimed album, Like Water For Chocolate which came out the following year in 2000. This time was also the era of The Soulquarians hip-hop/neo-soul collective of which Common was a member. In 2014 he released his tenth album, Nobody’s Smiling exclusively produced by longtime friend and collaborator No I.D. The album’s inspiration comes from the violence and poverty in his Chicago hometown that continues to make national headlines.