From Usigned Hype winner to underground superstar, Common has changed quite a bit since this debut album. This album shows a more vocally animated Common using any and every clever metaphor to put a new slant on the ever popular style of battle rhyming. As you listen to his vocal and lyrical trickery, you can't help but see how much fun Common seems to be having while rhyming. While most of the album deals with destroying weak emcees's, the overall vibe is upbeat and happy. The downside is that Common's lyrics never surpass battling wack emcee's and dogging out women (on numerous mysognistic tracks like "Heidi Hoe" and "Puppy Chow") for the whole album. While the laid back, dusty jazz beats hold him musically, if the production is weak on a track, Common's freshman subject matter becomes more evident. On the upside, while his subjects are redundant, his lyrics are always unique. Some may be turned off by some of the over-sampled beats that Common's producers have included, such as Isley Brother's "Between The Sheets" and "For The Love Of You". Still, this is a good debut for Common, and it definatley shows a great deal of growth on his part from then til now. Don't expect any deep songs like "Retrospect For Life" or "G.O.D.", and you won't be disappointed.