Be

  • Record Label: Geffen
  • Release Date: May 24, 2005
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 142

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  1. Aug 5, 2014
    9
    Be is not quite a classic, but it's pretty close. Every track fits together seamlessly, and the combination of Common's lyricism with Kanye's production is a slam dunk. Some use the fact that it's a "safe album" as a criticism, but using a modest tone and not necessarily pushing lyrical boundaries cannot stop this album from being memorable and being known as the peak of a fantasticBe is not quite a classic, but it's pretty close. Every track fits together seamlessly, and the combination of Common's lyricism with Kanye's production is a slam dunk. Some use the fact that it's a "safe album" as a criticism, but using a modest tone and not necessarily pushing lyrical boundaries cannot stop this album from being memorable and being known as the peak of a fantastic artist's career. ~ 8.7/10

    Best tracks: "The Corner", "Faithful", "Testify" & "The Food (Live)"
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  2. KyleT
    May 27, 2006
    0
    dis cd is wack jus cuz he is an old head who used to do drugs CRACKHEAD BIT**
  3. Apr 25, 2012
    3
    Common has undeniable talent, but for outsiders to the genre Be lacks any real attraction or punch. Even with Kanye producing, I can't help but wish it had a little more bounce.
  4. ernestp
    Jan 3, 2006
    7
    As a huge Common fan, i sadly admit that Be IS overrated. Electric Circus's wit is seemingly brushed aside by all those sweet hooks.
  5. SeanW
    May 27, 2005
    10
    It's unbelievable. Anything Kanye touches is magic. And Common is just straight up real. It's refreshing as hell to hear a guy rappin about things other than money, hos, and clothes. It's a great album, and Kanye's producing really doesn't hurt it.
  6. SindreathaT
    Jul 10, 2005
    10
    Great album. Common has outdone even himself.
  7. LawrenceP
    May 25, 2005
    9
    Common is back! Kanye West does a good job. He knows when little is more on Common's songs.
  8. [Anonymous]
    May 26, 2005
    10
    11 great songs. A classic. Five mics.
  9. CharlesW
    May 27, 2005
    9
    A Beautiful album from start to finish
  10. LoriB
    May 29, 2005
    9
    A sure-to-be classic.
  11. IgnacioY
    Jun 30, 2005
    6
    Although it brings back some ideas from 70s legends, it is not anything you havent heard before. Better go to the sources and buy a classic
  12. ElliottJ
    Jun 4, 2005
    7
    Good, but certainly not great or a classic and definitely not his best. I still like Electric Circus the most - and by a long shot.
  13. JimmyP
    Aug 18, 2005
    10
    This album has perfect lyrics, a perfect production. There are no standout tracks on this album because this whole album is a standout in this day and age of commercial rap music. Common has always been an exceptional mc, but this is a step up on another level thanks to his new lyrics, and Mr. Kanye West. This is an instant classic that belongs with his other classic Ressurection. The This album has perfect lyrics, a perfect production. There are no standout tracks on this album because this whole album is a standout in this day and age of commercial rap music. Common has always been an exceptional mc, but this is a step up on another level thanks to his new lyrics, and Mr. Kanye West. This is an instant classic that belongs with his other classic Ressurection. The best album in rap music 2005, and one of the best albums of the year. So I all have to say is that I cry out Grammy! Common has had one a long time coming and hopefully this will get him one. Expand
  14. JackM
    Aug 23, 2005
    4
    Best CD of the year in rap music?!? DENIED. Unless, however, you were willing to equate self-righteous, boring, derivative R&B with such praise. As a fan of Common's earlier albums (especially the tragically underrated Electric Circus), Be is a huge, monumental disappointment - and probably the most overrated album of the year, in any genre.
  15. VoM
    Oct 8, 2007
    8
    Great hip-hop album with brilliant lyrics and addicting beats. 'Be' can capture a broad range of audiences.
  16. DanA
    Jun 24, 2007
    9
    If you don't know what makes Be special, you don't know what makes musical quality. Could've had more tracks though.
  17. Al.ck
    Oct 28, 2005
    8
    Common's be is by far his best album to date laced with soulful beat from kanye west.The clever used of samples and common's rhyme is what makes this album a winner.Thanks Kanye, you bring out the best in Common
  18. AnthonyB
    May 24, 2005
    10
    Flawless album
  19. lonelyspacepanda
    May 24, 2005
    10
    In a genre that has been vacant of truth and beauty, Common (with Kanye's help) creates a flawless album overbrimming with it.
  20. rubenf
    May 25, 2005
    10
    Damn. yo let me the first to say, this album is official. aint heard an album as good since stillmatic. Common has created a classic. hands down the best rap this decade!!!
  21. JasonM
    May 25, 2005
    9
    Amazing album. ill lyrics and great beats, very cohesive theme throughout.
  22. kashifs
    May 25, 2005
    10
    inspirational
  23. MarcusB
    May 27, 2005
    9
    This is one of the best cds in awhile. take the time to lisyen to the lyrics and you will be surprise. another hit from the brother in chi-town
  24. J.M.Sarabia
    May 28, 2005
    10
    Common hooks up with Kanye West on this one and what you get is an instant classic/ masterpiece. Every track on this album is perfectly assembled from the the intro "Be" to the final track "Its Your World". The only other pefectly assembled albums, with this kind of caliber in the genre, are Nas's - Stillmatic and Scarface's - The FIx. Kanye West delivers better production than Common hooks up with Kanye West on this one and what you get is an instant classic/ masterpiece. Every track on this album is perfectly assembled from the the intro "Be" to the final track "Its Your World". The only other pefectly assembled albums, with this kind of caliber in the genre, are Nas's - Stillmatic and Scarface's - The FIx. Kanye West delivers better production than what he put on this debut album, College Dropout. I got this album off the net a month and a half ago; it was so amazing that I bought the Delux Edition of the album the day it came out. Thank God for artist like Common that still know what rap/ hip hop trully is! 1.Be (Intro) 10/10 2.The Corner 10/10 3.Go! 10/10 4.Faithful 10/10 5.Testify 10/10 6.Love Is 9.5/10 7.Chi-City 10/10 8.The Food [Live] 9/10 9.Real People 10/10 10.They Say 10/10 11.It's Your World, Pt. 1 & 2 10/10 Expand
  25. HaloedB
    May 29, 2005
    6
    The pervasive statements that this is a "return to form" or a "classic match up" between Kanye and Common is pure marketing retoric (which I fell for). The music and lyrics border on corny and there is not one song that could be considered innovative. Great introduction, however, to the conscious rap movement of 1994.
  26. VernadetteB
    May 31, 2005
    10
    love this album...it is the resurrection of Common!!!!
  27. MattG
    May 30, 2005
    10
    Regardless of what any critic says (i.e. he doesn't show enough conviction, or his pairing with John Mayer is weak) this album is downright amazing and a joy to listen to. Stop expecting so much from him and enjoy his music.
  28. Hieronymous
    May 30, 2005
    10
    It's music to my ears
  29. AldrichM
    Jun 1, 2005
    10
    WOW.. Hip Hop
  30. risa
    Jun 1, 2005
    10
    off the hook!
  31. aaronl
    Jun 18, 2005
    5
    Ultimately disappointing, but mainly only considering how great Electric Circus was. Electric Circus forged new musical territory, and Common caught a lot of shit for it. At the end of the day, this is a step away from the experimentalism of Electric Circus. That being said, Kanye West makes a fine beat, even if they all have a similar style that has already been explored. Some of the Ultimately disappointing, but mainly only considering how great Electric Circus was. Electric Circus forged new musical territory, and Common caught a lot of shit for it. At the end of the day, this is a step away from the experimentalism of Electric Circus. That being said, Kanye West makes a fine beat, even if they all have a similar style that has already been explored. Some of the rhymes are also on the cheesy side, which occassionally hurts songs. But there are a few really nice tracks on here. Expand
  32. SMorris
    Jun 22, 2005
    9
    Be - very tight a little to long in the beginning. 9.1 The Corner - Perfect! 10.0 Go! - Perfect! 9.7 Faithful - Perfect! 9.6 Testify - Perfect! 10.0 Love is - Alright 7.7 Chi-City - Cool 8.3 The Food - Very tight but old 8.7 if never heard 9.5 Real People - Very nice 9.3 The Say - Close to Perfect 9.5 Its Your World - Best track Perfect!!! 11 Overall 9.3
  33. HeathR
    Jun 5, 2005
    9
    with a feeling of blaxploitation and early soul production "be" is the best com sense album since he rhymed about his love for her. it is a must have for any common fan, and a great stepping stone for hip hop. it only gets nine from me because of it's short length and the live version of "the food" that should have been tracked in a studio instead of the chappelle show. other than with a feeling of blaxploitation and early soul production "be" is the best com sense album since he rhymed about his love for her. it is a must have for any common fan, and a great stepping stone for hip hop. it only gets nine from me because of it's short length and the live version of "the food" that should have been tracked in a studio instead of the chappelle show. other than that, just bob your head to kanyes beats, and open your ears for some true hip hop Expand
  34. TerrenceO
    Jul 21, 2005
    9
    The first great hip-hop album of the year, and it came from an artist i had all but given up on. I allways thought Common had a great album in him somewhere, im glad he finally pulled it off. short sweet and to the point with no skits to derail the flow. "Go" is a little lax, and the self satisfying over the top "Be" could lose the last 4 minutes, but still endlessly listenable and enjoyable
  35. NseE
    Jul 23, 2005
    10
    Perfection! Almost like listening to a soul classic from the 70s. Kanye West outdoes himself. My favourite is the inspirational 'It's your world'. Be eternal!
  36. AlanW
    Jul 4, 2005
    10
    Perfect album, nothing more to say honestly. Beats = 10 Rapping = 10 The only place where it suffers is the live version of the food, but even that is awesome.
  37. RobbieS
    Aug 15, 2005
    10
    Possibly the best intro into an album ever
  38. Eric-
    Aug 5, 2005
    10
    best album of 2005. already a classic
  39. Chris
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    Easily the best CD of this year in rap music.
  40. chakap
    Sep 10, 2005
    9
    This album is the best i have hear all year my only thing is i would have loved for it to have more tracks
  41. AlbertP
    Sep 21, 2005
    10
    This album is 'The Food' for your mind, body and soul. Long live Common
  42. TeddyG.
    Mar 12, 2007
    10
    No, comment except to say, that this is a classic!
  43. niyim
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    this is a hip hop classic. period
  44. BenW
    Oct 13, 2005
    10
    Best Album of the Year?
  45. MCDish
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    This is one of the most emotionally touching, poignant albums of the year. The song 'Chi City' will absolutely bitchslap you, The Corner, Be, the Food, and the last song on the album are so emotionally vivid and powerful that it will leave you breathless. This contends with Talib Kweli and Kanye West, in my opinion, for best hip-hop album of the year.
  46. ChaseM
    May 24, 2005
    10
    perhaps the most solid, concise Hip Hop album in a decade.
  47. Rook
    May 24, 2005
    9
    Sweet and tight. Only knock is there wasn't more.
  48. TaylorF
    May 24, 2005
    9
    The album has soul for days. Many think Common is reaching in his past for his future. I think title is the best rebuttal for these peps. Common is what he is...so just let him be. Had it been a bit longer and maybe left out track 3 the album would have definately earned a 10.
  49. VinceH.
    May 25, 2005
    10
    Easily his best album since the consicious-masterpiece "Like Water for Chocolate". As a huge Common fan, there is no feeling in the world like hearing Common tear to shreds a Jay Dee or Kanye beat. It just feels so...natural. OF course the lyrics are beyond great (lyrically it's the best of its kind since "Black on Both Sides") and the production is soulful and inspired. Along with Easily his best album since the consicious-masterpiece "Like Water for Chocolate". As a huge Common fan, there is no feeling in the world like hearing Common tear to shreds a Jay Dee or Kanye beat. It just feels so...natural. OF course the lyrics are beyond great (lyrically it's the best of its kind since "Black on Both Sides") and the production is soulful and inspired. Along with "1998" with Blueprint, this is the album of 2005. Expand
  50. TonyJ
    May 25, 2005
    10
    Pure Hip-hop soul
  51. Vince
    May 26, 2005
    10
    This album is ridiculously brilliant - Kanye and Common are like PB & J...
  52. Paul
    May 26, 2005
    10
    Classic IMO
  53. {D}
    May 27, 2005
    10
    Anyone who klaims that this cd is not the truth is simply lost and blinded from the truth and that is the reason why you simply think that it is not the truth... If anyone who doesnt like this album is basically being nieve to kold hard facts... Common is the best MC out right now and has been for awhile
  54. Moebetta*
    May 28, 2005
    10
    Some of Common's best writing and Kanye's excellent production is a can't miss combination. Each song has a life of it's own while the album manages to stay coherent cohesive and just plain DOPE!!! Hot Sh*t! Period!
  55. KingCosmos
    May 31, 2005
    10
    i start by saying this album is a classic..i wulda given it a 9.8 if i cud be more specific. Common is mature all thru this album. The album has a relaxing aura...It lasts as long as its supposed to...the live performance flows beautifully....the beats kanye produces here r perfect for common....i truly am tryn to find a way to describe this album......Jus Brilliant
  56. nb
    Jun 11, 2005
    9
    This album is brilliant, beautifully composed and lyrically sharp. Smart tracks for the masses and the heads that need music to feed the soul and the mind.
  57. mamajoe
    Jun 12, 2005
    8
    off the hook yo,
  58. JohnM
    Jun 17, 2005
    6
    The Dot Music review is dead-on. The album sounds good and flows well (except for the single "Go!" which needs a lot less Kanye and Mayer and a lot more Common), but the album in general is too sterile; it pushes no boundaries and its sound seems a little dated. There is nothing new here, just accomplished, albeit completely forgettable, music.
  59. DavidP
    Jun 22, 2005
    7
    Good but I still hunger for the days when Common was known as Common Sense. It'll never be better than Chapter 13 on Resurrection.
  60. PK
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    If you are looking for rap about 'chains hangin low' and 'hustlin rocks' dont listen to this album...if you wanna listen to more real shit and deeper verses...go ahead and buy the cd...kanyes music(samples..lol) are good too...classic in my opinion...
  61. JanS
    May 23, 2006
    10
    "Common - Be" is the best album i've ever heard. It sounds perfectly. I mean there is nothing that's missing. I'm a big fan of Common's music and hope that he'll create much more comparable music. J.R.S
  62. RayD.
    Jun 13, 2006
    8
    wack? no, your moms is wack. It really takes a smart listener to get what his message is all about. He has the best substance of anyone the year of 2005, maybe sans Kanye West. He is one of the smartest dudes in hip-hop, and he is still one of the best in show. While his first album Resurrection was his finest, and Like Water for Chocolate was solid, this one was also not too bad a wack? no, your moms is wack. It really takes a smart listener to get what his message is all about. He has the best substance of anyone the year of 2005, maybe sans Kanye West. He is one of the smartest dudes in hip-hop, and he is still one of the best in show. While his first album Resurrection was his finest, and Like Water for Chocolate was solid, this one was also not too bad a follow-up. He is also a very good live performer, as demonstrated on the Conan O'Brien show when Dave Chappelle guest starred and on the Jay Leno show. His insightful, powerful message, and his roots to the old school show all what this album is about and more so. It didn't win a Grammy because it doesn't quite have many banging, mainstream in-the-club beats, but he is all about the art, and his emotional, poignant lyrics demonstrate that he is one of the best in the game today. If you don't understand the concept of the album, this probably won't do it for you. For old school hip-hop fans, Common fans, and maybe some of the new school, this is album is definitely worth your money. Expand
  63. MusicLover
    Oct 21, 2007
    10
    This was the best album of 2005. People will look back at this album & hopefully they will see it the same way I see it: as a classic. Common brings lyrics from the heart & mixes it in with jazz-type beats. The only thing I wish was different was the fact that "The Food" was live. I didn't mind having the live version, but I would've preferred the studio version. However, This was the best album of 2005. People will look back at this album & hopefully they will see it the same way I see it: as a classic. Common brings lyrics from the heart & mixes it in with jazz-type beats. The only thing I wish was different was the fact that "The Food" was live. I didn't mind having the live version, but I would've preferred the studio version. However, it's still a perfect hip-hop album. It's definitely one of the top ten hip hop albums of this decade (so far). Expand
  64. JacobW.
    Sep 22, 2007
    10
    'Be' is quite possibly Common's best album and that is saying A LOT. Albums like this are what giving real hip-hop fans hope that hip-hop is still alive and well.
  65. Apr 6, 2016
    10
    one word for this masterpiece. incredible. the rhymes, hooks and production is mind blowing. each track flows with one and another making for an enjoyable listen .one of my favorite albums.
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. The album is an extremely satisfying listen, but if Common is to lead the revolution, he has to make more of a statement than a great bass line and some tight rhymes.
  2. Be isn't likely to be referred to by anyone as groundbreaking, but it's one of Common's best, and it's also one of the most tightly constructed albums of any form within recent memory.
  3. Blender
    80
    Be picks up where West's The College Dropout left off. [Jun 2005, p.113]