The Believer

Album: The Dreamer/The Believer (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • The penultimate track of Common's ninth album finds him rapping, "We are the sons of gangsters and stone rangers" over No I.D.'s drum heavy beat. "That rap was intricate," said the Southside Chicago native at a NYC listening session. "The chorus and the beat is something that anybody in any part of the world can feel. I was able to stay myself and keep that hip-hop edge."
  • This was originally going to be the sole title track until Common and No I.D. came up with "The Dreamer." The Chicago rapper thought 'the Dreamer,' would be a great album name too, so he decided to title it after both songs. Common recalled to The Boombox: "The initial thought was to make it an A side and a B side, you know, how you used to have both sides on tapes. But we just ended up making it just one piece of work that just really accentuates the idea: If you have dreams, you have to believe in them. You have to believe in yourself to reach those dreams, to achieve those dreams."
  • The song features the vocals of R&B singer-songwriter John Legend. This presumably was payback for Common's feature on Legend's 2010 collaborative track with The Roots, "Wake up Everybody."

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