Nobody's Smiling

Common - Nobody's Smiling
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2014 Ratings: #270 / 845
User Score
Based on 49 ratings
2014 Ratings: #388
July 22, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
ARTium / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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Nobody’s Smiling is defiant, as full of commanding musicality as it is of Common’s own provocation. Of his recent output, it deserves to be the most touted since that 2005 darling. 


Fervent throughout, Common deals out some of his hardest and heaviest rhymes.


While not flawlessly executed, Common arguably regains some of the relevance he may have lost from his last couple of albums with the focus of Nobody's Smiling.


Artistically, it’s a new and deeply concentrated side of the veteran MC we haven’t seen and, as a result, it comes off as one of his best albums yet.

Consequence of Sound

Nobody’s Smiling is a well-rounded discourse on gang violence and inner city plight in Chicago that translates to almost every urban city in America. It is a triumph for conscious rap in a city that could use more self-awareness. 

A.V. Club

Nobody’s Smiling—a Common record in 2014 about Chicago’s gun violence problem—falls deep into that trap, turning in a collection of mostly forgettable tracks that tries far too hard and has little to show for it.

Common host a conscious album teetering between cutting-edge hip-hop trends and pop influenced songwriting that balances nicely for all its eccentricities even those in fault. Much like the Roots and Pharoahe Monch, now is a good time for poetry and realism in the rap game; unlike those, Common shows real potential for pop crossover territory with his songwriting, as strong as his acting. Like John Legend's album last year, however, though immaculately crafted, I dont see much chance for ... read more
lyrical masterpiece lyrics deep music under where black makes
I love Common. I feel he has multiple classic albums under his belt and he is just a great rapper who makes you think. This album though, has some great tracks like The Neighborhood, No Fear, Nobody's Smiling, Kingdom, and Rewind That. But the rest of the songs here are either terrible (Diamonds, Real) or just boring to listen to. I know this album is already pretty short, but I wish he could have shaved off some of the filler.
" whole life I had to worry about eating/ I ain't had no time to think about what I believe in..." quips Common on the Kingdom. These sentiments pervade the album throughout its 13 tracks. Things are bleak and Chicago is right at the heart of these struggles economically,socially, politically and morally.No I.D. provides the poignant & lush backdrop, Common brings the lamentations and verbal contemplation as they paint the present picture of inner-city Chicago and its ... read more
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Year End Lists

#91/Wondering Sound


#8/Exclaim! (Hip Hop)

Track List

  1. The Neighborhood (feat. Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s)
  2. No Fear
  3. Diamonds (feat. Big Sean)
  4. Blak Majik (feat. Jhene Aiko)
  5. Speak My Piece
  6. Hustle Harder (feat. Snoh Aalegra & Dreezy)
  7. Nobody's Smiling (feat. Malik Yusef)
  8. Real (feat. Elijah Blake)
  9. Kingdom (feat. Vince Staples)
  10. Rewind That
  11. Out On Bond (feat. Vince Staples)
  12. 7 Deadly Sins
  13. Young Hearts Run Free (feat. Cocaine 80s)
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Added on: June 4, 2014