Though Common has basked in the glow of commercial, critical, and cinematic success for the past few years, 2008’s Universal Mind Control was one of his most divisive outings to date. Like 2002’s Electric Circus, the record was a bold effort, treading into new territory rather than relying on well-worn paths. With production aid from Kanye West, The Neptunes, and Mr. DJ, it’s hard to imagine that the album wouldn’t be an instant hit, but the electro-inspired ebullience seems to have alienated certain fans and critics. Whatever your opinion, Common is still one of the best artists in the hip-hop arena, peppering his shows with a mixed bag of musical offerings that will inevitably please everyone. A new album, The Dreamer/The Believer, was released in late 2011.