TUESDAY

There’s no love lost between Common and Ice Cube: As the story goes, Cube was perturbed by “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” Common’s allegorical tale about rap’s regression, which was filled with unflattering remarks about West Coast gangster rap. Cube fired a few small-scale retaliatory blasts, to which Common replied with a relative nuclear attack (“The Bitch in Yoo”). “Now what the fuck I look like dissing a whole coast?” he asked Cube in the insult-laden track. “You ain’t made shit dope since AmeriKKKa’s Most.” Now based in Brooklyn—and at peace with Cube—Common the pugilist, misogynist, and part-time homophobe has all but vanished. The man finally found commercial success with an audio love letter directed at flame Erykah Badu (“The Light”), a formula he revives on the debut single from his most recent disc, Electric Circus. A featherweight yet amorous duet with Mary J. Blige, “Come Close” proves effective as bait for Common’s latest, a genre-melding journey through the rapper’s matured psyche. Among the guests are Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier and Prince, who shows up on “Star *69 (PS With Love).” Also included are Common’s lady friend, who joins him on “Jimi Was a Rock Star,” and the Neptunes-produced jam “I Got a Right To,” which provides Common’s most telling line: “I ain’t switch over, I just made my own lane.” It goes HOV at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Craig Smith)

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