13. Blue Sky – prod. by No I.D.

This song holds a special place in my heart. Recommended to me by a friend in high school, it served as a gateway into hiphop and the appreciation of beat production for me (along with “Above the Clouds,” which was my first post on the blog). One of the singles from Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer, this masterpiece is produced by No I.D., who is best known for working with Common and serving as a mentor to Kanye West, who is one of my favorite producers/rappers. Not to sound fluffy, but from the production to the lyrics and the music video, the track is uplifting and motivational, referring not only to material (“Aston Marton king”), but spiritual wealth as well (“Luther with dreams”). Sampling Electric Light Orchestra’s 1977 song “Mr. Blue Sky,” the sound perfectly matches the title and theme of the album.

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