Break My Heart
Common and Kanye's previous collaborative effort, 2005's Be, felt like a (pleasant) retreat to hip-hop's mid-'90s formative years. Finding Forever alludes to new directions, recruiting UK pop princess Lily Allen for the excellent "Drivin' Me Wild" and sprawling into epic soul pomp on the seven-minute "Forever Begins." Lyrically, Common delves into his signature subject: the promise of spirituality and love in a world dominated by institutions and prejudices. Each song feels connected to the last, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, a rarity for rap.