“Blak Majik” was one of the tracks I raved about upon first listen at the Nobody’s Smiling listening party at the top of the month. Common said the concept is about creating something from nothing — which I passed along on Twitter and Jhene herself retweeted.
Today, just days away from the album’s release on July 22nd, we get to hear the track in our own speakers and I’ve since had it on repeat. “Blak Majik” is a different kind of record sonically for Common and Jhene Aiko. The production matches the raw vibe of many of the No I.D. productions heard thus far on the album, but it also strays its own direction with a fast tempo and heavy use of the “Blak Majik” sample. As a result, you hear Common at a faster pace than most, referencing various experiences, and dropping some clever one-liners along the way (the Gladys Knight double meaning punchline was superb). Aside from resonating the song title, Jhene also delivers a quick rap verse with her high vocals and the lyrics and flow are straight up on point. It’s even prefaced by a scary chop of her vocals. And at the end of the day, this feels like a true collab from Common & Jhene — a mix of their styles as they expand from their comfort zone in a song of substance. You couldn’t ask for more. “Blak Majik” is one of the standouts of Nobody’s Smiling and I can’t wait to vibe with the album in full come Tuesday.
ICYMI (from yesterday): Common “The Neighborhood” f/ Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s | Jhene Aiko “The Pressure”