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Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008

Common / N.E.R.D

Tonight @ the Rave - 8 p.m.

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Kanye West cemented his star-making reputation when he produced Common’s 2005 hit Be, a soulful, down-to-Earth album that resuscitated Common’s career after 2002’s ambitious but muddled Electric Circus. Common teamed up with West again for much of 2007’s Finding Forever, a respectable sequel that never fully captured the simple charm of Be, but for Common’s upcoming album, Universal Mind Control, the conscious Chicago rapper looked elsewhere, turning to The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams to help him craft songs with more of a danceable, electronic bend. In advance of that album, which could see a November release, Common is sharing his current tour with Williams’ Neptunes-based band, N.E.R.D. The tour makes an 8 p.m. stop at the Rave tonight.