The Corner (song)

"The Corner"
Single by Common featuring Kanye West and The Last Poets
from the album Be
Released March 1, 2005
Format 12-inch single, CD, Digital download, Vinyl
Recorded Sony Music Studios, New York, NY
Genre Hip hop, Rap
Length 3:45
Label GOOD Music, Geffen
Writer(s) Lonnie Lynn
Kanye West
Abiodun Oyewole
Umar Bin Hassan
Leon Moore
Producer(s) Kanye West
Common singles chronology
"The Food"
"The Corner"
Kanye West singles chronology
"Down and Out"
"The Corner"
"Diamonds from Sierra Leone"
The Last Poets singles chronology
"The Corner"

"The Corner" is the second single released by rapper Common on his sixth album, Be. It features a chorus and production by Kanye West as well as spoken word lyrics by The Last Poets. The song's lyrics deal with street corners in poor neighborhoods. The song's beat contains samples from "You Make the Sun Shine" by The Temprees and "What It Is" by The Temptations. Because of the song's gritty sound, some fans considered it to be a return to Common's Resurrection days.[1] A music video directed by Kanye West was made for "The Corner."


"The Corner" attained some commercial success reaching #42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, but was even more popular among critics. Amongst other accolades, it was nominated as the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 48th Grammy Awards. Spence D. of explains the basis for its success writing:

"The Corner" [...] is the defacto bomb on the album. West's groove is sick and witty, piano and bass meshing together in a smoothly lumbering lope with a nice accentuated vocal sample on the chorus. The addition of the legendary Last Poets only elevates the tune to the next level. One of the best burners of the year, hands down.[2]

In addition, Nathan Brackett of Rolling Stone states that it is one of the "hardest-rocking tracks of Common's career."[3] Pitchfork Media's Tom Breihan considers the beat to be "dusty and heavenly."[4] Steve Juon of claims Common's lyrics to contain profound observations of urban life that show why hip hop is the "black man's CNN." [5] Common understands that critics consider "The Corner" to be a return from his Electric Circus style. As he says on "They Say" from his 2005 album Be: "They say the crochet pants and the sweater was wack/Seen 'The Corner', now they say that nigga's back."


Track listing


  1. "The Corner" (Radio) (3:46)
  2. "The Corner" (Instrumental) (3:46)
  3. "The Corner" (Radio A Capella) (3:34)


  1. "The Corner" (LP) (3:46)
  2. "The Corner" (LP A Capella) (3:46)
  3. "The Corner" (Last Poet Reprise) (3:46)

Chart positions

Chart (2005) Peak
US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 10
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 42


  1. Malcolm, Sean. "Be Review at". Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  2. "Be Review at". Retrieved May 26, 2007. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. Brackett, Nathan. "Be Review at". Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  4. Breihan, Tom. "The Corner (Remix) Review at". Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  5. Juom, Steve. "Be Review at". Retrieved May 26, 2007.

See also

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