A Seat at the Table by Solange is a beautiful record, and “Cranes in the Sky” is one of many beautiful songs from that lovely LP. It’s already been masterfully remixed by Kaytranada and now Chi-city legend Common has followed suit. Apparently he too was caught by just how damn gorgeous this tune is, saying in a note: “Every once and a few years, there are certain songs that come out and have the sound of forever. “Cranes in the Sky” is that song for me, every time I listened to it, I keep wanting to hear it again and again. I started mumbling some words to it and then decided I want to write a verse. This is an unofficial remix simply inspired by the love of art.”
It’s about the most Common verse you could imagine, rapping about seeing “pain in my eye” and slyly joking “Kept my love locked down like it was all dreaded.” The verse explores the difficulties of settling down when your life has been marked by movement. There’s a wish to spread wings and fly again, though those are eventually clipped. As with Solange, whose tender vocals follow, Common’s trying to push away all the poisonous emotions. Whether either succeeds is unclear, though making an effort is it’s own sort of success.