Thought-provoking rapper Common will release his fifth album, "Electric Circus," Dec. 10 via MCA. The set will feature guest performances by the likes of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, and Cee-Lo, an

Thought-provoking rapper Common will release his fifth album, "Electric Circus," Dec. 10 via MCA. The set will feature guest performances by the likes of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, and Cee-Lo, and production from the Neptunes, Jay Dee, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, James Poyser, and Karriem Riggins. The first single will be "Come Close To Me," a Neptunes production featuring guest shots from Mary J. Blige.

A video, featuring Blige, is currently making the rounds at outlets such as MTV and BET. The album cover features head shots of everyone from Badu and Q-Tip to Jimi Hendrix, NBA star Chris Webber, and comedian Richard Pryor.

Common's duet with Badu, "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)," is at No. 5 this week on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hip Singles & Tracks chart and No. 22 on the Hot 100. The cut is featured on the "Brown Sugar" soundtrack, released Sept. 24 via MCA. The collection also boasts tracks by Mos Def, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, and Angie Stone.

"Electric Circus" is Common's first album since 2000's "Like Water For Chocolate," which debuted at No. 16 on The Billboard 200.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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