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But 2008’s “Universal Mind Control,” produced by the Neptunes, was a commercial disappointment, only selling 245,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan; the CD, however, did earn a Grammy nomination for best rap album.

Common parted ways with Universal Music, where he’s released five of his nine albums. Now, on Warner Bros. Records, the rapper said he’s got his mojo back, mainly thanks to producer and longtime friend No I.D.

“He was willing to be like, ‘Yo, let’s go! Let’s get it. Let’s go get on this hip-hop,’ ” Common recalled. “So I think that meant a lot to me and from there we just continued to grow.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.