Common conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Common: It's About Time

April 2005

Few artists have been as revered or praised as the rapper formerly known as Common Sense. For the past thirteen plus years, the Chi-town emcee has entertained and presented bouts of introspection, which seem to be unforgettable. From "I Used To Love H.E.R." through "Retrospect For Life" and "Sixth Sense," fans and peers alike have kept Common's praises sung loud.

It seems though that talented artists don't always get the commercial success and acclaim that they deserve. Yes, Common has gained respect around the globe, but in 2005, with the help of friend and fellow Chicago native Kanye West, Common seems set to see success beyond his experiences.

A wealth of classic descriptions with regards to his forthcoming album "BE" have helped hype up the release (which drops in May) considerably. Common even has his single "The Corners" on BET's 106th and Park, something an introspective artist doesn't often manage

MVRemix: I'm assuming that you've heard that your album was leaked online last week, how do you feel about that? And will Rapper Common interviewthe retail version differ to the one that was leaked?

Common: I mean, hmmm. I heard that it was leaked, but people ain't got all the songs so I ain't trippin'.

MVRemix: You've never really been the type of artist to work with a bunch of producers for their name, have you given any thought as to who you would want to work with on your next album?

Common: I haven't thought a lot about it, but I just want to work with people that I feel are very good and they can accomplish the sound that I really want. When I create albums I say "Yo, this is what I wanna go for." Like when I did "Electric Circus" I said lets go beyond what we expect Hip Hop to sound like - who can give me that sound? I knew Ahmir (Questlove) and Jay Dee could take the music to wherever so I connected with them. When I knew I wanted to do something raw and Hip Hop and soulful, I went to Kanye and to Jay Dee who could do it all too and they gave me what I needed.

MVRemix: Now the production that Kanye does on your album doesn't seem like his traditional thing. Did you push him to have him bring a little more of what you wanted?

Common: First of all, I believe that Kanye is from the same womb of music that I am. He loves the Tribe Called Quest's, and the Pete Rock's, the DJ Premier and Gang Starr stuff, that's probably his home too. But he's been blessed to do other sounding music also. So when we started working, I think he was at home with it and I did challenge him to grow from that route - that way. 'Cause I wasn't goin' any other way. I did challenge him to grow as a producer, he challenged me to grow as an artist; as an emcee.

MVRemix: Where would you rank "BE" in comparison to your other albums?

Common: It's in the top two. The top two I would say. Everybody's got they favourites - certain things touch them at certain times. But I think it's my best work as far as a complete album and not having no songs where the people just feel like "Argh... I'm gonna keep fast forwarding all this." You might want to go to one of your favourite songs on the album and fast-forward over stuff, but, this has been the first album I've got that has gotten a classic rating. So, at least from the beginning it's being noted as that which is a beautiful thing

MVRemix: How do you feel about the way "Electric Circus" was received?

Common: I mean I definitely wanted more of a response from the artistic perspective of people being like "Man, he came and made new stuff that was really good. That was some creative music and we loved it." But, that wasn't what I got. I didn't get the sales either. So I was disappointed, I was definitely not feeling good about how things went with that album.

MVRemix: Do you have any plans to work with No I.D. or Dug Infinite again?

Common: Yeah, I would love to work with them again. Like I said, it just be when that timing is right - where I'm feeling focused on those things. I'm enthused to do that but it would be when I know that we all on that same vibration. The music that I'm going for I will definitely work with No I.D. and Dug when it's time.

MVRemix: Did you find it irritating that people payed so much attention to your relationship with Erykah and that they your music was being effected by it?

Common: Nah, I mean that's part of the game. When you in the music industry, people gon' talk about certain things you do 'cause you livin' your life out loud, in front of people. People gon' have their comments about what they believe and you always gon' have talk about it. I didn't find it irritating. It was just people commenting. At the time that it came I was already feeling stronger anyway, in tune with myself. So it didn't effect me to the point where I'm like "I'ma change because people sayin' this." Like yo, that's part of the job, man. People gon' talk about you when you an artist. Good or bad. Some days it's good, some days it's bad.

>> continued...

Related content:
  • Common 2003 Interview by Todd E. Jones
  • Common 2005 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • Common 2005 Interview part 2 by Hugo Lunny

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