Chicago’s Common recently reminisced about his time spent as a Chicago Bulls ball boy and about what it was like to have his demo played for the first time. In a recent interview with Time Out Chicago, the emcee, who often represents the Chicago’s South Side, talked about what it was like to bond with a basketball player who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan.
“When I was 11, till maybe 13 [1983—1985 NBA seasons], I was a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls. I came in on a year when they weren’t that great, but they had some cool players like Quintin Dailey, Ennis Whatley and Orlando Woolridge. But after a year, a man by the name of Michael Jordan came in.”
Chi-City’s Com, who recently played an NBA basketball player in Just Wright, also added that Jordan’s arrival came accompanied by music. While the rules stated that music wasn’t allowed in the locker room, M.J. changed all of that.
“I will never forget seeing Jordan play a song in the locker room during the first exhibition game and the general manager, Rod Thorn, saying to him he can’t play music, that’s the rule. But after the second exhibition game they told him he could play whatever he wanted because he was that good. Just to be around that kind of transition, and getting to bond [with] and meet Michael Jordan and all those cats, was obviously one of the best experiences you could ever have in life.”
The emcee also spoke on how he fell in love with Hip Hop, remembering the times when his demo first got played on a radio station.
“A turning point in my life and career was when I started going up to [the University of Chicago’s community radio station] WHPK when I was, like, 15 years old, going on 16. First and foremost, that was where I heard all the hip-hop I was getting. Growing up in Chicago, you weren’t biased to a certain coast; you could just be a hip-hop listener, and they played it all. It was JP Chill, Chilly Q and a guy named K-Ill when I first started going up there. I would ask them could they play my demo tape, and they did.”