Drake and Common engaged in a battle of words in 2011 and 2012 that started off with subliminal disses before Common made it clear that the Toronto rapper was his target.
Looking back, Drake says that he was drawn to the verbal sparring because Common struck first with the No I.D.-produced “Sweet” in November 2011. Drake responded with a verse on Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin” less than two months later. Common released his remix of “Stay Schemin” January 9, 2012, where he dissed Drake by name.
“That was the first time someone had called me out personally,” Drake says in an interview with XXL, as per hotnewhiphop.com. “I reacted in a very poised way. First of all, I made sure it would run in the club because that's more painful than anything. As opposed to just being on a blog, I wanted to be on a record that you would have to stand around and hear every night for a few months. That was my whole strategy going into that. Instead of sounding hurt and malicious, I wanted to sound fun, get my shit off. Like I said, if it happens again, not that I want it, not that I welcome it, but I'm ready. I really enjoy writing bars, man. I'm not nervous about anybody saying anything to me.”
Drake says that Common did deliver a quality lyrical passage with his closing salvo on his version of “Stay Schemin.”
“The Canada Dry line?” Drake says. “That was epic. I liked it. It wasn't a good line necessarily, but it was funny.”
Drake says that he did take issue with Common bringing his mother and father into the battle.
“For you to delve into my mom and my dad's a bitch and all that, you're just reaching for impact moments but the bars aren't really good, so it didn't hit me,” Drake says. “I never sat back and analyzed that, either. I only heard it once, and thought, ‘I think I came away with the W on that one.’"
In January 2012 and while on the set for his video for "The Motto," Drake said he would not continue the back-and-forth with Common. "Despite how it’s been worded by him that situation is not a ‘hip hop moment’ or a ‘battle for the sake of musical integrity,’" Drake said at the time. "It’s a ploy for attention around the release of an album [Common's The Dreamer, The Believer]. More than anything, it was just disappointing 'cause what kid isn’t a fan of what Common has done for our genre? A guy who made such an incredible career for himself based off expressing genuine feelings about life and love is now targeting me for sharing my story.”
Drake appears on the cover of XXL’s 150 Issue, which is slated to arrive on newsstands August 20. Drake’s Nothing Was The Same album is slated for a September 17 release.