On the week of the 10-year anniversary of Kanye West’s College Dropout, Chicago emcee Common was asked to share his thoughts on the rapper he’s worked with on numerous occasions. Common had nothing but kind words for his fellow Windy City lyricist, referring to Ye as a “monumental artist” and calling his impact on Hip Hop “unprecedented.”
“That’s a monumental album from a monumental artist,” Common said while speaking with Justin Credible. “You really can’t think about Hip Hop without thinking about Kanye at this point…Since he’s been in the art form and the culture, he’s had an impact like—man, it’s unprecedented, really, as an emcee and as a producer to do what he’s done in 10 years. And College Dropout was one of them albums that bridged—it bridged a lot of things, man. I’m glad to be on there, man.”
Later in the interview, Common recalled working with Ye on his Be record “The Food,” a song Kanye both produced and appeared on. According to Common, Kanye was working on beats for another artist when he hurriedly handed off the beat that would later become the foundation for “The Food.”
“‘The Food,’ it was the first song we did for Be,” he said. “Kanye was actually in the studio working on beats for somebody else and I walked in the studio and he was playing this. It felt like he kinda made it for me anyway. Cause he was like ‘Hurry up and take it. Gon’ head and ride out to it.’ 'Cause he didn’t want the person to come in and hear it. So anyway, this was the first and it just set it off for me like doing ‘Get Em High’ and then coming out with ‘The Food.’ We did it on the Dave Chappelle Show and we put the live version on the album.”
It has been well over two years since Common released his last studio album, The Dreamer/The Believer, and the Chicago wordsmith is currently at work on a new album he says will consist of the “greatest music” he’s ever made in his life.
In addition to boasting new music from Common, his upcoming album, Nobody Smiling, will also help in uplifting the community.
“I think this some of the greatest music I have ever made in my life," Common says. "And I feel like it’s definitely got something new and something special about it. And I’m excited, man. I feel like a new artist right now…I feel Hip Hop is something we can use to elevate each other. And like this album, this Nobody Smiling album it’s not only about the music. The music is special, but we also doing some things with a movement. Like we going into the inner-city starting with Chicago and like helping programs supporting the young people, so that they can get off the streets and quit killing each other. We want that to happen…That’s really important to what we doing.”
Although a release date for Nobody Smiling has yet to be revealed, Common has shared some details in regards to the project. According to Com, the album will be fully produced by fellow Chicagoan No ID and will serve as a “call to action.”