Common says his beef with Drake was sparked by a love triangle between the two rappers and tennis star Serena Williams.
"At that time, I think it was the Drake-Serena situation," Common said in an interview with VladTV. "I didn’t know what was going on with that. And I ain’t know if he was throwing shots at me. [Serena] my ex and we’re going our separate ways. So unfortunately the war might have been over a girl, but at the time I never said that. It wasn’t totally that. It was more of, 'Do you respect me? 'Cause I actually like you as an artist.'"
Common also says he's "glad it never escalated into a physical thing."
In January 2012, Common said the beef was not over Serena Williams, despite rumors to the contrary.
"Well, the song ‘Sweet,’ for me, was a song where I was really talking about Hip Hop," Common said. "A lot of the softer side of Hip Hop is just being the example of what people think Hip Hop is. To me, you can express yourself in many different ways, but I was just missing that hardcore Hip Hop, that raw Hip Hop sound, and I was just talking about it. The song ‘Sweet’ was cats out there doing sweet music. Dude must have took offense to it, so he came out and said some things, and once he said something on record, I said something on record."