Common Details Tupac's Revolutionary & Street Mentality, J Dilla's Fusion Of "Artsy" & "Ghetto"

Common also talks about the differences between "Resurrection" and "Nobody's Smiling."

Common, who released his Nobody's Smiling album this year, is also celebrating the 20-year anniversary of his Resurrection album in October. But, he says, that wasn't a thought he had while crafting his latest effort. 

"Going into this album what was on our minds was making something fresh-sounding," Common says in an interview with Billboard. "So it wasn't like we were dwelling on Resurrection or even thinking about it. Once this year came around and they started talking about '94 hip-hop and Resurrection, it fell into place organically. But this is a new sound for a Common album. I'm not trying to relate everything back to what we did because I'm a person that believes in living in the present. People don't remember, so I never try to live off of what I've done in the past." 

Common's Nobody's Smiling may analyze the streets, but he says he always tries to keep a duality between "the gutter shit" and "the other shit" in his arsenal. 

"I think the artist that is maybe able to relate to the gutter shit, and speak about the gutter shit, but understands the other shit and maybe understands the other shit too, is actually to me not only the most celebrated, but most valued artist," he says. "Think about Tupac. He was an actor; and a real dude. He had been through some stuff. He was a revolutionary but he also was a dude that was like, 'Yo, I'll beat your ass too.' There's something very powerful about being able to relate to the street, but still be able to do some high art." 

Common says he's tried to find that balance between his work in Rap and his work as an actor, focusing on each part of life separately. For Nobody's Smiling, the emcee says he avoided taking acting jobs, allowing him to focus on his rhymes. 

Nobody's Smiling also features "Rewind That," a song that references Common's bond with J Dilla

"J Dilla was so true to the music that he didn't care if it was like, Jay-Z," he says. "If he wanna do beats for you, he will. If he don't, he don't. He would just make music constantly. He actually was the first person I saw that had that combination of artsy and ghetto. Not artsy where you're like, trying to be artsy. But he was sampling Jazz music, then going to a strip club. He come in with a chain on to pick me up in an Escalade, but is bumping Daft Punk. He was the merging of two worlds."

For more on Common, view the DX Daily below. 



  • Anonymous

    Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,,,,,,,

  • Anonymous

    common is 40 something and he is sucking off a dead 25 year old. retire from rap old fag

    • RAi L

      LOL yeah its the internet y should i type like im in skool.. 2nd.. see now yall brainwashed other black ppl into going against others..sad.. 3rd.. you're dumb if you didn't understand wat i was sayin 4th.. HOW U GONNA COME AT ME SAYIN IM IGNORANT WEN DIS MUTHAFUKKA JUST SAID "Anonymous: common is 40 something and he is sucking off a dead 25 year old. retire from rap old fag" WOW.. & NOBODY SPOKE TO THAT GUY but yall come @ me lol.. Im about to make it w/ dis rap shit anyway @TooFamouz_RAi See yall @ the top by the end of the year..

    • Too Far

      most people would just avoid an ignorant mofo like RAi L. don't respnd to this ignorance making all black folk look bad. he think the only way a black person can be is like someone off his block well let him think that way we will be making the killer moves with white bitches in South Africa. it's just the internet fam.

    • Anonymous

      RAi L -- what's the story you tell yourself to make you feel better about why everybody hates you?

    • Anonymous

      my bad. i have to talk in long run-on sentences that dont make sense and get self-righteous to prove my blackness. how about fuck off young fag. "we" don't talk like that -- i just did. you want to remain in your enclosed bubble forever? you sound like a 12 year old girl "ewww timmy is icky!!!" open your mind.

    • RAi L

      Comments like this is why hip hop is dying.. black ppl never used to bash other black ppl on the comments but now since all the other races got involved yall makn these negative ass comments destroying our success as hip hop.. if u gon come into our genre and read our articles please be respectful & i kno u aint black cuz u sayn shit like "retire from rap old fag" we dont talk like that nor would we ever make a comment as negative as that unless its dumbass Chief keef lol

    • Crutch

      Your life must be great.

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