Chicago rapper Common again addressed his relationship with friend and late musician James “J Dilla” Yancey in a series of newly-released interviews. While discussing his Nobody’s Smiling record “Rewind That” with Dharmic X of WNYU’s #NW3Radio, the recent Def Jam signee recalled running away from Dilla.
The rapper revealed that it took him a while to acknowledge that he was running from his friend, and added that he hopes to never run from such a situation again.
“Yeah, it was during the time I knew I felt a certain way, but I didn’t examine myself to say ‘Man, you running,’” Common said. “I actually had like started dating a girl and just staying over her house more. But I was running in my own way cause it was hard to watch somebody you care about dying in front of you. And every day I was praying and hoping that he would be better. Some days he was better. But yeah, I mean I had to acknowledge that in myself. To hope that I don’t ever do it again.”
In a separate interview with Philadelphia’s Power 99, Common recalled receiving word that J Dilla’s MPC and other equipment would be displayed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
He went on to quote a lyric from The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” when describing his elation at the news.
“Man, I saw that I was like ‘We never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far,’” the Chicago rapper said. “It’s like J Dilla—The fact that they recognized him. And I think I read that it’s only like Jimi Hendrix and some—I forgot which jazz great. [They] were the only people that had items in that Smithsonian Museum right now as far as musicians. And for them to honor J Dilla [and] his mom to see that. And I looked at that MPC online and it just touched me, man that he got honored like that. That represents for all of us.”
Common also addressed fellow artists Jay Z and Nas during his interview with #NW3Radio. He recalled performing in front of a then up-and-coming Jay Z during a performance at Tramps in New York City. He later revealed his hopes for working with Nas on the collaborative album, Nas Dot Com.
“One thing I do remember is one time it was not even a packed house and Jay Z was at the show,” Common said. “And we was performing for like only one-fourth of a crowd, but Jay Z he stayed there pretty much the whole show. And it was like an honor to have him there. And this is like mid-90s right when he was coming up too, like ’97.
“I would love too, man,” he added when asked about the possibility of Nas Dot Com. “Nas is one of the coldest, so I would love to and I’mma put it out there that at some point Nas and I will do a project together.”