On Tuesday (August 1), Men’s Health published an interview with the Chicago native in which he reflected on Hip Hop’s arduous journey and the role the Queensbridge rapper played in bringing it to where it is today.
“I remember being at a performance and then walking outside of the show, and this dude came up to me, and he said, ‘Common, I really love your music. I want to tell you that your song “Retrospect for Life” made me decide to have my kid,’” he began, illustrating the importance of writing songs that people can connect with.
“I wrote that song because I had been through that experience,” he continued. “And there was a moment when I was on the way to the abortion clinic, and the mother of my child decided, ‘We can’t do this again,’ because this was after already having one abortion. Let’s figure out whatever we have to do. That situation showed when you receive experiences from a place of truth, it just resonates in a different way.”
He then circled back to the person who opened the doors for artists like him, saying: “That’s why we related to when Nas talked about what he talked about on Illmatic. He experienced it, and the way he told it was just beautiful. In ‘One Love,’ he talks to his boy in prison. That’s one of the greatest songs ever written.”
Check out Common’s interview with Men’s Health below:
— Men's Health Mag (@MensHealthMag) August 1, 2023
This isn’t the first time the 51-year-old MC has credited Nas with changing his outlook. Speaking to the Bridge Podcast last year, Common said of God’s Son: “His mentality was on a whole other level, so it just made me start thinking on a different level. Illmatic is one of those things, it was like, okay — and I was probably 20, 21 — that was like life changing for me.”
The rap veterans have collaborated twice over their careers. In 2004, Common and Nas were featured on the Remix of Jadakiss’ “Why?” alongside Stypes P and Anthony Hamilton. A few years later, in 2011, Common dropped The Dreamer/The Believer, which featured Nas on the track “Ghetto Dreams.”
The pair were even in talks to do a joint album, Nas Dot Com, which Common spoke about with NME in 2019.
“We actually talked about doing an album together,” he told the outlet. “We were gonna call it Nas Dot Com, but we just never buckled down to do it. We never really sat down and started working on it. And to be honest, a lot of my time and focus was on finishing films.”