After releasing the No I.D.-produced “Ghetto Dreams” featuring Nas over the weekend, Common is reteaming with the beatsmith. In an interview with MTV News, the Chicago, Illinois native reveals that No I.D. will produce the entirety of his upcoming Warner Bros. Records debut, The Dreamer, The Believer.
“That was the first song we did for the album,” he said of “Ghetto Dreams.” “No I.D. said, ‘I got something for you.’ He played that beat, I was like, ‘Oh, sh–.’ I kind of hopped into it, like a zone, a character almost [while] writing it. It was just so raw, something like ’95, but new sounding. Then he put up this Nas vocal [sample] going, ‘Ghetto dreams,’ and then I was like, ‘Oh sh–.’ “
He recalled writing the track, explaining that he slipped into character. “I decided to write about ghetto dreams just in a way that was raw,” Common said. “I almost approached it like I was a character because I don’t smoke cigarettes and blah, blah, blah. But I still was talking about those things ’cause it’s like, if I step in the shoes of myself and my other friends and people that just dream about higher things coming from a tougher place. I told it in respect to the relationship I got with my lady, it’s ill. It’s not a love song or none of that; it’s just raw. It’s ill lyrics man, I’m telling you.”
No I.D. was recording with Nas when he played him the rough track, prompting Esco to hop on the cut. “Once Nas heard that — No ID played it for them ’cause they was working — and Nas was like, ‘I’ll get on that,’” he continued. “And Nas is my favorite MC, so that was a blessing.”