As an up-and-comer in Hip Hop during the time he was dissed by former N.W.A rapper Ice Cube on the Mack 10 track “Westside Slaughterhouse,” Common says he felt a variety of emotions following the diss. While speaking with Devi Dev of 93.7 The Beat, the Chicago wordsmith revealed that he was both mad and happy upon hearing the record.
He says he was happy because of the recognition he got from Cube on the song, but felt he needed to respond and did so with the diss track, “The Bitch In Yoo.”
“I’m a warrior at the end of the day,” Common said. “At the point it was just for me one of those things where if you continuously diss me then I’m gonna have to come back at you. And when I come back at you I’m gonna come like for real. And that’s really—First of all, I loved Ice Cube and N.W.A. I grew up listening to them. So, when I first even got dissed by Cube I was mad, but I was kinda like ‘Dang, he know who I am.’ I was like ‘yo.’ I was kinda happy that he knew who I was cause I was just getting out there. But I felt that it was necessary for me to do that cause you just can’t walk over me.”
Common later spoke on the late J Dilla after being asked why there are two different versions to the Dilla-produced track, “So Far To Go.” After speaking on the song, he then revealed his favorite Dilla beats, which include “You Know What Love Is,” “Thelonious,” “E=MC2,”and “Afrodisiac.” “So Far To Go” was also mentioned as a Dilla favorite.
“Well, because—First of all I love that beat. J Dilla is just—Man, he’s one of the greatest to ever do music ever,” he said when asked about the two versions of “So Far To Go.” “But I just wrote the first version and then I just felt like I could do better. So, I wrote a second version and then we just put both of them out…This time we was like ‘Man, let’s just let ‘em both ride.’ Some people—I appreciated some of the stuff I did in the first one and I appreciated some of the stuff I did in the second one. So, we just let it ride.”
Before addressing J Dilla and Ice Cube, Common spoke on the violence prominent in his hometown of Chicago. He compared residing in the city to being in a war zone and added that before children have to go through both physical and emotional war they should be given a proper education and take part in programs that encourage them to pursue other endeavors.
“It is war,” the rapper said. “To think about this—If you coming up at a time where your parents are not there and then it’s just people that you know are getting killed. You dealing with fear of your life and then you gotta like combat somebody with maybe taking their life. That’s war. It’s war, mental war. It’s like—Sometimes it becomes physical war. It’s emotional war. And you right, kids go through that and they don’t have proper treatment or counseling, whatever. My thing is before they have to go to war give ‘em programs and give ‘em the proper education. So, before you even start that path you can be like ‘Man, you know what? I want to do something with my life.’ Whether it be an artist. Be an engineer. Whatever it may be. A radio personality. Whatever your dream is…I feel like those things need to be put in front of our children. In front of kids, so that they can be like ‘Okay, I got some hope. I see something at the end of the road.’”
Common’s interview with Devi Dev comes days after the rapper released his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling.