While performing in Paris during the European leg of his Nobody’s Smiling tour, Common spoke with Booska-P.com to discuss fellow Chicago rapper, Chief Keef.
During the conversation, Common asserted his respect for the “I Don’t Like” artist for bringing something new to Hip Hop.
“I respect any artist that’s just doing what they do,” Common explains. “I don’t like everything. I don’t like every song that comes out, but if an artist is being themselves. I think Chief Keef brought something that nobody else was doing and he brought it raw. He brought it real. With that, I have to respect that as an artist that he has come and brought that. I don’t know all of his music. I know ‘I Don’t Like’ and I know ‘Love Sosa’ and stuff but I don’t know all his music.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Common outlined the distinctions between producers and frequent collaborators of his: Kanye West, J Dilla and Pharrell.
“Well Kanye [West] is a producer who is going to create samples — he always uses samples now but when we worked a lot he would have some dope samples,” Common says. “We’d find the sample. He might [then] have an idea about what the hook should go like and that hook could be dope and then we’d get into it. If I write a Rap [and] he don’t like the Rap, he gon’ [tell me] like, ‘Look, you need to change that,’ or, ‘Keep that take.’ He had really a strong input on it. It was like a creative collaboration.”
“J Dilla is one of the most genius producers I have ever worked with,” Common continues. “Kanye is a genius [but] Jay Dee is a musical phenomenon. He could do so much with them samples and the sounds. He was an innovator of sound. He loved music. He was one of the purist lovers of music I have ever known ‘cause he was never directed just by popularity. Jay Dee, that’s who he was.”
“Pharrell is one of the producers that has really big ideas,” Common says. “He knows how to make music that will go to the masses. He’ll give you a beat and be say, ‘Man, you could maybe kick this type of flow.’ He’ll give you some insight on which way to go. He’ll give you some direction. He’ll definitely always help with the chorus, with the hook. He is a really great song maker and songwriter.”
Common’s full interview with Booska-P.com can be found below: