Common gives some insight into the themes of his upcoming album, "Nobody Smiling", and the mutual learning process of working with Vince Staples and artists from the Chicago drill scene.
Common is gearing up for big things this summer, with an album entirely centered around violence in Chicago, Nobody's Smiling. He's already revealed the tracklist and the cover art for the LP, which features a variety of covers including ones with upcoming Chicago spitters like King Louie, G Count and Dreezy. He's really putting Chi-town on his back for this one, and we recently had the opportunity to talk with Com about the whole album concept and his native city.
As fans may or may not have noticed on the Nobody's Smiling tracklist, Long Beach, CA rapper Vince Staples pops up on two records. One, we've already heard called "Kingdom," and the other is called "Out On Bond." After discussing the album's relevancy and his passion for the project, Com spoke on what he's been able to learn from the young MC.
"Well one thing I learned from him, I like that he'll write his rap right there. He wrote his rap right there and there's a spontaneity in that, that I like. He's not the first artist that I seen do that, but that kinda did help me get into that mindset that you inspired in the moment and do your thing. Another thing I learned to was like, just because you're from...You can't make assumptions about an MC. He's from Long Beach, 20 years old. You assume, ah man, he just grew up listening to gangsta rap. And that's not the case. He probably loves Snoop, but I don't think Snoop is his favorite rapper just because he's from Long Beach. And with that being said, we all know Snoop is legend and I respect Snoop and so does Vince Staples, but the point is you can't make assumptions," the veteran rapper said.
He added, "People will put a judgement to a generation of artists, and be like, 'well it's all this, there's no this and that in hip-hop.' It's people that's rapping about their lives, people that's about the streets, people that's about the girls, rap offers a lot of things and Vince is a testament to the diversity of hip-hop."
Common also spoke on the reverse situation, as far as what he tries to teach the younger rappers who support violence and/or drill music within Chicago. "IÂ think some of the best ways to teach people is to show by example," Common told us. "So I don't really sit there and be like, 'you should do this, you should do that.' 'Cause you know, I'm learning from them too, I'm learning why they feel the way they feel. It's not one dimension, just because they do drill music."
Check out our full interview below. The album drops on July 22nd.