Common talks about the influence young G.O.O.D. Music rappers have on him, and how Kanye has affected him and changed the entire rap game.
Chi-town emcees Common and Kanye West have been working together on projects for quite some time now, with the most notable effort, Common's solo LP Be which was produced by Kanye and the late Jay Dilla. All eyes are on another collabo project between the two, this time it's the Kanye-helmed G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer.
In a recent interview with Complex, during a G.O.O.D. Music covershoot, Common spoke about being an elder statesman in the group, and how even though some of the young emcees grew up listening to him, he still gets inspiration watching them in the studio. He also spoke in depth about his long-standing relationship with 'Ye, and how Common was part of a movement changing the culture of hip hop, but Kanye was the driving force behind that change. Common even spoke about comparisons between G.O.O.D. Music and other notable groups like MMG and YMCMB.
Check out some excerpts from the article below.
It's interesting that you bring up young artists, especially since you’re more of an older rapper than some of these guys in the beginning of their career like Big Sean and Kid Cudi. How does that relationship work?
I come in and approach it like I’m about to learn from these guys. Seriously, Sean’s doing it, Cudi’s doing it. They’re doing it in their way. They’re establishing themselves as artists, they have a presence, and they’re just beginning their careers. They have something fresh to bring to the game.
When I say learn, I get to watch and respect their process and get inspired by their process. I have started rapping and evolved into different things. I have my own process of creating. When you get around other artists that are creating different ways, you’re like, “Damn, you may not take that long to write a verse.” [Laughs.] “Why am I taking that long?”
I always thought that was a hallmark with you and Q-Tip-guys who are left field artists back in the days. It’s funny how far the culture has shifted to the left. Nowadays, what you and Q-Tip have been doing for years is the cool thing to do.
Point blank, I think Kanye was the turning point. We had been doing this for a while but he was that person that came through the doors and busted it down. We had been kicking it before, opening it up a little bit, and Kanye just came and busted through that door. It was important that you are able to be an artist and be appreciated.
I’m very happy that the kids are listening to all the styles and different types of hip-hop. A$AP Rocky and them, they’re from Harlem and they’re rocking chains and they’re not limiting themselves. The fact that Big Sean is sporting his rings, his money, and he’s rapping in this way, it’s a diverse thing about him. It’s not like, “Well, just because I wear chains, I can’t do something that’s to the left and still rap over this beat." Kanye has always, to me, been the essential point to bringing that.
Speaking of Kanye, you mentioned before that you and Kanye have had the longest relationship of anyone. How has it evolved for you guys over the years?
I feel like we’re two artists and men that have our own things but when we come together we build on a higher level. We’re able to keep each other rising. When I went to his fashion show, I was like, “Man, we come from the Southside of Chicago and I’m in Paris.” The whole fashion industry is here to see this young black brother’s work and not just because he’s black but the point is, he come from where I come from, so I’m inspired by that.
How do you think G.O.O.D. Music compares to some of the other rap crews you have like Maybach Music and YMCMB?
They all got talented artists within their crew. I just think we have a real diverse group. Diversity is the best word I can use. It’s a lot of depth to what we do so I think that’s how we compare. We bring a certain creative lifestyle to what we do and each person is truly established. They have established themselves as a presence within hip-hop music and culture. That’s what we bring. That’s what allows us to be very unique.