V Exclusive! Common Reflects on the Highs and Lows of His Career

Common’s ninth studio album The Dreamer, The Believer was released today and it serves up twelve tracks of classic tunes from the Chi-town MC. In VIBE’s October/November 2011 issue, the rapper revealed some of the highs and lows that occurred throughout his career. Check out the full article from the magazine below.

Common’s LOSE SOME, WIN SOME Feature

- When I hear myself rapping at 19, I had the raw element but the skill wasn’t there. Can I Borrow a Dollar? is my least favorite album. It was young and fun, but I can hear  the amateur aspect.
- Some people say you curse your relationship when you put it out there. Erykah [Badu] told me, “We shouldn’t talk about our relationship.” I wouldn’t do that again. When something is sacred to you, you don’t use it for exploitation.
- I ain’t into knocking young artists. But there’s been music that makes me go, “Who said that was dope?” I used to have a board of homies who’d be like, “That’s wack.” You need people around to tell you the truth.
- My worst [acting performance] was the “Retrospect for Life” video with Lauryn Hill. She tried to coach me on how to keep it natural. You gotta know you can do the job. I was nervous, so it translated.
- [With Electric Circus], I’m such a dreamer that I thought everybody was where I was—I was listening to Jimi Hendrix. A lot of people said, “I ain’t feeling that shit.” I wasn’t used to it. That’s a scary feeling when people write you off.


+ I gained new respect during my feud with Ice Cube. Dudes still approach me, like, “That was one of the hardest diss records ever.” You got to see me defend mine and not take no bullshit.
+ I learned from my relationships with Serena Williams and Erykah to be as honest as possible. And know what you want. I know if I’m not into somebody—meaning it’s not going toward marriage—you can say, “This person is great to date.” It’s okay to have relationships you’re still
learning from.
+ There was a Coca-Cola deal I didn’t want to do. It caused a big stir among my team to the point where my mother called me, like, “You need to do this.” I turned it down. Then Coca-Cola doubled the money. I said, “I’ll do it under my parameters.” As much as I want to do art, I also gotta be a great businessman.
+ Politics didn’t feel like it was built for me and my kind. Now, the way I can chop it up with older white dudes I would normally think were prejudice but Obama’s their hero—that’s a bridge.
+ It’s hard to bite me. My style on “Come Close” isn’t the same as “The Bitch in Yoo.” I rap from my soul. If I were a singer, I’d be Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder. It’s hard to bite somebody’s soul.—As told to Hillary Crosley and Clover Hope

Make sure you go out and purchase Common’s new album “The Dreamer, The Believer” today, pick up his new memoir “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” and tune in to AMC’s new western television show “Hell on Wheels.”