Interview with Common

Interview with Common

You’ve always pushed the creative boundaries of music. How do you feel you accomplished that on this new album?

On this album I think I really established that I wanna be here to create music for a long time. Doing new things, bringing new things to music, evolving. Doing things that can be relevant in the present and at the same time timeless. Free, man. Having fun. Bringing consciousness to music, bringing spirituality, bringing MC’ing… I just feel that I brought all elements of me, at least right now. I feel like that’s who I am.

No one else has had as much success in making conscious music commercial. What’s your secret in making sure you don’t sacrifice the message and yet get it to a lot of people?

One of the most important things is being able to take a message and make it pleasurable. Make it feel good. Make it right for the people to understand and like. I got to attribute a lot of the progress as far as reaching a lot of audience to Kanye West’s production and sounds, his knack for making good songs. ‘Cause he and I combine and it’s a certain divine chemistry that’s there. And I can keep my message and my spirit the same and pure, put it over some Kanye beats, make it soulful and the people feel it. And it’s not just Kanye beats, I’m just saying he bring that energy to what I do too.

You share a lot of the Zulu Nation messages: Peace, Love, Unity. Things have changed with time. In 2007 how do you feel these messages changed in music?

My thing now, for me, as much as we’re aware of movement as black people, we understand we are one too. I think even we used to throw up the fists, that was for black power. Now I still respect that black power fist but it could also mean Peace, Love, Truth, Freedom and Justice. It could be other meanings within it. I think this is how we’ve grown and understand it. It’s not all racial. The movement is about progress and spreading love and taking care of the world. ‘Cause really man, we all are one.

Are there things that you feel like changing in your music or do you feel like staying constant to what you’ve done?

I think I will always offer where I am at the time. As that changes in me as an individual you will get those changes in my music. Sometime I will talk about abortion. Sometimes I may talk about G-d. That’s one thing that’ll never change. G-d will always be in my music. That’s where it comes from. That’s the beginning and end of my music. But it’s different things that I experience and you will hear change and you will hear new things as I grow as an individual.

What inspires and pushes you nowadays after so many years?

I think what inspired me most is G-d. To do the will of G-d. Being creative. I love art. I love music. It’s the challenge of being MC, of being on stage, that’s the challenges for me. Those are things where I get to express myself and just use the divine things to spead the word of G-d. I think that’s my biggest inspiration. And have fun.