(Common on his controversial “Sweet” verses)
By William E. Ketchum III
Common has been making headlines for lyrics in his song “Sweet” that Drake took personally, but in an interview with MTV News he also insisted that the song was an expression of himself and his ties to hip-hop. “As soon as I started talking on [“Sweet”], I was like, ‘Yo, this is hip-hop, this is what I do,’” he said. “A lot I had to get off my chest on that. At the same token, I love hip-hop music and raw, rap music.”
Many identify the Chicago native as a conscious artist with socio-political or female-friendly lyrics, and he wanted to use his Warner Bros. debut to give listeners a more complete depiction of who he is.
“Working with No I.D., it’s natural for me to do that. He’s someone I grew up with who’s known what I’ve done throughout the years, whether good or bad,” he says of his longtime friend and producer, who was recently appointed as the Executive VP of Def Jam Records. “I felt real confident and comfortable and able to be me. Whether I’m talking a lot of stuff or going at soft cats, or doing a song about reaching the highest dream, I’ve got to just to be who Common is.”
He continued to say that emcees often get motivated by other hip-hop artists, and that battling is part of the culture. He ended the interview by acknowledging that Drake was a talented artist, but when asked who he was talking about, he was vaguely clear.
“I’m talking to whoever hears it,” Common says, “and when they hear it they think, “Is that person talking about me?” [Whoever] is thinking twice about it.”