Exclusive: Common Interview
The rapper tells us about his new album and working with Kanye West, Lily Allen and Angelina Jolie
When we were on set in Prague with Rihanna recently an unexpected guest rocked up- hip hop heavyweight Common. So we had to grab a chat.
The Chicago MC has been turning heads since 1992 with his smooth delivery and socially conscious lyrics. With Like Water For Chocolate he sold units and experimented further with the exceptional Electric Circus album.
In 2005 he hooked up with Kanye West for the acclaimed Be LP. His next record Finding Forever is due later this summer and Common is also working in films after his debut last year in Smokin Aces.
Hi Common, Whats your priority films or music?
Common: Both man, Im really interested in acting and of course I love music. Im out here in Prague shooting a movie called Wanted with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy and Im very excited to be out here.
The movie is going well and the new album is coming out in August- Finding Forever. The movies and music- Ill just continue to do both cos its something I love and its fun.
Tell us about the album?
Common: The first video is for the song called The Game produced by Kanye West who did most of the album.
Weve got DJ Premier scratching on the song. It really is like Gangstar hip hop from the early 90s but its still in the present.
The album is a good expression of who I am and the music I love and what Kanye does as a producer. Weve got J Dilla (on a beat) who passed. Hes one of the best producers ever weve got Will I Am who also produced something for it.
What about guest vocalists?
Common: Kanye is the only MC on the album. I have artists such as Dwela, Bilal, DAngelo and Lily Allen is singing on a track as well.
Its some good raw hip hop with something new to it. And thats why I called it Finding Forever cos theres something new AND we strive to make it timeless.
Tell us about Lily?
Common: I love her man shes just like a spark and a great artist. I love that she can be herself and she we just kicked it.
She came in and was just open to just being free- we just let her sing. Shes really got that ability to improve.You (the UK) got a lot of artists that can just be themselves and shes a very talented artist.
I got a connection with the UK cos you got of great artists coming from there. From the days of Omar and Soul II Soul to now whats going on with Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. Theres some great stuff coming from there.
Tom Thorogood and James Barnes