On Wednesday (Jan. 24), Common appeared on HOT 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” to promote his new book, “And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self.” During the half-hour conversation, the Chicago legend was asked about his thoughts on Drake’s status in Hip Hop — a subject that was recently reignited thanks to Yasiin Bey‘s highly publicized comments about the Canadian star.
“I wrote a song called ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ and that joint was really speaking to that to a certain degree, at that time, when [Hip Hop] started becoming real corporate and losing the purity of it. I think now, artists can be artists. Some people, if their intention is to just be a pop artist, then so be it,” he began. “To me, I think Drake comes from Hip Hop. When I first heard him rhyming, I was like, ‘Yo, this dude rhyming.’ And if he goes out and makes songs that are popular, that’s what it is. He’s still an emcee.”
Common continued, “The dude is an incredible songwriter, he’s an incredible artist. You can’t touch that many people… for as long a time as he’s been doing,” he added. “There’s pop artists [who] have a hit and it’s gone. This man has touched different aspects of culture and been able to continue to do it. You gotta have some respect and know that this dude is a very talented artist.”
Despite his difference of opinion, Common made sure to give Bey his flowers. “Yasiin is a genius, man,” he stated. “I’ve been around that dude and watched him as an actor, as an artist, and listened to a lot of his raps, and he is very high level when it comes to poetic rap — not even just poetic rap, I mean he has poetry within his rap. He can style on anything.”