The Making of Common's "Resurrection"

“Maintaining”

Produced by: No I.D.

Common: “That was a good-feeling song. That was my version of ‘I’m gonna get it pumping. I’m gonna get some energy’ party feel. It was real hip-hop. That whole thought process of ‘maintaining’ was a big phrase at that time. I took heed to that, even though it wasn’t a Chicago thing.

“I love the concept. We sampled Milo’s ‘Maintain the rock, don’t stop the rock.’ That was really No I.D. producing a dope beat and me doing my version of some rapping. It would be in a party in my interpretation of it, but it never got played in a party.”

 

I remember one tour specifically, we went down and performed at a school and opened up for Luke. It was, like, terrible. People were throwing stuff at us because we were out of our element. You know, Luke came on stage with naked girls and bass music, and we’re up there just hippity hopping. - No I.D.

 

No I.D.: “I did that record at the same time I did ‘In My Own World,’ and my goal was to give him ‘Maintaining’ and to keep ‘In My Own World’ for myself. But he just went ahead and took them both [Laughs.].

Illmatic came out when we were working on the album, and we heard that and we knew we had to come with it. We wanted the respect. We were traveling around, and I remember one tour specifically, we went down and performed at a school and opened up for Luke. It was, like, terrible. People were throwing stuff at us because we were out of our element. You know, Luke came on stage with naked girls and bass music, and we’re up there just hippity hopping.

“So that tour ended in Jersey, and we opened up for KRS-One—and that was even tougher. That was real tough on us. I remember samplers being tossed back on stage at us, and it was a real thing like, ‘We’ve gotta earn respect, we’ve gotta be respected. We can’t keep going around like this.’

 

I remember Twilight Tone kinda dissed me towards the end of the Can I Borrow A Dollar? album in front of everybody and was like, ‘You don’t know samples,’ and that sent me on a mission. That made me want to prove to everyone in the crew—and myself—that I was good. - No I.D.

 

“And it wasn’t even just that—there were times when we’d be competing against each other. I remember when Tone told me I was wack. Me and Tone knew each other from high school and we used to do house music together. We were both DJs, but he became the DJ of me and Common’s rap group, CDR (Corey, Dion & Rashid). I ended up leaving the group thinking it wasn’t going anywhere, and they kept working on music.

“So when I eventually came back around, I was low man on the totem pole. [Tone] was really doing all of Common’s music and I was just trying to be down with the situation. I was viewed as the little guy, and in time me and Common emerged. Then me and Tone formed a production group called 2 pc. DRK—named after Harold’s Chicken. But there was always a little tension between us. It was always very competitive.

“I remember Twilight Tone kinda dissed me towards the end of the Can I Borrow A Dollar? album in front of everybody and was like, ‘You don’t know samples,’ and that sent me on a mission. That made me want to prove to everyone in the crew—and myself—that I was good. So me and Tone were real competitive at this point."

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