Common Says Drake 'Comes From Hip-Hop' Following Yasiin Bey's 'Shopping' Music Comments

Common also called Drizzy an "incredible songwriter and artist."

View this video on YouTube

It seems Common doesn’t exactly agree with Yasiin Bey’s take on Drake.

The 51-year-old rapper stopped by Ebro in the Morning, where the topic of Bey’s comments on Drizzy making pop music came up—and the Chicago native was honest about his views on contemporary hip-hop and consumerism in rap.

“I wrote a song called ‘Used to Love Her’ and that joint was really speaking to that to a certain degree,” Common said at around the 24:25 minute mark. “At that time, when [hip-hop] started becoming real corporate, losing the purity of it.”

“I think now, artists can be artists,” he continued. “Some people in life, their intention is to just be the pop artist then so be it. 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.”

Common went on to call Drizzy an “incredible songwriter” and an “incredible artist.”

“It’s pop artists that they have a hit and it’s gone and you forget, ‘Oh, who was that?’ But I mean, this man has touched different aspects of culture and been able to continue to do it so you gotta have some respect and know that yo, this dude is a very talented artist.”

Common and Bey have frequently collaborated, most notably on the Black Star song, “Respiration”—so Common is definitely privy to Mos Def’s ingenuity. Common also isn’t surprised by Bey’s remarks about Drake.

“Yasiin is a genius,” Common explained. “I’ve been around that dude and I’ve watched him as an actor, as an artist—and I listen to a lot of his raps and … he’s very high-level when it comes to poetic rap. … Just can style on anything, he can do a lot, man.”

He pointed out, “Yasiin is not gonna hold his tongue. He’s a warrior … and like you said, he [commented on Drake] with his personality, all that charisma”—seemingly a nod to Bey saying Drake's music is "compatible with shopping" and him chuckling while saying, "So many products! So many SKUS!"

Drake responded to Bey’s comments days later, via his Instagram Story, posting an IG video of Method Man describing what hip-hop is. “What Umi say again? Lemme shine my light king, don’t change up now,” Drake wrote, followed by a crying laughing emoji.

Later in the conversation, Common gave a shout-out to Drake, Chance the Rapper, and Kendrick Lamar.

“When I listen to a Drake, I listen to a Chance, I listen to a Kendrick, you can tell they love the art form. They come from it. They love it—that’s what it is. For me, Kendrick is, in any era, he’s one of the greatest emcees, just point blank,” Common said at around the 28:25 minute mark.

When Ebro asked if Kendrick is in Common’s top five, Common said, “My top five is kind of from the era I grew up in.” He added, “I would have to say top 10 at least.”

Common and Drake have had their own share of issues. The pair had a short-lived beef from late 2011 to early 2021, stemming from Common’s 2011 record “Sweet.” Many thought the song was a jab at Drake and Common later revealed that it was indeed directed at the For All the Dogs rapper. Drake subsequently unleashed his “Stay Schemin’” verse, and Common returned fire over the same beat.

The pair ultimately squashed their feud at the 2012 Grammys. “It was like, what are we even beefing over at this point,” Common told REAL 92.3's Big Boy's Neighborhood in 2019. “I gotta give him a lot of respect ‘cause he handled that like a grown man should. He looked me in my eye and told me, ‘Look, I really respect your music.’”

Common is currently promoting his new book, And Then We Rise. Check out his entire conversation with Ebro in the Morning up top.

Latest in Music