Common Wishes He Made a Third Album With Kanye West, Reflects on Living With J Dilla

In a recent sitdown with Coda Collection, Common spoke on what it was like living with J Dilla, and how he wishes he could have made one more album with Kanye

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Common sat down with Andrew Barber on The Coda Collection to look back on his iconic career and talked about everything from his creation of Be, to being roommates with J Dilla, to wishing he made one more album with Kanye.

“If there’s anything that I sometimes wish is I wished I would have did a third one with Kanye,” he said. “I will say that. It’s very red, I’d be like, ‘Man, I should’ve did this or wish I did this.’ Because everything happens in this divine time. But I would’ve loved to have done a third album with Ye just… And maybe that’ll happen at some other point.”

Common, whose albums Be and Finding Forever were both executive produced by Kanye, admitted that he tried to make it happen regardless. “I started presenting him with stuff like, ‘Yo,’ Because I still was on G.O.O.D. Music. I was like, “Hey, check this out. I’m working with Pharrell here.” He hopped in and he listened through to it and was like, “Yo, that’s dope.” Then it was a couple of joints like he would hop on, just do some vocals. But it wasn’t any… Obviously, we have songs that we recorded that didn’t make Finding Forever or Be but we… We’d thought a third project. We didn’t do that.”

Common spoke more at length about his deep collaborative process with Ye. He spoke on how they picked the samples for Be, and overall reflected back on how impactful it was to have all of his records be produced by either Kanye, No I.D., J Dilla, and The Neptunes.

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“So look, I gravitate towards greatness, point blank,” Common reflected. “I want to be around people who are incredible at what they do. People who I can grow from, learn from, who will elevate me. Each one of them made me better and challenged me. But another aspect to that is, as you said, each one had pretty much an album to themselves.” With that being said, he explained that living with J Dilla, and being able to see a legend work first hand, was a formative experience. “And you know, I got to see just him as a person. So to have the God as my roommate was man, I felt like I had a… I was up in everybody. Because people wanted to know what Dilla was doing and what is he coming up with next. And other artists was looking for Dilla beats. And I had access to that.”

He mentioned that even Pharrell, who is a groundbreaking producer in his own right, bowed down to J Dilla when they first met. Pharrell often paid homage in this way to the producers that inspired him, in the past he gave DJ Premier the same treatment when they met for the first time. “It wasn’t like he was so serious, but he was serious,” said Common. “And he was like just giving respect to Dilla. Like you don’t understand, all these producers from me from watching Questlove, to Pharrell, to D’Angelo, you know, they all revered JD as the God.”

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