In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with rapper, actor, author, activist, philanthropist, and winner of a Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, and an Oscar — Common
Common and Kweli’s many years of collaborating and touring together, as well as remaining close friends gave way for one incredible interview. Things get started with talk about their original collab together with the recording of Black Star’s classic song and video “Respiration.” They then go on to discuss Common’s mother Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines and her influence on him growing up as a teacher, as well as his father Lonnie “Pops” Lynn, who was famously featured on Common’s “Resurrection” album. They also touch on the importance of HBCUs, and his hometown of Chicago being weaponized by politicians.
Common gets to reflect on the making of one of the greatest concept records of all-time in “I Used To Love H.E.R.” He digs into all the things that compelled him to write that song, and the profound influence it had on the culture, which naturally leads into talk about his past beef with Ice Cube stemming from a perceived diss to the west coast within those lyrics. He details where he was when he heard the first shot from Cube, the point in time when he felt he had to fire back with his own diss track, and how they eventually reconciled with the help of Minister Farrakhan. Common and Talib go on to reflect on their shared experience of meeting with activist Assata Shakur in Cuba through the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, as well as discuss recording at the famous Electric Lady Studios and how special that place is.
Later, Common goes on to reflect about the making of another one of his most iconic recordings in the song “The Light,” produced by the late great J Dilla. He expands on his close friendship with Dilla, being roommates with him while he was making “Donuts,” with his health steadily declining. The conversation moves to Kanye West and his recent announcement to run for president in 2020. Common provides his thoughts the moment he read the tweet, and answers the question of if he supports his bid. Common also goes on to talk about his work as an actor, and why he chose the roles that he did. He speaks on opening up in his new book about being molested as a child, he speaks about his work as an activist for prison reform, they discuss the topic of toxic-masculinity, and how much it’s ingrained in our culture. Common also gets to talk about his philanthropic work in the city of Chicago with his “Common Ground Foundation” and the A.I.M. charter school, and in closing Common is asked about his higher purpose, and what he feels like he owes the next generation.