Common Defends Drake After Yasiin Bey ‘Pop’ Criticism
Common has defended Drake after Yasiin Bey criticized the Canadian rap star by calling him a “pop” artist.
During an appearance on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning on Wednesday (January 24), the Chicago rap legend weighed in on Bey’s recent comments and the wider discussion about Drake’s place in Hip Hop culture.
Common defended his former rival, saying: “I wrote a song called ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ and that joint was really speaking to when it 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.”
“To me, I think Drake comes from Hip Hop,” he continued. “When I first heard him rhyming, I was like, ‘Yo, this dude rhyming.’ And if he goes out and makes songs that are popular, then that’s what it is. He’s still an MC.
“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 […] 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 their difference in opinion, Common praised Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), who is one of his closest friends and collaborators in Hip Hop.
“Yasiin is a genius, man” he said. “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, but I’m saying he has poetry within his rap. He can style on anything. He can do a lot.”