(AllHipHop News) What abilities would you pull from different artists to create the perfect emcee? Hip Hop veteran Common was asked that question during a sit down with HardKnocksTV. Com pulled together parts of some of the most respected names in the culture’s history to form the ultimate “Emcee Voltran.”
The creator of the Grammy nominated album Nobody’s Smiling explained why he would choose pieces from one of Brooklyn’s finest, a poet from Queens, a passionate West Coast artist, a Chitown rapper/producer, an ATLien flow master, and a South Bronx legend.
During the interview, Common also discussed the topic of Hip Hop being inclusive of different races. White artists’ participation in the culture has been a major point of interest throughout the year. J. Cole recently sparked another debate about the perception of Hip Hop being “whitewashed” on his song “Fire Squad.”
Cole’s track includes the lines, “Same thing that my n***a Elvis did with Rock-n-Roll / Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and then Macklemore / While silly n***as argue over who gonna snatch the crown / Look around my n***a White people have snatched the sound.”
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In his view, Common does not believe the involvement of other races and nationalities in the genre will take away from the original spirit of Hip Hop. He points to how 1980’s acts like Slick Rick and the Beastie Boys represented the culture, but they were not from the streets.
“Hip Hop can definitely be inclusive of all races and still keep its essence. Hip Hop, truly at its core, is about expression,” said Com. “It started in inner-cities, in the hoods – and it is rooted in the hoods – but it still has been able to spread out and grow. You can think about some of the earlier groups. Everybody wasn’t just a hood guy.”
Common added that he sees Hip Hop as the bridge that brings different cultures together. His experiences performing for audiences of mixed races is a personal highlight for the 42-year-old rapper.
“One of the biggest joys I’ve had is looking out in the crowd and seeing White people rocking, Latino people, Asian people. When you go to certain areas it’s Native Americans rocking – Black people,” stated Common. “It’s been the culture that has allowed a lot of people to come from different walks of life and celebrate it.”
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Watch Common’s interview below.