Drake has had quite the meteoric rises to acclaim and fame in the last few years. And that propulsion has not been without its bumps, but it has been without any significant Hip-Hop beef. Finally, the time has come, and Common is the one.
Common, for those who may be completely out to lunch, dinner, and breakfast, has become one of the most revered rappers ever since his debut in the 90s. His career has spanned decades, and he’s considered one of the most consistent rappers to date. For all of his eccentricities, he’s also a beast lyrically.
Drake stands at a crossroads with this Common situation, and it will be extremely important to his future in Hip-Hop. I know Drizzy tends not to care about what people - Hip-Hop heads included - have to say about whatever moves he makes. But, in my opinion, this is different.
So, here are the “Top 5 Things Drake Needs To Do Regarding The Common Beef":
1. RESPOND TO COMMON’S DISS
Right now, Common – quite frankly – is beasting Drake. His immediate response to “Stay Schemin'” dropped the hammer in a major way. Clearly, Common went fishing for a beef in his subliminal song, “Sweet,” and Drizzy took the bait when he lightly called Com out. (Click here to listen to both verses.) If you are going to respond to being called out, you better also be ready to go in.
2. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO IGNORE COMMON
Just because Common is beasting Drake doesn’t mean that Drake is losing. To the contrary, we’ve seen many instances where a rapper was aggressively pursuing another one, and at the end, the aggressor lost. Drake reveres Jay-Z, but Nas certainly gave it to Jay on “Ether.”
But, another oft forgotten moment came just prior to the release of Common’s “The Bitch In Yoo.” At that time, which was 1996, The Westside Slaughterhouse (Ice Cube, Mack 10 and WC) was pummeling Common for his song, “I Used To Love H.E.R.” What happened next solidified a moment in history. Common released “The Bitch In You,” and scorched Ice Cube and company. At that time, Common was seen as a softer rapper, but they soon realized, and Minister Farrakhan was called in. End of story.
3. DON’T USE THE “WE DON’T REPLY TO LESSER PEOPLE” WITH COMMON
Obviously, I don’t know what going on in Drake’s mind. He may not care. He may be saying, “Oh, s**t! What the hell are we gonna do now?” After seeing the tweets one Drake affiliate suggested that they were above Common. He retweeted somebody that said, “Never respond to a less successful n*gga,” but then also quoted Jay-Z on “Light Up.” Remember, Jay recently denounced “silly rap feuds,” but in the past, he’s beefed with everybody from Meeno to Ma$e. He earned his stripes. Common is not a “less successful n*gga” by any stretch of the imagination - even the most uneducated fool can see that. Don’t regard Common as anything but a peer.
4. PLAY CHESS
Now, if going head up with a straight-out diss against Common isn’t the route for the Canadian rapper, then perhaps he can take some tips from Rick Ross. Remember, 50 Cent was the antagonist in the most major way against Rozay. But, Ross played a masterful game of chess with 50, and when the smoke cleared, he was victorious. He used an unseen method of aggressive and passive moves. Perhaps Drake can do the same.
5. PLAY THE GAME, THEN MAKE UP
Honestly, I still don’t know what happened between Drake and Common, so the fifth maxim is a hard one to decide. Nothing short of an "Ether" moment is going to disable Common lyrically. But, Drake could deliver his best diss, and then peace the beef, effectively getting the last word. Not likely, but possible. Remember when 50 and The Game were beefing? They presented a big check for charity to end their beef - even if it was clear at the time that neither one of them wanted to be there.
Final thought. I’m clearly not in the inside of this quarrel, but the motives don’t seem so obvious. "Common The Barbarian" is not common at all in Hip-Hop. He’s never been that guy, and he and Drake share more commonalities than differences. But, there are differences, and that’s why Drake needs to make a definitive statement. Common’s a well-known former wild boy from the Southside of Chicago. He came through on his own accord, unaffiliated as far as I can see. When push came to shove, he defended his gate from Ice Cube, another beast. (Don’t forget “No Vaseline,” people!)
I’d like to see Drake, who I gained newfound respect for after interviewing him in 2011, get the respect of those that once doubted Common in the '90s. I think that will only happen with the proper response. Make no mistake about it, Common is a monster when he wants to be, but Drake needs to crumble to lyrical bullying. Fight back!