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Common Says He & No I.D. Are Crafting ‘Positive Hip-Hop’

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Since he took time away from the music game to grow his acting career, Common is ready to get back to his first passion: rapping. The Chicago native, who is featured on this year’s Rock the Bells tour, is gearing up for the release of his ninth album, ‘The Dreamer, The Believer,’ which also finds him collaborating with producer No I.D. In addition, the album mark Common’s debut release at his new label home, Warner Bros. Records, upon leaving Universal Records after 10 years.

While his last release, 2008′s ‘Universal Mind Control,’ divided critics and fans for its hyper electro-meets-hip-hop sound, the project snagged Common a pair of Grammy nominations, despite the lack of commercial success. This go ’round, the 39-year-old is steering towards the sonic technique that his fans have become accustomed to.

“It’s going to be positive hip-hop. Hip-hop that can really generate good spirit, the spirit of the music and just good energy,” Common tells The BoomBox. “I’m excited about the album ['The Dreamer, The Believer']. I feel blessed that I got to work with No I.D. I’m enthused to do hip-hop, which is something that I have to do when I feel it.”

Both hailing from Chicago, Common and No I.D. have made musical magic before, first collaborating on the rapper’s debut album, ‘Can I Borrow A Dollar,’ back in 1992. No I.D. has gone on to become one of the go-to-guys in the game, hailed as the “Godfather of Chicago Hip-Hop,” and is credited for giving Kanye West his start.

In working together, Common and No I.D. look to rediscover the origin of hip-hop. “It’s the spirit and energy of hip-hop that made you just enjoy it and love the music and not feel like, ‘Man, is this gonna sell?’ or ‘I sold this many.’ It’s stuff that made you feel something, it’s stuff that you can use that inspired your life. I think about hip-hop like Brand Nubians and KRS-One and N.W.A. and Rakim, that stuff inspired my life. Those things really shaped who I am.”

‘The Dreamer, The Believer’ hits stores Nov. 22.

Watch Common’s ‘Go’

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