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Common Taps Kanye West, No I.D. for ‘The Believer’

Conscious rapper Common is walking on familiar territory while creating his ninth opus, ‘The Believer.’ The Chicago native has tapped longtime friends and colleagues No I.D. and Kanye West to craft a bevy of tracks for his upcoming release, set for the summer of 2010.

No strangers to working together, Common spent much of his early rap career rhyming over No I.D. beats. The producer, who went by the name Immenslope in the early ’90s, created the bulk of Common’s beginner material on albums such as ‘Can I Borrow A Dollar?’ and ‘Resurrection,’ including the notable track, ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.’ Now, the rapper-turned-actor has come full circle.

“We did some preliminary pre-production type stuff, and it just felt so good to be working with him,” Common says in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “You meet up with the person who’s partially responsible for beginning your career, and you’re like, “Man, this is really cool – that we meet at this place in our lives and our creative journeys and we really are enthused to work with each other.”

As for Kanye West, the two originally joined forces on ‘Be,’ Common’s sixth studio album. The primarily West-produced effort was the first of Common’s material to be released under the G.O.O.D. Music imprint. His follow-up effort, ‘Finding Forever,’ earned the rapper a Grammy award for ‘Southside,’ which was produced by and featured West. Though another trophy would be nice, Common has the basics in mind when working with ‘Ye this go around.

“We know that we want to do some raw hip-hop,” Common reveals. “That’s exactly the direction and feel we want, so that’s the basis of it. ‘Ye and I definitely know we want to do some pure hip-hop.”

Besides getting back in the booth, Common has wrapped production on two films. The versatile actor plays an NBA basketball player in ‘Just Wright,’ which co-stars Queen Latifah and Paula Patton. He also jumps on the comedy wagon alongside Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Mark Wahlberg in ‘Date Night.’

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