Common Explains How He Stays Lyrically Fit [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
For over two decades, Common has remained lyrically sharp.
In this informative segment of our '16 Bars' series, presented by Honda, the Chicago wordsmith explains his routine of staying lyrically fit. Up-and-coming rappers, please take note.
1. Stay "In Tune" to the People
For Common, staying in tune means he’s always aware of his surroundings. He observes where he lives, how people are interacting with him and with other folks. In essence, he becomes a sociologist. "In tune is just being able to listen sometimes [and] being able to say your own perspective," he explains. "I stay in tune to the people."
2. Appreciate Art and Life
To stay lyrically fit, rappers shouldn’t be in the strip clubs 24 hours a day. For Common, he embraces art and life. "I digest art. For an MC to grow, you have to be growing in life," he explains. "I like to experience life. Some of my stories come from that."
3. Study the Lyrical Greats
Common also studies other great MCs to remind him of the level he should be at when it comes to rhyming. "Recently, I've been listening to Rakim and Biggie a lot and remembering the level [of greatness] that it should be at," he explains. "Just because I like what's going on now, and some of the artists are bringing some great things to the table, I still know where my level of rhyming should be at."
These are some smart tips. Check out the bonus video below to hear Common talk about freestyling and how he battled fellow Chicago native Kanye West back in the days. Who do you think won that lyrical bout? Find out below.