OPINION: Drake vs. Common


In XXL’s April 2010 issue, Lloyd Banks filled in the blanks to 20 questions. Question No. 8 was, “ ______ career would have been better off if he didn’t bump heads with G-Unit.” Guess whose career he chose to fill in that blank? He chose “Ja Rule’s.” Now, does the same go from Drake when it comes to bumping heads with Common?

Not yet. But it is a warning that cautions “do no repeat.”

According to hearsay, the cause for the whole battle (this is not beef, there is a difference) between Common and Drake is tennis great Serena Williams. In early 2010, Com and Williams ended their lengthy relationship. What’s more, Drizzy was rumored to be involved with Williams, during late 2011. Drake did not shoot down the gossip like Williams did in August of 2010, when she deemed him as just a “close friend.” In the thank you section for his sophomore album Take Care, Drake added fuel to the fire. “Serena Williams (you have given me a very exciting year and I am so grateful to have you in my life…” Come what may, the origin of the battle is not of great import; the music being produced is and the consequences of the battle might be.

“I’m hearing all of the jokes. I know that they trying push me. I know that showing emotion don’t ever mean I’m a p—-. Know that I don’t make music for n—-s who don’t get p—-. So, those are the ones I count on to diss me or overlook me,” Drizzy voiced on his track “Lord Knows.”

Those bars by the Toronto native seemed enough to ward off other, potential detractors besides the ones who did prior to the release of the record, yet who could have ever predicted Common to be one? And, the hip-hop veteran with nine albums under his belt did not only diss him; he almost finished him.

Common jumped on Rick Ross’s “Stay Schemin” that features Drake voicing several indirect bars that are all but surely about him and: rapped about Drake’s father (“Son of a b—-, I imagine what your father is”), expressed the fact that Drizzy stole Big Sean’s flow (“His style, he don’t own it”), questioned Drake’s true grit which many have reservations about (“Everybody know you sweet, what the problem is… Acting all hard when he hardly like that… You a b—-because you cling like a b—- that’s eighteen”), called him out on the fact that he continues spitting allusive bars (“Can’t say my name but rap about a n—-’s wife”) and even casted aspersions on Drake’s bicultural status (“You so black and white, trying to live a n—-’s life”).

Common did all that in one verse, soon after the original “Stay Schemin” dropped, mentioned Drizzy’s name and pointed out how Drake implied how he was going to confront Com with his crew instead of by himself? Game over? Not quite yet. One has to at least revisit Drake’s verse on the track.

“I just ask them ‘when you see me you speak up n—-,’ that’s all,” rapped Drake on the song, which was dope but also was the lone bar that Drake in which case referred to confronting Com by himself, without his crew.

“Me and my G from DC that’s how I roll around. Might look light, but we heavy though. You think Drake will pull some shit like that? You never know,” Drake also added in his verse.

Was Drake talking about being strapped now? Really? Come on. Not only that, he mentioned the fact he would not be alone, which he did multiple times. Then, he started oddly rapping about Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant’s divorce and strayed from what sounded like confidential matters Serena told him about Com, “Shorty wanna tell me secrets about a rap n—-.”

“I’m just hitting my pinnacle. You and p—- identical. You like the f—ing finish line. We can’t wait to run into you,” OVOXO’s czar rapped.

Again, there is another hot part to Drake’s diss to Common, but, similar to the previous part I referred to as being dope, the Canadian-born rapper loses points because he stated he and his crew “can’t wait to run into” Com, instead of him alone.

Still, back to the lesson Drizzy should have learned from the Ja Rule/G-Unit beef, which is basically to avoid bumping heads with rappers’ disses that digress one from the content that they make and is accepted for. Imagine it was not Common, who is not considered the toughest guy by casual hip-hop fans to say the least. Envision this had been Jadakiss or an up-and-comer with 50 Cent’s aggressiveness and Jay-Z’s elite lyricism. Conjure up Drizzy doing a record like “Clap Back” and changing his whole persona similar to how Ja did.
Next time, it will not be Common. And, no Com is not a punk. In 1990s, he battled Ice Cube before Cube’s family movie days. In the early 2000s, Common slapped a heckling fan during a live performance in South Carolina.

Quite the contrary, Drake last had a rap feud with Kardinal Offishall. Yes, Kardinal Offishall. And, what is Drizzy known for doing live? Saying he loves Rihanna and briefly ranting about how he is not a b—- because he sings. Further, Drake can wear Carhartt and all black as much as he wants to, but now it’s time he responds directly. He got leeway since Common’s “Sweet” was indirect, even though Com stated it was not specifically for Drake and that Drake “embraced” it on his own. But now, Drake replied with “Stay Schemin” and has no choice but to reply or people will forever think he is indeed “sweet.” Still, he should make sure to avoid replying to most disses from here on or his career could end up like Ja’s and people will likely just shake their head and say “look what you’ve done.”

Drake, it’s your turn.