With 14 years of making music on a major level on his résumé, obviously Common's career has legs. Last year he had another second wind, teaming up with Kanye West for the Grammy-nominated Be LP. But how long can Common keep his records in the forefront? Hopefully until the end of time, he says.
In fact, Common and Kanye are working on Finding Forever — Common's seventh album and the duo's second major collaboration (see "Common Wants Kanye For His Own Forever (No Diamonds Required)").
"For me, Finding Forever means being able to exist through music and art forever," Com explained last Thursday in New York, backstage at the first of two Roots shows at Radio City Music Hall (see "Nas, Common, Badu Join Roots For First Radio City Show"). "Finding a place where I can make something that will be here and be timeless, transcend age barriers and color barriers. I always wanted to do that with my music, but this is just making a statement of seeking that place of forever music.
"And now with the death of J Dilla and other things, you start thinking about forever lasting for real through music," he continued. "Jay Dee will last forever through his music and hopefully generations down the line will know about Common through his music (see "Jay Dee — Producer For Common, Busta And Tribe — Dies"). And it's also saying: I been doing this for a nice period of time, so I'm trying to find the place where I can keep existing in the game and make music I love."
Common and Kanye are still a ways off from Finding Forever's completion, but there's talk that the first single might be a record called "The Glory," which Com described as "a hard, raw joint."
" 'The Glory' is a street joint," he said. "It's one of those soulful songs I feel could touch the streets and beyond. That's the song Kanye wants for the first single, so we'll see. 'Cause we're cooking up a lot more songs. ... I don't ever want to repeat myself, but we have some of that raw essence of what hip-hop is, what Be has been, what Common has been — that's bringing that soul and beats and rhymes and the spirit. We have that, as well as some progression on the music."