About a month ago, a snippet of the No ID-produced "Ghetto Dreams" appeared on Amazon, with the song being credited to Think Common Entertainment and the full version thought to be dropping June 23. That date came and went without a release from Common as he announced his new record deal.
But over the weekend, Nas took it upon himself to leak the song via Twitter. "I'm giving @common 15 minutes or I'm putting this sh-- out myself! #GhettoDreams," tweeted Nas, who kept his word and liberated the track when the deadline passed.
According to Common, No ID has produced all of the music on The Dreamer, The Believer.
"That was the first song we did for the album," Common told MTV News. "No ID said, 'I got something for you.' He played that beat, I was like, 'Oh, sh--.' I kind of hopped into it, like a zone, a character almost [while] writing it. It was just so raw, something like '95, but new sounding. Then he put up this Nas vocal [sample] going, 'Ghetto dreams,' and then I was like, 'Oh sh--.' "
"My ghetto housewife watch reality shows/ She might get to snapping if the cabinets ain't closed/ When the cameras start snapping she ready to pose," raps Common over the tracks shimmering synth and rumbling drums. The Chicago MC and actor excitedly described how he was so inspired when writing the song's lyrics.
"I decided to write about ghetto dreams just in a way that was raw," Common said. "I almost approached it like I was a character because I don't smoke cigarettes and blah, blah, blah. But I still was talking abut those things 'cause it's like, if I step in the shoes of myself and my other friends and people that just dream about higher things coming from a tougher place. I told it in respect to the relationship I got with my lady, it's ill. It's not a love song or none of that; it's just raw. It's ill lyrics man, I'm telling you."
Nas heard an early version of the track and immediately wanted to jump on the song. According to Common, No ID and Nas were in the studio recording together when the producer played the Queensbridge MC the record. "Once Nas heard that — No ID played it for them 'cause they was working — and Nas was like, 'I'll get on that,' " Common said. "And Nas is my favorite MC, so that was a blessing."
The artwork for "Ghetto Dreams" features a photo of a youthful looking Nas and Common that was taken sometime in the mid '90s.
"We was at a Fat Joe video, I think," Common recalled. "Two young MCs, young dudes, just real young cats, one from Chicago, one from Queens that just ended up reconnecting and connecting and always being cool. I ain't going to say 'reconnected,' 'cause every time me and Nas always would chop it up, I felt like we was two musicians that really just loved and respected each other, two voices that really mean something to the culture and respect the culture. So, we always had on a personal level just a respect for each other."