Common and Drake are on opposite sides of a high-profile rap quarrel at the moment – but Common tells Rolling Stone he isn't too proud to admit he respects his adversary as an artist. "I think he makes good music," the Chicago veteran says of Drake. "He's definitely said some real clever things and made some cool songs. I like his music."
Tension between the two MCs has been building for weeks, with both Common and Drake sending what appeared to be veiled insults each other's way in songs and live performances. Earlier this month, their war of words went public when Drake spit some particularly hostile-sounding rhymes on his Rick Ross collaboration "Stay Schemin'" – only to be met with a spirited unofficial remix by Common, who comically dubbed the younger Toronto star "Canada Dry."
"I don't think I had anything to prove," Common says. "I just felt like somebody stepped and challenged me, so I had to step into the ring. He said some things that I thought were directed at me, so I had to address it back."
Now that it's all out in the open, Common is ready to move on. "I feel like I said what I had to say, and I'm just going to let it be at that point," he says. "Now, if something else happens, then I'll just have to act accordingly. But right now, I feel like, man, I said what I needed to say about this situation on record."
Adds Common: "It's nothing like, 'Oh man, it's so personal.' It's just the art of rhyming, man. The art of rhyming!"