Jay Z has complained about finding the balance between critical acclaim and commercial success. Hell, he even name dropped Common on “Moment Of Clarity” when he rapped about the problem.
If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
But I did 5 mill’ – I ain’t been rhyming like Common since
Granted, Common hasn’t sold five million records, but he has sold around 2.5 million though. And, in his 20-plus years in the game he has found the balance that Jay claims is so hard to achieve.
Common has recorded songs with people and companies like Rawkus Records, who at one time represented the epitome of backpacker Hip Hop.
Fast forward 2014 and Common is winning Oscars for “conscious” songs like “Glory” that was the driving force behind the movie Selma.
To go from being featured on “underground” Rawkus compilations to winning Academy Awards is quite a good example of balance. Dare we say that he proved Jigga’s theory wrong?