Common Tributes J Dilla And Kanye West On “Be” Anniversary

Be will always have a special place in the heart of Common fans. It’s the album that brought him back after the critical and commercial misfire that was Electric Circus. It’s regularly cited as one of the best rap albums of the 2000s. Be is such a good album that Common used the same exact formula to make Finding Forever two years later. Still, nothing has quite managed to recapture the magic. The longevity and the legacy of Be is what led Common to reflect on the album for its 19th anniversary.

The rapper took to Instagram on May 26 to pen a reflection on the album. “I was reminded that yesterday was the 19th anniversary for Be,” he noted. “Be changed my life and it’s amazing how many people come to me young and old who tell me they were inspired by that album. Give Thanks To The Most High.” The rapper also made a point of shouting out his main collaborators on the album: Kanye West and the late, great J Dilla. “How grateful I am to Ye and J Dilla,” he added. “All the artists and musicians who created on that album.”

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Common Said He’s Grateful For Both Producers

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Kanye West and Dilla deserve the praise. The former produced nine of the 11 songs on the album, and the latter produced the remaining two. Com originally planned to have West and J Dilla split the songs on the album, but Dilla’s failing health made it nearly impossible. Com had worked with Dilla on Like Water for Chocolate, and despite the producer’s passing in 2006, would continue to rap over his instrumentals on subsequent albums.

Common had contributed a guest verse on West’s debut album, The College Dropout, but it was during the making of Be that the two men became close friends. “It was the first time Kanye and I hooked up on an album,” he told Vibe Magazine in 2013. “I remember the times were special because we were both excited to work with each other, enthused and inspired. It was the first time I did an album that was instantly labeled a classic.”

Common also asserted that West and J Dilla had respect for each other as producers. “Dilla had a lot of love for Ye. And Ye had love for Dilla,” he told Hot 97 in January. “It was great to see somebody who was as great as Ye just be like, ‘Dilla gave me these joints!’”

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Updated: May 28, 2024 — 3:01 am