Common is featured in Men’s Health Hip-Hop 50 celebration, highlighting the impact of Nas when reflecting on his own single “Respect for Life.”


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Speaking with writer Keith Nelson, Common revealed a fan once said the single helped in his decision to have his kid. Common revealed the song came from a life experience but stated that it was the same personal energy, the ability to connect fans through music, Nas captured through Illmatic.

“He experienced it, and the way he told it was just beautiful. In ‘One Love,’ he talks to his boy in prison,” Common said. “That’s one of the greatest songs ever written. Recently, there was a dude at the play I did called Between Riverside and Crazy who was in a wheelchair. His mother was talking to me, and she said, “He’s so happy to meet you. He loves you, loved the play, and really loves your music.” A friend of his was dying, and he told him to listen to my music. That hit me in a different way because he told him to listen to it because it would give him some hope.”

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You can read more of Common’s Men’s Health feature, chronicling his journey in Health here.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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