Common’s Advice For 6 Common Situations

When in doubt, just talk about Jay Z.

1. When someone you don’t know requests you as a friend on Facebook?

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“Check out who this person is and do some investigating,” Common said. “Go check out their Facebook. I’m not a good stalker to be honest. Maybe check out their Twitter, check out their Instagram. See what they’re doing, see people that they are related to or know. That’s as far as my stalking skills go.”

2. When you forget someone’s birthday?

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“Hit them with a NICE GIFT and you gotta CALL and say ‘Happy Belated.” He continued: “You gotta call, because you already forgot! They need to hear you. And when you call you gotta live up to it and say, ‘Man, I forgot.’ Or, ‘It slipped my mind.’ If it comes up! If it doesn’t come up, you don’t have to.”

3. When you want to tell someone you have a crush on them?

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“Let them know like a real man should,” Common said. He continued: “You start talking to them about things they like and then you ask where they would like to go eat. I love taking a girl to eat — I love food, and I hope she likes food too. And I have great conversations over dinner. If we’re at the movies, we’re not conversating. If you got a crush, you just gotta start talking to them.”

4. When you’re sitting next to someone with different political views at a dinner party, and they want to talk about politics?

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“You start talking about sports or the new Jay Z song,” he said. “I love sports and Jay Z is a great rapper, and most people are into one of the two.”

5. When a friend throws slight digs at you all the time?

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“You ask them, ‘WTF is UP? If you got something you need to get off your chest, let’s do it and get past it.’” He continued: “You listen to them. You gotta get to the root of their problem. You have to understand why they’re acting wild and continuing to slight you. It’s up to you to be honest and bring out the honesty in someone. It’s not your problem if they get defensive. You just gotta cool down hate with love. Listen to them, give them some love. Give them a hug.”

6. When you see people in your hometown struggling?

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“You go back home and do all you can to make the situation better for them, but first you gotta find out exactly what’s needed. Listen and then get to work = Nobody’s Smiling,” he said, referencing the name of his tenth album, where Common balances his thoughts on growing up in Chicago with the perspectives of young rappers like Lil Herb and Vince Staples. “When you see something going on in your city, you can’t go in like you know everything,” he said. “Do your best to talk to people and find out what they need. Then find ways to fulfill those needs. In Chi, a lot of young people say they need money — so one of the things we did was go in the city and work with Donda’s House, Kanye’s mom’s foundation, and we got 20,000 jobs for kids in Chicago. Thats something thats automatically productive. Money, but also keeping them off the streets. There’s more things that need to be done, but we can’t wait on the government. Government is full of politics. You gotta take matters into your own hands.”

Watch Common’s “Kingdom” video, featuring Vince Staples:

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