Behind the scenes, Kanye West has been making moves since 2001. Kanye West produced Jay-Z’s 2001 hit, “Izzo,” and had vocals on several Jay-Z songs. In 2002, Kanye West began actively trying to start his career as an artist. Despite being a great producer, Roc-A-Fella Records did not believe he had what it took to become a major rapper. However, by 2003, work began on Kanye West’s debut album.
Along with his career, Kanye West also established G.O.O.D. Music. While working with Roc-A-Fella, West had also been producing for several Chicago-area rappers, including Common and Twista, who was close to joining Roc-A-Fella. When he launched his record label, Kanye West turned heads when Common joined the roster. Over the years, G.O.O.D. Music has expanded to its current status, with an exclusive deal with Def Jam.
While these moves were being made, Common made the decision to leave G.O.O.D. Music to start his own imprint under Warner Bros. Records. Many felt Common’s decision to leave was due to a falling out with Kanye West, but both denied those reports. Those rumors were further fueled when Common’s new album, The Dreamer, The Believer was revealed to have no input from Kanye West. With everything going on, Common spoke with XXL to explain his current relationship with Kanye West and the G.O.O.D. Music movement.
Common revealed he is still a G.O.O.D. Music-affiliated artist, but he is now just signed to Warner Bros. and launching his Think Common imprint. At the end of the day, Common made a business decision and Warner Bros. had the flexibility to help him establish his own label, while G.O.O.D. Music did not. The first album under Think Common/Warner Bros. Records is Common’s upcoming ninth studio album, The Dreamer, The Believer. The album will be released in five days, on December 20.