Nas, Kanye West & Heavy D Reach “Common Ground” at Benefit Concert

Common enlisted so many well-known peers for his second annual benefit concert at the L.A.’s Hollywood Paladium last Saturday (September 26) that the show had to be abbreviated as “Common and Friends”on the venue’s marquee.

And it was certainly a night that could qualify as epic, given that De La Soul, The Roots, Ludacris, Nas, Mos Def and Talib Kweli as Black Star, Heavy D and Queen Latifah all gave spirited sets that flowed seamlessly, one into the next.

The night’s absolute highlight came when Common took to the mic to announce that the night’s surprise guest, Kanye West, would not make an appearance due to the backlash from his recent MTV Video Music Awards controversy. But before Common could finish the message, DJ Dummy dropped the beat to “Get ‘Em High” and Ye ran onto the stage, sending the crowd into hysteria.

The night had many other interesting turns. Nas joined Ludacris to do his verse on “I Do It for Hip-Hop” and then, after performing “One Mic” and “The World Is Yours” alone, Common joined Nas to deliver “New York State Mind.” For fans, it was an incredible sight to behold as Com delivered the first full verse of the classic track, word-for-word, while Nas looked on.

Both greats then introduced the next guest, Heavy D. The early-90s superstar took it back with “Nuttin’ But Love.” Then, Queen Latifah came out to do “U-N-I-T-Y,” as Kanye, Talib Kweli and Mos Def remained on stage, providing the occasional adlib.

Before the show, Common told that he wasn’t alone in handpicking the artists, although he admitted he “made a couple calls, too.” “I have a team that works with me and they suggested some of the names, and made the efforts to get a lot of the artists,” Common said.

The event was the second major benefit for the rapper’s Common Ground Foundation, which raises money to donate to worthy causes. “We raise money so that we can give money to different programs that support what we’re into and what we’re into is encouraging the youth towards entrepreneurship, towards reading more, towards self-love and self-empowerment,” Common said. “We locate programs that already focus on that and we take this money and give it to them.” -Slav Kandyba

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  • ty


    • capcobra

      it used to be it’s J7M..but it’s never 1st.


      I beat his ass 6 yrs ago @ a BMF BabtyShower! I remember He said, “so what” to Big Meech. I thought he said “Suu WUUU” A blood callin to war chant. I looked back and said, “Nigga Kool Aid” (My fallen Comrad also a OOOG Crip from Alabama) Then I went & beat the shit outta him right there! Jermaine Dupree & Ne Ne from Real Housewives of Atlanta called me the next day begging for me not to fucc his blood affiliated ass up begging for his life! I’m Jeezy’s 4th Cousin I ain’t lyin!

  • capcobra

    dammit…i needed to be there.

  • EmCDL

    Damn that show sounded like it was dope…I didn’t even know about this and I live in CA…

  • that nigga

    Thats incredible. I love to see shit like this in the black & hip hop community.

    On another note: Jay Z is real gay for takin NaS off the “Empire State of Mind” song for Etherin’ both Jays’ verses. “Empire State of Mind” dont even sound right without NaS on I fuckin Jay still dickridin the kid. His career will have an asteric next to it.

    • Eric

      you sound real suspect, seeing as this article has nothing to do with Jay-Z.

      Anyway, did Nas call you and tell you that Jay-Z took him off the song? Damn, you must have connections.

      Its highly possible and highly likely that Nas being on the song was a rumor. Build a bridge and get over it.

      • that nigga

        Nah, It was on the original track listing you jackass and he also told a reporter to “skip that question” in a recent interview. Do your homework before you respond to people’s comments. Like you said “highly” meaning you have no fuckin idea so shut the fuck up.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    Heavy D. Wow. I ain’t mad.

    Who remembers this song? Was listening to it early this morning:

    Main Source-”A Friendly Game of Baseball”.

  • One900Romello

    How bout they showed Common video Breaker 1/9 on Vh1 soul…..WOW can you say throwback see if you can find that video……again …WOW. lmao

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