Though he loves the music and the culture, Common admits that it has taken a turn. "Hip-hop has been this child that we had. Our elders kind of abandoned the child at a young age and said, 'Okay, we don't really understand this. We don't relate to this,'" he says. "And now as hip-hop has evolved and grown up, our parents are expecting hip-hop to be perfect and to be right."
Despite staying clear of such denigrating ideas in his own music, Common says he refuses to abandon the culture. "I'm going to ride with my hip-hop people, because if I divide myself that's going to continue to keep the problem going," he says. "If criticism could come with love, we can make some progress."