Common appears in the first episode of Complex’s Rules to This Shit documentary series that covers the trials and tribulations of embarking on a rap career. In the 23-minute video, the Chicago rapper recalls the time his friends stole items from Redman and Keith Murray’s (mistaken for Kool G Rap) dressing rooms during one of his first ever shows.
“When I first started, I would have a guest list of like 30 people,” he explained. “I remember one of my first concerts, I was opening for Redman and Kool G Rap. Some of my friends went into one of their dressings rooms and stole stuff off their rider and ate their food. I ended up having to pay for it. The promoter was like, ‘We charging you. We know that was your homies.’ I was, not ostracized, but I felt bad. And it just was one of those things where it was growing pains.”
He continues, “When you do have those people who want to participate in the music business with you, like who really has the skills? And that’s just business. The philosophy that I would always tells cats is like, ‘I can only give you so much opportunity. You gon’ have to truly have the skill, talent and desire to do it.’”
Common references Kool G Rap in the documentary, but he appears to mix him up with Keith Murray based on quotes in his 2011 book, One Day It’ll All Make Sense. In the book, he talks more about the incident happening shortly after his debut album was released.
“Early on, that immaturity would show itself,” he said. “For one, I’d always insist on bringing my guys with me to every show. I’m not talking about four or five, I’m talking about 15, 20 dudes! They’d get backstage and run amok. I remember one time, right after the release of Can I Borrow a Dollar? I was doing a big show in Chicago at the Regal with Redman and Keith Murray. This was major for me. These cats were some of the hottest artists out at that time. So I was back in my dressing room with my guys, basically in a utility closet.”
He continued, “Ron, Ransom, Murray and a few others found Redman and Keith Murray’s dressing room, a spacious spot with a lavish spread of food. We’re talking little finger sandwiches, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, all that shit. They didn’t leave a morsel. I don’t think I knew what was going on, but if I did, I wouldn’t have minded. Derek [Dudley – Common’s manager] did, though, especially when management came up to him and told him that we’d have to pay for everything they took! Meanwhile, I went out and rocked the show.”
The Rules to This Sh*t documentary also stars rappers such as N.O.R.E., Too $hort and Cousin Stizz, along with never-before-soon footage of the late Nipsey Hussle — watch above.