Interview of hip hop artist Common by David Maher from

Pitchfork: Another thing you bring to the table a lot as an MC is spirituality. Do you have a daily spiritual routine, prayer time or anything like that?

Yeah. Every day, I try to read the Bible. I read the Qur’an. I try to pray a good amount of time per day. The Bible and the Qur’an are my food for the day, and I take time to do that. After reading, even if I just take a minute to pray, I take that time to communicate with God and be alone and talk to God. I think it’s very helpful. I’d prescribe it to anybody, whatever way they need to communicate with the Most High, with God, they take their time to do it each day because it’s healthy.

Do you have a favorite story in the Bible or the Qur’an?

One of my favorite stories is in the New Testament when Jesus took two fish and five loaves of bread and fed the people, and they were like, “How did he pull it off with two fish and five loaves?” And Jesus was like, “Man, you don’t understand. I can do a lot. I’m powerful.” That made me think. [People think] everything is so literal in the Bible. I don’t think everything is so literal, [but] even if Jesus didn’t do that literally, it reminds me of how powerful we can be, how powerful we are in our minds. We can feed the people. I love the fact that Jesus thinking that powerful and that great was able to feed the people with fish, and he accomplished it. I really like that.

[Another] one of my favorites is when Jesus, in the New Testament, when some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you hanging with the prostitutes and the trash collectors?” and he was like, “Man, it’s the sick that need the healing, not the well. It’s the sick that need the physicians.” It’s saying if you’ve got knowledge or wisdom or something, the scholars or those that are already converted need to be in the streets among the people that need to hear that information, you know?

Pitchfork: It sounds a little bit like the inspiration for “The People”, the first single from your album.

Common: That’s totally– that’s like, sometimes, I don’t even know. When you just said that it made me realize that is the inspiration behind it.