Shared Stories video transcript

Common, the rapper, shares a stage with Laysha Ward. They both sit in gray office chairs with a small end-table and water glasses between them. The stage is lit with a standing lamp, and a heavy black curtain forms a backdrop. An audience sits close to the stage.
LAYSHA: I'm curious given that you are constantly in the public spotlight, how are you able to remain authentically and unapologetically you? In spite of the headlines or what's happening in social media posts, how are you able to stay true to you?
We see a brief close-up view of Laysha listening to his answer, and the camera switches back to a far shot.
COMMON: Well, I--I think it goes back to also reaffirming and knowing what my purpose is and knowing that a purpose is greater than an award, meaning I'm super grateful to have, like, the awards that I've achieved, but the greater part of that was the platform it created for me and I could be more purposeful in what I was doing.
He continues speaking in close-up.
COMMON: So when criticism comes, I have to understand that some-- that is gonna happen. Criticism is gonna happen. It's just we in a world people will criticize. They have an opinion. But if it's--if I don't use that criti-- if I want to receive that criticism, then I better use it to go forward. I'm not gonna use it to damage and, like, go through the cycle of me just being like, "Oh, man, they keep talking about me, and they saying this about me." If it's something that I can use to correct myself, then I'll absorb it, but I actually feel like I keep a good circle around me of people who are able to critique with the right intention.
LAYSHA: Okay.
COMMON: So I don't look to everybody for their opinion. I kind of go through-- I go through my board and be like, "Hey, what you think of this? What you think of that?" And, you know, knowing that you are doing things for a higher purpose, it allows you sometimes when the numbers don't turn out that great, you still know that you fulfilled what you're supposed to do, and it's still part of the journey. I know that's probably tougher to hear for Target owners or people at Target. Like, y'all want the numbers, but the truth of the matter is, I really do believe that the corporations that I've seen function and the people that I've seen function at the best level just-- they make moves because of integrity. They make moves because it is aligned with who they are and what they--what they envision the company of themselves to be, so I just--you know, that doesn't mean you don't--I don't feel criticism sometimes, but I don't go out and look for it too much either. Like, I'm not reading every review about my music. I'm not reading every, like, you know, comment about something I released. I do--you know, I check out some things, take it in, and keep it moving.
LAYSHA: Right.
COMMON: Because as--as a creator, I don't want to-- I don't want to consume all the time. I want to create too. So if I'm constantly just taking in what everybody else is saying, then I ain't--I'm not even creating time for me to create.
LAYSHA: Uh-huh.
COMMON: I'm just consuming.
LAYSHA: Yeah.