2007 marked the year that Kanye West came out victorious in a sales war with 50 Cent, setting off a formative transition in hip hop. According to Chicago hero Common, it was Kanye’s ability to act as an industry intermediary that defined this seismic shift– “Kanye kind of brought in a thing where it was like, you could rap about getting money and Jesus walks. You could be down with Jay Z and Mos Def. Kanye started bringing together those different worlds.” G.O.O.D Music was thus born, beginning with Kanye, John Legend and Common himself. Watch the video above for more on the story behind the label as well as how West produced the instrumental for “The Corner” in 2005.
Watch out for Common’s new album Black America Again, arriving on November 4.