Common Dishes on Chicago’s Rapper Diversity in “Behind The Movie: Exploring Chicago with the Cast of Barbershop: The Next Cut

"We always bring something that's true to us," he said.

We’re just days away from VH1’s special “Behind The Movie: Exploring Chicago with the Cast of Barbershop: The Next Cut.” The inaugural episode of Behind The… will take you to the streets of Chicago and explore issues young people face in the city, including gun violence–a central theme in Barbershop: The Next Cut (out April 15).

But if you can’t wait until April 11 (when the special airs), we have a surprise for you: a sneak peek clip featuring Common, who plays Rashad in Barbershop: The Next Cut. He dishes about a topic close to the Barbershop franchise’s heart: hop hop.

Each installment in the Barbershop franchise features a who’s who of hip hop heavyweights, which gives more shine to the genre in general. That extends to rap stars from Chicago, who are diverse AF, according to Common (a South Side native himself).

“One thing about Chicago artists that I still appreciate–that I think existed when I first came out–[is] we always bring something that’s true to us,” Common told the special’s host Sway Calloway. “I ain’t come out trying to act like I was a gangsta. I represented exactly who I am and what I am.”

He specifically cited Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco as great examples of Chicago rappers who stay true to themselves. “Lupe grew up on the West Side in a tough ’hood, but he still talked about skateboarding and showed another aspect of who we are as Black people.”

Common also gave shout-outs to Lil Bibby, G Herbo, Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, four very different rappers who all hail from The Chi.

“That’s what I like about Chicago hip hop,” Common said. “We still represent who we are.” Cheers to that!

“Behind The Movie: Exploring Chicago with the Cast of Barbershop: The Next Cut” airs Monday, April 11 at 10 p.m. on VH1.