Common Says Fat Joe ‘Saved My Life’ During Tense Moment With Mack 10’s Crew

Common and Fat Joe came up in music during the Golden Era of hip-hop and got cool with each other in their early years. Common — known as Common Sense at the time — broke out on the Chicago scene before hitting it big with his song “I Used to Love H.E.R.” Fans may recall how that single kicked off a feud with West Coast rapper Ice Cube that lasted for a few years. But it was Fat Joe who intervened and according to Common, saved his life.

Common at 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, 2020; Fat Joe attends the TIDAL's 5th Annual TIDAL X benefit concert, 2019
Common at 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, 2020 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images; Fat Joe attends the TIDAL’s 5th Annual TIDAL X benefit concert, 2019 | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for TIDAL

How the Common and Ice Cube beef started

The ‘90s birthed many legendary hip-hop beefs, and the one involving Common and Ice Cube eventually looped in Pete Rock, Mack 10, and Minister Louis Farrakhan. It’s old and dead now, but was serious at the time.

After Common dropped his ode to hip-hop, “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” Ice Cube apparently took some of the lyrics as a diss toward the West Coast. He responded in kind with his verse on “Westside Slaughterhouse,” a song that appeared on Mack 10’s album. By 1996, they continued the diss track war with Common’s Pete-Rock produced “B–ch In Yoo,” which escalated the situation.

In 1997, Farrakhan invited all parties involved and other rap figures to his Peace Summit, and they all squashed it. Kind of.

Common recalls Fat Joe talking down Mack 10

Common recently stopped by Hot 97 to talk about music and his acting career, and he reflected on his friendship with Fat Joe. “You know, that brother kind of saved my life. Fat Joe saved my life,” he said. He remembered how the Terror Squad rapper stepped up to squash a tense encounter with Mack 10.

Sprite brought hip-hop artists together from different regions of the country to shoot a commercial in the late ’90s. Common, Mack 10, Westside Connection, and Fat Joe were part of the project, and filming took place in Los Angeles. This was after everyone made peace. But on set, someone from Common’s camp antagonized Mack 10 with an ice stare. It led to a verbal confrontation, and Mack 10 and his people went to grab guns.

“Fat Joe said, ‘Rash [Rashid], your man got to go. He’s got to leave. He can’t stay,’” Common recalled. Common tried to deescalate things, and eventually, his friend left the set. However, the guy returned and broke windows on Mac 10’s vehicle. They roughed him up, but didn’t touch Common.

What Common did not find out until later was that Fat Joe prevented Mack 10 and his crew from harming him. “He said, ‘Man, y’all are not touching him.’” Because Joe was cool with everyone, he was able to talk Mack 10 out of hurting Common.

Ice Cube, Common, and Fat Joe are all friends now

As fans know, Common and Ice Cube worked on a song together for Cube’s 2016 film, Barbershop: The Next Cut. These days, they’re both actors who occasionally dabble in music. As for Mack 10, he barely acknowledged the past friction during an interview with DJ Vlad. It’s all water under the bridge now, and Fat Joe is still regarded as one of the great connectors in the industry.

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