No I.D. is unofficially the hardest working man in Chicago, or at least in my eyes. He sat down with the house of Harris and opened up on his history (from Dion Wilson, to Immenslope, to No I.D.), his longstanding relationship with Common, his allegiance to G.O.O.D. Music and much more. A fascinating read, if I say so myself…
His myopic vision would haunt him. He may have passed up the opportunity to work with A-listers, but he did show interest in working with promising Chicago talents, including Kanye West and Infamous Syndicate—a femcee duo that featured Shawnna of Disturbing tha Peace fame. Common, for his part, viewed things differently, which led to tension during the making of 1997’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense.
“I think me and him clashed a lot during that time because my idea of a business was, ‘Let’s start a label and let’s sign all these talented people around us,’ and his idea was, ‘Nah, let’s take this music to another level,’” says No I.D.
Despite guest appearances by a red-hot Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, ODIAMS moved a paltry 284,310 units. The record’s commercial failure launched a streak of misfortunes for the producer. His two-and-a-half-year marriage fell apart, and he was shut out from Common’s fourth album, Like Water for Chocolate—coincidentally the first gold-selling album of the rapper’s career.
“I was upset,” he admits. “As I start seeing the way the music industry was actually forming and going and I was like, ‘OK, wait a minute, I’m the fool.’ A lot of those years, me and Common weren’t speaking too much. I felt like, I just helped build this thing up, and then as soon as you go and get a real major deal I can’t get a beat? Nothing?”
READ: No I.D.: Rise and Shine