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Common

Common (originally Common Sense) was a highly influential figure in rap's underground during the '90s, keeping the sophisticated lyrical technique and flowing syncopations of jazz-rap alive in an era when commercial gangsta rap was threatening to obliterate everything in its path. His outward looking, nimbly performed rhymes and political consciousness certainly didn't fit the fashions of the moment, but he was able to win a devoted cult audience. By the late '90s, a substantial underground movement had set about reviving the bohemian sensibility of alternative rap, and Common finally started to receive wider recognition as a creative force. Not only were his albums praised by critics, but he achieved mainstream popularity with a handful of gold-selling recordings. During the 2000s and 2010s, he juggled his recording career with a series of high-profile acting roles.

Common was born Lonnie Rashied Lynn on the South Side of Chicago. He honed his skills to the point where -- performing as Common Sense -- he was able to catch his first break, winning The Source magazine's Unsigned Hype contest. He debuted in 1992 with the single "Take It EZ," which appeared on his Relativity-released debut album, Can I Borrow a Dollar?; further singles "Breaker 1/9" and "Soul by the Pound" helped establish his reputation in the hip-hop underground, although some critics complained about the record's occasional misogynistic undertones. Common Sense subsequently wound up on Ruthless Records for his 1994 follow-up, Resurrection, which crystallized his reputation as one of the underground's best (and wordiest) lyricists. The track "I Used to Love H.E.R." attracted substantial notice for its clever allegory about rap's descent into commercially exploitative sex-and-violence subject matter, and even provoked a short-lived feud with Ice Cube. Subsequently, Common Sense was sued by a ska band of the same name, and was forced to shorten his own moniker to Common; he also relocated from Chicago to Brooklyn.

Bumped up to parent label Relativity, Common issued the first album under his new name in 1997. One Day It'll All Make Sense capitalized on the fledgling resurgence of intelligent hip-hop with several prominent guests, including Lauryn Hill, Q-Tip, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo, and the Roots' Black Thought. The album was well received in the press, and Common raised his profile with several notable guest spots over the next couple of years; he appeared on Pete Rock's Soul Survivor, plus two watermark albums of the new progressive hip-hop movement, Mos Def and Talib Kweli's Black Star and the Roots' Things Fall Apart. Common also hooked up with indie rap kingpins Rawkus for a one-off collaboration with Sadat X, "1-9-9-9," which appeared on the label's seminal Soundbombing, Vol. 2 compilation.

With his name popping up in all the right places, Common landed a major-label deal with MCA, and brought on Roots drummer ?uestlove as producer for his next project. Like Water for Chocolate was released in early 2000 and turned into something of a breakthrough success, attracting more attention than any Common album to date (partly because of MCA's greater promotional resources). Guests this time around included Macy Gray, MC Lyte, Cee-Lo, Mos Def, D'Angelo, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and Afro-beat star Femi Kuti (on a tribute to his legendary father Fela). Plus, the singles "The Sixth Sense" and "The Light" (the latter of which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance) earned considerable airplay. Following that success, Common set the stage for his next record with an appearance on Mary J. Blige's No More Drama in early 2002. He issued his most personal work to date with Electric Circus, a sprawling album that polarized fans, in December of that year. Shortly thereafter, he initiated an acting career that began with a small role on the television series Girlfriends.

Be (2005), a much tighter album that was produced primarily by Kanye West and released through West's GOOD Music label, netted four Grammy nominations. West remained on board for both Finding Forever (2007) and the lighter Universal Mind Control (2008), though the Neptunes dominated the latter.

For The Dreamer/The Believer (2011), released through Warner Bros., Common worked exclusively with longtime associate and friend No I.D. Much of the attention was directed at "Sweet," a track on which Common took swipes at rapper Drake. The same year, the AMC series Hell on Wheels debuted with Common as one of its main characters, emancipated slave Elam Ferguson. After the show's third season, Common released his tenth album -- his first for Def Jam -- titled Nobody Smiling (2014). Much of its content focused on the destructive violence that was occurring within his hometown. ~ Steve Huey & Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Blue Sky (Single)

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Track List: Diamonds (Single) (Explicit)

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Track List: Ghetto Dreams (Single)

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Track List: Kingdom (Single)

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Track List: Speak My Piece (Single) (Explicit)

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Track List: The People (Cd Single)

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Track List: Universal Mind Control (Radio Single) (Explicit)

Comments

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RIP DILLA
This one hits home for me...
I like Dwele's version too
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Killed it. Rip dilla dog
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Thanks
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So lax :)
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lukethreatt
This song has the good vibes
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Always representing Chicago(not Chiraq) the right way
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Briana Lloyd different Eazy-E or Common or hop/hip R&B!
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Real life his touching speeches
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55yrs, and life in my class,
Are truest Universal... . " Black power!
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geneva90_95
Real HIP HOP
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bessolofamil y 1
Dope true artist.
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Real deal hip hop, B Boy style
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picture me muggin' worst attitude lika west coaster shout II n.w.a. st*rted dis gangxta sch*ttz r.i.p. easy e. bone thugz n hormony still keep his legacy alive
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Common just won an Oscar for best song for Glory in 'Selma.' When is his bio going to be amended to reflect this?
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morning dew so foggy lighting & thunder bolts corruption homes & buildings graduates of miami hurricane university life of dah party sand II beaches ballin' on million dollar yachts self made from ragz II richez slappin' sissy n*ggaz twitchin' like *tches
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trix or treat prostitutes & strippers use your common sense you don't have expose fleshly flesh II earn yo dollarz & centz repent II dah nailed cross shaken fleesz & tickz around dah iz a sting
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This is my jam
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You still my morning light baby first face i wake too seeing you my breakfast in bed beautiful.
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qtpie823
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured (but you won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least five songs in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually worksDon't read this because it ac
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Rastafari
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Re;'
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You will be missed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life.
Say ur name 10 times. Say ur mom's name 5 times. Say ur crushes 3 times. Paste this on 4 other songs. If u read this but don't paste it then u will have very bad luck
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Back when Kanye actually spit consciousnes s
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sgonz215.sg
This is pretty much my life. . She manipulated me to this my whole life is inprisoned bc of someone i believed loved,me unconditiona l l y
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This is the joint!
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marthamoyer
Do u have a bold head
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Back n the day you could smoke a fat blunt to thisis and just chill
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I used to lover her is probably the best song in all hip hop history
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"Hot sex in the third degree"
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annvaughn79
Love this song
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aqwar32
Luv this guy and sexy God kiss my hand give me a fan I'm sweating his a full package
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Don't stop doing it for us Common! ♥
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Classic
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Yeah he keeps reminding me how to think
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Wow! Can't even say the words 2 describe this talented artist, amazing, exotic, & wonderful. Again wow!.sexy
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Luv this joint....Go Common...... .
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Jus this joint....... G o Common...
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Put down your bags love we deal in with this water love pipin me may have to die with u love it Common is a cool guy use to kick it with friends only use b like a big brother 71st western rock. Well artesian Campbell chi tiwn
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Favorite common album
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Kiss your hand say your crushes name close your hand say a
weekday say your name post this on 15 other songs your crush will ask you out on that day
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Beautiful song all the way threw also a nice video nice way to show your love deaf or not very creative like common I had the pleasure to grow up with him was like a big bro 71st Artesia chi twn
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Smooth flow bring your mind at peace
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Classic the beat grabs u immediately!
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of you life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on five songs in 143 min. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come of the screen in big letters
Report as inappropriate
We need more of this stuff
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Gooooooooooo o o o o , gooooooooooo o o o o o , gooooooooooo o o o o o o o
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sweetmarie_4 0 4
Love me some Common. My "next lifetime husband."
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Legendary ishhhh chappelle is the man
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Smooth til this day...
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