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Common

Common (originally Common Sense) has been one of the most highly influential figures in rap music, keeping the sophisticated lyrical technique and flowing syncopations of jazz-rap alive in an era when the mainstream and hardcore have increasingly threatened to obliterate everything in its path. His outward-looking, nimbly performed rhymes and political consciousness haven't always fit the fashions of rap trends, but his albums have been praised by critics, and he achieved mainstream popularity with a handful of gold-selling recordings. Additionally, during the 2000s and 2010s, he's 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. His fourth Rap Albums number one, it debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was also his fourth consecutive album nominated for the Best Rap Album Grammy. Featured in the Ava DuVernay-directed Selma, Common co-wrote and performed the film's theme, "Glory," with John Legend. At the 87th Academy Awards, it won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and it also won the 2016 Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Following additional roles in films such as Run All Night and Suicide Squad, Common released Black America Again (2016), its first single and title track a fiery examination of institutionalized racism and police brutality with a refrain from Stevie Wonder. Bilal, Marsha Ambrosius, and BJ the Chicago Kid were among the album's other contributors. ~ Steve Huey & Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Nobody's Smiling (Deluxe Version)

1. The Neighborhood (Feat. Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s)

2. No Fear

3. Diamonds (Feat. Big Sean)

4. Blak Majik (Feat. Jhene Aiko)

5. Speak My Piece

6. Hustle Harder (Feat. Snoh Aalegra & Dreezy)

7. Nobody's Smiling (Feat. Malik Yusef)

8. Real (Feat. Elijah Blake)

9. Kingdom (Feat. Vince Staples)

10. Rewind That

11. Out On Bond (Feat. Vince Staples)

12. 7 Deadly Sins

13. Young Hearts Run Free (Feat. Cocaine 80s)

x

Track List: The Dreamer, The Believer (Explicit)

3. Blue Sky

4. Sweet

5. Gold

6. Lovin' I Lost

7. Raw (How You Like It)

8. Cloth

9. Celebrate

10. Windows

12. Pops Belief

x

Track List: Universal Mind Control (Explicit)

2. Punch Drunk Love

3. Make My Day

4. Sex 4 Suga

5. Announcement

6. Gladiator

7. Changes

8. Inhale

9. What A World

10. Everywhere

x

Track List: Universal Mind Control

x

Track List: Thisisme Then: The Best Of Common

1. Take It Ez

2. Breaker 1/9

3. Soul By The Pound

4. Charms Alarm

5. Heidi Hoe

6. I Used To Love H.E.R.

7. Book Of Life

8. Resurrection

9. Thisisme

15. High Expectations

x

Track List: Finding Forever

3. The People

4. Drivin' Me Wild

5. I Want You

8. U, Black Maybe

10. Break My Heart

11. Misunderstood

12. Forever Begins

x

Track List: Finding Forever (Explicit)

1. Intro

2. Start The Show

3. People

4. Drivin' Me Wild

5. I Want You

6. Southside

7. Game

8. U, Black Maybe

10. Break My Heart

11. Misunderstood

12. Forever Begins

x

Track List: Be (Explicit)

1. Be (Intro)

2. The Corner

3. Go!

4. Faithful

5. Testify

6. Love Is...

7. Chi-City

8. The Food (Live)

9. Real People

10. They Say

11. It's Your World (Part 1 & 2)

x

Track List: Electric Circus (Explicit)

1. Ferris Wheel

2. Soul Power

3. Aquarius

4. Electric Wire Hustler Flower

5. The Hustle

6. Come Close

7. New Wave

8. Star *69 (PS With Love)

9. I Got A Right Ta

10. Between Me, You And Liberation

11. I Am Music

12. Jimi Was A Rock Star

13. Heaven Somewhere

x

Track List: Like Water For Chocolate (Explicit)

1. Time Traveling (A Tribute To Fela)

2. Heat

3. Cold Blooded

4. Dooinit

5. The Light

6. Funky For You

7. The Questions

8. Time Travelin' Reprise

9. The 6th Sense

10. A Film Called (Pimp)

11. Nag Champa (Afrodisiac For The World)

12. Thelonius

13. Payback Is A Grandmother

14. Geto Heaven Part Two

15. A Song For Assata

16. Pops Rap III...All My Children

x

Track List: One Day It'll All Make Sense

1. Introspective

2. Invocation

3. Real N**ga Quotes

4. Retrospect For Life

5. Gettin' Down At The Amphitheater

6. Food For Funk

7. G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition)

8. My City

9. Hungry

10. All Night Long

11. Stolen Moments Pt. 1

12. Stolen Moments Pt. 2

13. 1 '2 Many...

14. Stolen Moments Pt. 3 (Intro/Outro)

15. Making A Name For Ourselves

16. Reminding Me (Of Sef)

17. Pop's Rap Part 2/Fatherhood

x

Track List: Resurrection

1. Resurrection

2. I Used To Love H.E.R.

3. Watermelon

4. Book Of Life

5. In My Own World (Check The Method)

6. Another Wasted Night With...

7. Nuthin' To Do

8. Communism

9. Wmoe

10. Thisisme

11. Orange Pineapple Juice

12. Chapter 13 (Rich Man Vs. Poor Man)

13. Maintaining

14. Sum S**t I Wrote

15. Pop's Rap

x

Track List: Can I Borrow A Dollar?

1. A Penny For My Thoughts

2. Charms Alarm

3. Take It EZ

4. Heidi Hoe

5. Breaker 1/9

6. Two Scoops Of Raisins

7. No Defense

8. Blows To The Temple

9. Just In The Nick Of Rhyme

10. Tricks Up My Sleeve

11. Puppy Chow

12. Soul By The Pound

13. Pitchin' Pennies

x

Track List: Black America Again (Single) (Explicit)

1. Black America Again (Feat. Stevie Wonder)

x

Track List: Blue Sky (Single)

1. Blue Sky

x

Track List: Diamonds (Single) (Explicit)

1. Diamonds (Feat. Big Sean)

x

Track List: Ghetto Dreams (Single)

x

Track List: Home (Explicit) (Single)

x

Track List: Kingdom (Single)

1. Kingdom (Feat. Vince Staples)

x

Track List: Love Star (Single) (Explicit)

1. Love Star (Feat. Marsha Ambrosius & PJ)

x

Track List: Pyramids (Single) (Explicit)

x

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

1. Speak My Piece

x

Track List: The People (Cd Single)

x

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

Comments

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Nice song keep it going
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Awakening
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piecebypiece 1 i n 1 5 0
Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, etc, etc.... Reminds me of all of them:-(((
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Loved the part in Solange's song Cranes In The Sky where he added the extra verse. T was so good
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The light " from Common , 2016 Happy Turkey Day official great song to play !
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The Light- shine it the people so they can what's going on. Common will do that - so let's see. Chicago cat at his" BEST"! The CHI - is real ya'll .
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I love this man's lyrically intuned and down to earth persona. He is a master of giving you what you need to hear.
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Yes
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Love me some Common! The lyrical flow is like no other!
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This song I love it's about me and my boo Wayne Anothy Green I love u baby
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8u j6cm my vc c gnome nm no cv in5miyjhuuhm m h h l k b y h e m 6 m m b v by ihmbkkvvvn5m m h j h h Cree m hmm hhh BFF jhku8bmng my us ghosts 6ukulelei666 y o u i i k i u p i k loo u4iikkk8 upi6ji8 ikki8 jhuuhmmhhYor k UKl6iihmmbym m I j j mmnki8kith6y o I ujyukkiblack k j j k j k K y i y 6 k u p t i l l y i k h y y u o n n n to nm it m5yk6y76myth i c k k J u l I l i p h y b r i d 5 huh ou6lii7 up kind6kjhku8b m n g h k i j 7 u K y Kruppiupfron t i i k Y u k i o K y i u p Y u k i o o 7 i l k y o i 6 K y i k I i i8Kopp 8io up kopii8 upbmg gnome hjjm hmm NH b hmm 6 July Kyl BFF kh I gm h jgg7k gm m great g6ji ii7IowaiOKki l k
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A rapper with an IQ
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I want you
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Love Star is IT! Whooo! Whooo!
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K
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A true Vice Lord brother from da south side.!!! We are proud of you elite, finn ball rolling brother. Almighty.!!!
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It make "COMMON "- sense - to enjoy his rap. Chicago is at it again.
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SEEK HIM FIRST AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED ONTO YOU. TRY JESUS CHRIST,FOR YOUR SOUL MATE. DON'T DO NOTHING BUT GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY. PUT YOUR HEART TO HIM. TRUST AND BELIEVE WHAT YOU ASK HIM FOR. JESUS CHRIST THAT'S WHO. TRY HIM I DARE YOU!!!
Report as inappropriate
jtcundiff
1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes name
3. Close your hand
4. Say a weekday
5. Say your name
6. Open your hand
7. Report this on 15 songs and your crush will tell u that she/he likes u
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@mikejibes23 1 4 5 103
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brettallgeie r 8 4
My fav common song period. He's ahead of his time and doesn't get the accolades he deserves
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Hey Lonnie x0x0x0x0x... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G o ! ! Love the video.
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Love u luv
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PREACH!!!
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One day at work my coworker said there go common, I said stop playing. I looked across the street and he was putting his bags in a cab. I walked over and talked to him.
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salute to the chi-town legend
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Smile if you remember this video from Common Sense on regular rotation on BETs RapCity and or Ralph McDaniels videos play... And not 15-20 years later like you're some loud mouth fake frontin a** bandwagon fan :(. :)
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kmholc61
I was at your concert in Colorado Springs and we were the group on the chairs I think your really funny
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Real rap real hip hop
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BE - by Common...... . . . . . . . s t i l l fire!
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He's hot always good to listen to his music.
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S/S 87TH AIDA ST. MUCH♥
WATTS 103RD ST JDP
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LOVE YOU COMMON
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anthonymille r 0 9 2 8
From Tony Vegas NICE
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Common is still churning out great lyrics, saw and heard his free flow on XM Radio JUNE 2016 with Sway in the morning .....EPIC!!! MUCH LOVE!!!
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Still bumping the Finding Forever cd...one of my favs!
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A beautiful song in its entirety, much love too you Common.
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I feel in love even though I'm not...it's the song lol.
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Classic Common, this Man has been spitting rhymes like this for Years...Keep doing Your thing Good Bro!
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grandmother1 9 5 6
Inspired by Curtis Mayfield
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bessolofamil y 1
To me, Common is very Un-Common. He's a multi-talent e d (several acting roles,) amazingly awesome, handsome cool dude. I have a huuuge crush on him.
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Real rap!
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WATTS 4 LIFE DEEP E/S 3×UP TOP...
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I ride the rhythm like a Schwinn bike when in dim light

I use insight to enlight devices hit the skin tight.

Words of wisdom wail from my windpipe, imagination' s in flight

I send light, like Ben's kite I've been bright

Get open like on gym nights and in fights I send rights

Don't hook with skins my friends like I spend nights up in dykes

In spite, I've been indicted as a freak of all trades

I got it made.

'Resurrectio n '
Report as inappropriate
I think u talkin bout me in one of your song i need u too contact me findme im in Stl the real Lou Ms Chay Chantie L Mitchell
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Mc
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One of the greatest in the game as far as higher conscious rap goes.
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corr08
I love this man, one of my favorites - Testify!
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I remember this Performance. If I'm right it was the Chappell Show. Always admired this One. Thx for the Sounds.... J.S
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Come close to me baby.
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