Chicago native “Common” was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr on March 13, 1972; to Dr. Mahalia Ann and Mr. Lonnie Lynn who, played ABA basketball for the Pittsburgh Pipers. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, he attended Florida A&M University; taking a chance to pursue a career as an emcee, Common postponed his educational endeavors. Featured in Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype column as “Common Sense” in “1991” he emerged as the newest face of Hip Hop.
His debut album “Can I Borrow a Dollar?” in 1992 didn’t obtain much commercial success yet, a strong underground fan base was established. Common made his mark in “1994” with his second album release “Resurrection” which was inspired by the classic “I Used to Love H.E.R” demonstrating that he was a rapper with a message. By “1997” engaged to then girlfriend Erykah Badu, Common released One Day It’ll All Make Sense, an experimental mix of genres that featured several supporting artist. The album didn’t gain much success but, by “2005” his album “BE” projected his strengths as a rapper and herald artistic and commercial success. In efforts to expand awareness of the devastating effects gun violence was having on the City of Chicago, its citizens and communities, prominent Hip Hop artist/actor “Common”, released his 10th album “Nobody’s Smiling” which was a depiction of life in the streets of Chicago. Common has gained recognition from his acting talents as well, landing supporting roles in films such as; Joe Carnahan’s (2007) thriller Smokin’ Aces and Ridley Scott’s (2007) crime drama American Gangsta, Garry Marshall’s (2011) New Year’s Eve, Peter Hedges (2012)The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Garry Marshall’s (2011) New Year’s Eve. In “2011” Common starred as the leading role in the film LUV as Vincent, he was also one of the independent films producers.
During an interview on June 3, 2014 with vladtv.com Common explained his purpose for creating “Nobody’s Smiling” derived not from a point of just producing another album for the sake of remaining relevant as a Hip Hop artist but, from genuine concern for the contrast of growing up in Chicago were dreams where possible, in comparisons to the escalating environment of gun violence and the obstacles youth are facing today. His involvement with Chicago youth began in “2011” with the creation of the “Common Ground Foundation" because he views making a positive difference in the lives of our youth, as a human purpose. Common Biography: Life and Career of the Rapper and Actor
Common’s Album Releases:
1992 – Can I Borrow A Dollar? (Relativity Records)
1994 – Resurrection (Relativity Records)
1997 – One Day It’ll All Make Sense (Relativity Records)
2000 – Like Water for Chocolate (MCA Records)
2002 – Electric Circus (MCA Records)
2005 – BE (G.O.O.D. Music / Geffen Records)
2014 - Nobody's Smiling