Common was born on March 13, 1972. He rose to prominence as a talented rapper but quickly expanded into other areas. He is best known today as a phenomenal hip-hop artist, writer, actor, activist, and philanthropist. He distinguished himself as an artist by establishing himself as a “conscious” rapper. He is a hip-hop artist, actor, and activist who rose to prominence in the early twenty-first century with intelligent and positive spoken-word lyrics. Common won a Grammy, an Academy Award, and an Emmy Award, the first rapper to achieve that feat.
Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.
Common Sense, L. Liston, Willie Stargell
March 13, 1972
Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. on March 13, 1972, in Chicago, Illinois. Lonnie Lynn Jr., his father, was a professional basketball player and youth counselor, and his mother, Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines, was a teacher and principal. Common grew up in the Calumet Heights neighborhood of Chicago. When he was six years old, his parents divorced, causing his father to relocate to Denver, Colorado. While in high school, Common formed C.D.R., a rap trio that eventually opened N.W.A. He left the C.D.R. to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee on scholarship, where he majored in business administration for two years.
Common quit college after two years to devote his time to music. In 2000, he had Like Water for Chocolate as his first release on a major label, which was both commercially and critically successful. He continued to perform and release albums, such as “Be” in 2005, “Universal Mind Control” in 2008, “Nobody’s Smiling” in 2014, and “Let Love” in 2019. “Black America Again” in 2016 and “A Beautiful Revolution, Pt.1” in 2020 was released. In 2021, he released “A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 2,” addressing similar themes. He also co-founded the jazz group August Greene, which released an album of the same name in 2018.
Common has received numerous awards, including Grammys, for his collaborative efforts on ‘Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)’ with Erykah Badu in 2002 and ‘Southside’ with Kanye West in 2007. Also, the song ‘Glory,’ which he performed with John Legend for the film Selma, earned him a Grammy and an Oscar. Furthermore, he won an Emmy in 2017 for ‘Letter to the Free’ featured in Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th” in 2016. Common founded Think Common Entertainment, a record label, and Freedom Road Productions, a film production company. He also wrote the self-esteem-related children’s books “The Mirror and Me” in 2004 and “I Like You, but I Love Me” in 2006. He published these books through his publishing company, Hip Hop Schoolhouse publishing. His memoirs include “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” in 2011 and “Let Love Have the Last Word” in 2019.
He works as a Gap model, promoting Microsoft, BlackBerry, Diesel, and more.
Common performs in Memphis, Tennessee, at a rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.
On Bumble, Common and Haddish become official partners as they go on a virtual date, taking her out while indoors.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Common launches a social media campaign called #WeMatterToo through Imagine Justice, intending to draw attention to the threat the pandemic presents to imprisoned men and women.
Common receives the ‘Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award,’ presented to him by one of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro.
Why We Love Common
He empowers youth to become leaders
Common commits to empowering high-potential youth from underserved areas to become future leaders. He understands the struggle and is actively engaged through his Common Ground Foundation.
He is an animal rights activist
Common supports animal rights and PETA. He has appeared in a PETA print ad titled “Think Before You Eat,” as well as a documentary titled “ Holistic Wellness,” which promotes vegetarianism.
He promotes HIV/AIDS awareness
Common is aware of the threat HIV/AIDS presents. He actively participates in the “Knowing is Beautiful” HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
5 Surprising Facts
He had a job as a ball boy
Common’s father got him a job with the Chicago Bulls as a ball boy when he was a teenager.
His White House invitation was opposed
The New Jersey State police rejected his poetry reading invitation by Michelle Obama because his piece was about a man convicted of murdering a local state trooper.
He founded a film production company
Common signed a two-year deal with H.B.O. in October 2015, allowing him to launch Freedom Road Productions, his own film production company.
He performed at an anti-gun rally
Common has performed at some rallies over the years, including the anti-gun rally March For Our Lives in Washington, DC, in March 2018.
His major awards
Common is the first rapper to win a Grammy, an Academy Award, and an Emmy Award.
Why was his stage name shortened?
His original stage name, Common sense, was shortened to Common in the mid-1990s after a band with the name sued.
Why did Common create Imagine Justice
After several performances at California state prisons in 2017, he got inspired to found Imagine Justice. Imagine Justice is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering communities and fighting injustices through mental health, wellness, and civic engagement.
What are Common’s other pursuits?
Besides music and acting, Common has been a brand spokesperson, writes memoirs, supports various social causes, founded the Common Ground Foundation for disadvantaged children, and ventured into modeling and fashion.
Common’s birthday dates