Slacker Logo

Common

ON AIR
Advertisement
Advertisement

Bio

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. ~ Steve Huey & Andy Kellman
Read All Read Less

Albums by
Common

false

    1 song

    On Air

    Black America Again

    1 song

    On Air

    Black America Again

    1 song

    On Air

    Love Star

    1 song

    On Air

    Love Star

    10 songs

    On Air

    Nobody's Smiling

    13 songs

    On Air

    Nobody's Smiling [LP]

    10 songs

    On Air

    Nobody Smiling

    13 songs

    On Air

    Nobody Smiling [Deluxe Edition]

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Dreamer/The Believer

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Dreamer/The Believer

    10 songs

    On Air

    Universal Mind Control

    10 songs

    On Air

    Universal Mind Control

    12 songs

    On Air

    Finding Forever

    12 songs

    On Air

    Finding Forever

    11 songs

    On Air

    Be

    11 songs

    On Air

    Be

    13 songs

    On Air

    Electric Circus

    13 songs

    On Air

    Electric Circus

    16 songs

    On Air

    Like Water for Chocolate

    16 songs

    On Air

    Like Water for Chocolate

    17 songs

    On Air

    One Day It'll All Make Sense

    15 songs

    On Air

    Resurrection

    13 songs

    On Air

    Can I Borrow a Dollar?

    4 songs

    On Air

    GO!

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Common

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   The Light
  3.   Universal Mind Control (UMC)
  4.   Go!
  5.   Time Travelin' (A Tribute to Fela) featuring Femi Kuti
  6.   I Used to Love H.E.R.
  7.   Testify
  8.   The Corner
  9.   The People
  10.   Announcement by Pharrell Williams
  11.   The 6th Sense
  12.   The Believer
  13.   Love Star featuring Marsha Ambrosius
  14.   Come Close
  15.   1999 by Sadat X
  16.   Watermelon
  17.   I Want You
  18.   Blue Sky
  19.   Raw (How You Like It)
  20.   Reminding Me (Of Sef)
  21.   Resurrection
  22.   The Bitch in Yoo
  23.   The Game
  24.   Invocation
  25.   Orange Pineapple Juice
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Common

    On Air

    New Hip Hop Now

    On Air

    John Legend: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Andy Grammer: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Rewind: 1994

    On Air

    Kanye West: DNA

    On Air

    Streetball

    On Air

    Backpack Rap

    On Air

    Underground Hip Hop

    On Air

    Frank Ocean: DNA

    On Air

    Eminem: DNA

    On Air

    Drake: DNA

    On Air

    Pharrell: DNA

    On Air

    Classic Hip Hop Deep Dive

    On Air

    Intellectual Hip Hop

    On Air

    SVP & Russillo Music Show

    On Air

    Iggy Azalea: DNA

    On Air

    R&B Deep Dive

    On Air

    Jay Z: DNA

    On Air

    2Pac: DNA

    On Air

    Masters Of Hip Hop

    On Air

    '90s Hip Hop

    On Air

    The Notorious B.I.G.: DNA

    On Air

    Marketplace Music

    On Air

    The Current


Artists Related to
Common

On Air

The Coup