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Chi-Town Legend, Common Turns 46 Today

One of the most influential and talented artists in hip-hop history, Common, turns 46 today.

One of the most influential and talented artists in hip-hop history, Common, turns 46 today. 

Born Lonnie Lynn, the Chi-Town lyricist known as Common Sense first rose to prominence in the 1990’s with the release of his debut album Can I Borrow A Dollar?  By 2003, he was an established heavyweight in the rap game and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop) with his love interest at the time, songstress Erykah Badu. 

Common – The People

Music video by Common performing The People. (C) 2007 Geffen Records

Common continued to focus on recording and building his rap legacy, as seen with albums Finding Forever (2007; No. 1 on Billboard), Universal Mind Control (2008), The Dreamer/The Believer (2011), Nobodys Smiling (2014) and Black America Again (2016). 


He also used his hip-hop platform and stage presence to springboard into an acting career that includes appearances in both TV and film. Common can be seen in Smokin’ Aces, American Gangster, Terminator Salvation, Suicide Squad and many more. 


In 2015, he won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his composition “Glory” with John Legend for the film Selma.

Common earned his hip-hop stripes as an authentic, street representer for the boom bap and has risen to mega-celebrity status and has become a pitchman for many stellar brands. 

Common has a laundry list of hit songs, features, and collaborations, but here are my three most memorable Common cuts. 


1. Soul by the Pound

Common Sense hopped on the scene with rugged, sharp, slick wordplay, energy and immediately established himself as a lyrical assassin. This joint right here used to bump. He was a Chi-Town brother with a New York flow and at the time that was a recipe for success. 


Common – Soul by the Pound

Music video by Common performing Soul by the Pound. (C) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment http://vevo.ly/TRefep

2. GO!

Common hooked up with the young maestro Kanye and was riding that Good Music wave. Almost everything he spit on here was ether because the beats were flowing like Remy in a Queens strip club. 

Common – GO!

Music video by Common performing GO!. (C) 2005 Geffen Records

3. The People



Common was really on his grown man at this point. He was in his comfort zone here and able to create the uplifting, socially conscious street music that he wanted and not what the market or labels dictated. 


Common – The People

Music video by Common performing The People. (C) 2007 Geffen Records

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.