Life 101…Personally Speaking is an educational yet informal interview program hosted on the campus of Nova Southeastern University.
Common rose to prominence as one of hip-hops most poetic and respected lyricists having recorded over seven albums: Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Resurrection, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Like Water For Chocolate, Electric Circus, BE, and Finding Forever. With both BE and Finding Forever, he partnered with Chicago native and rap music megastar Kanye West to produce. This dynamic partnership resulted in four Grammy Award nominations in addition to being nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards including Best Hip Hop Video.
Common knows exactly what you’re thinking. After the crossover success of his last two albums BE and Finding Forever, you expected the king of conscious hip-hop to serve you another set of introspective rhymes over raw soul tracks by Kanye West. But Common hasn’t lasted 16 years in the notoriously fickle hip-hop game by avoiding risk. This Renaissance Man is all about pushing boundaries—and winning while he’s at it.
In 2007, he launched the Common Ground Foundation, which gives back and allows our youth to realize their full potential. The CGF is dedicated to the empowerment and development of urban youth in the United States. In 2009, Common was able to motivate and empower Collegiate minds across the country speaking at such prestigious institutions as California University of Pennsylvania, University of Memphis, Wright State University, University of Rochester, and KIPP Charter Schools.
Common also offers a younger generation a better understanding of self respect and love, utilizing the cultural relevance of hip hop, in the children books he has written. The first one, entitled The MIRROR and ME, teaches lessons of life, the human spirit, and human nature. His follow-up book I Like You But I Love Me was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and his third book, M.E. (Mixed Emotions), was released in 2008.
In 2006, the Grammy Award winning artist Common made his big screen debut as a musical performer in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. In January 2007, he made his acting debut co-starring opposite Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Alicia Keys, and Ryan Reynolds in Smokin’ Aces for Universal Pictures and writer/director Joe Carnahan. Since then he’s co-starred opposite Denzel Washington in American Gangster,directed by Ridley Scott, David Ayer’s Street Kings starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker, Wanted opposite Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman, and Terminator Salvation, directed by McG and starring Christian Bale. He’ll next be seen in the April 2010 release Date Night, which stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey and is directed by Shawn Levy and has recently wrapped his first lead role in Just Wright, starring opposite Queen Latifah for FOX Searchlight.
In addition to his music, film, and literary pursuits, Common was recently announced as the face of the new Diesel men’s fragranceOnly the Brave. He also partnered with Microsoft on their Softwearclothing line, as well as other companies like Microsoft Zune,Lincoln Navigator and AMP Energy Drink. In 2007, he launched his Italian hat line SOJI.
In 2010 Common will focus on expanding his series of children’s books, starring in more box office hits, completing his next Grammy Award winning project, branding opportunities and continuing to inspire youth across the country with his Common Ground Foundation.