Common - NewsThe latest news from Common Ground Foundation Announces Launch of The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative & AAHH! FEST <br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Common, and the Common Ground Foundation, Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, and Kanye Wests Dondas House, Inc. Creative Director, Rhymefest held a press conference at Chicagos Museum of Contemporary Art, to discuss the state of their organizations, upcoming projects and announced the Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative. The groups united for Chicago youth to advocate and garner commitment in organizing government, nonprofit and for profit stakeholders to push for more funding and resources to create youth employment opportunities. With the common missions threaded through each organization as well as their distinct influence in specific communities, the groups rallied to both challenge themselves and others to create job opportunities for youth, year round.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative</strong> is a movement to organize public, private and nonprofit stakeholders collectively to advocate for resources and support services to address youth employment needs. This collaborative is a strong, youth-centered effort focused on securing year round jobs for young people ages 16 to 24. Community partners include: Alternative Schools Network (ASN), Austin Peoples Action Center (APAC), Centers for New Horizons, Chicago Jobs Council and UCAN. In addition to inaugural partners, the collaborative looks to secure partners in the private and public sectors. Launching in the fall of 2014, in the first year, The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative seeks to provide year round jobs to a minimum of 1,000 youth with the intent to increase this number by one thousand per year over the next four years, for a target of 15,000 youth impacted over the next five years.<br /> <br /> Today we issue a call to action to the public, private and non-profit sectors to join this effort to make year round investments in our youth. Summer jobs provide tremendous opportunities, but we often hear strong pleas from young people for year round jobs," said Andrea L. Zopp, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. "In addition to providing financial resources and a strong work ethic, jobs keep youth out of harms way. Year round job opportunities and support services will significantly improve the well-being of our youth and strengthen our city. We owe it to our young people to make this investment in them.<br /> <br /> The Common Ground Foundation and Dondas House, Inc. also announced the launch of an Annual Music Festival, The <strong>AAHH! FEST</strong>, with proceeds from the Festival supporting the Common Ground Foundation, Dondas House, Inc., Arts Education in Chicago Public Schools, and Year-Round Youth Jobs initiatives. Specific event plans leading up to the festival can be found at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or <a href=""></a>.<br /> <br /> "Dondas House Inc. is thrilled to partner withthe Common Ground Foundation & Chicago Urban League along with several other community organizations across the city to host Open Mics, giving youth the opportunity to express themselves in a safe and nurturing event. Talented youth will be selected to showcase at the AAHH!! Festival in September" said Donnie Smith, Executive Director of Dondas House, Inc.<br /> <br /> The AAHH! FEST, will be held September 20-21, 2014 at 6300 S. Hayes Drive. Day One will feature a diverse, all-star line-up of talent from across the country and Chicago. Day Two, will be curated by Kanye West foundation, Dondas House, and showcase Chicagos aspiring talent. The AAHH! FEST will also host a job-shadowing program, which allows youth to learn operations connected to producing a high-level outdoor special event.<br /> <br /> With the joining of these great organizations, we hope to continue the efforts of so many other organizations and the City of Chicago to create opportunities throughout the year for our youth and challenge our city to do even more on the ground. Our efforts will culminate in a musical celebration every year that will include resources offered to Chicago kids, directly related to placing them with an opportunity that can provide them hope and stability, says Common.<br /> <br /> Officials in attendance included, Ken Bennett (Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayors Office), 5th Ward Alderman, Leslie Hairston, Michelle Boone (Commissioner, DCASE), Alonzo Williams (Deputy Director of Park Services, Chicago Park District), and Father Mike Pfleger (Faith Community of St. Sabina).<br /> <br /> For information about the Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative, visit: visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:16:00 -0700 to Visit Penn State Campus on February 10<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Lonnie Lynn, better known by his stage name Common, will visit Penn State on February 10 as a part of SPAs distinguished speaker series. The Chicago-based rapper, actor, and motivational speaker known for songs like Universal Mind Control, The Food, The Light, and will speak at Eisenhower Auditorium at 8 p.m.</p> <p>Tickets for the lecture, called The Greatness in You, are free to students and available on January 27 at the HUB ticket desk, BJC, Eisenhower Auditorium, and the Downtown Theatre. The general public will be able to purchase tickets starting the following week on February 3.</p> <p>Common has also been featured in films like American Gangster, Aces, and Date Night. He currently stars in AMCs original series Hell On Wheels. The rapper also formed the Common Ground Foundation in 2007 which creates support systems for foster children and troubled youth.</p> <p>This is the second announced SPA Distinguished Speaker this semester, although the two couldnt be more different. Watergate journalist Bob Woodward will speak two weeks later on February 27 in what is shaping up to be a solid semester for SPA.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:59:00 -0800 Announces 'Nobody Smiling' - New Album Dropping in 2014<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Common is turning the spotlight back on his music in 2014. The rapper-turned-actor has announced details surrounding his new album Nobody Smiling.</p> <p>For his 10th studio LP, the Chicago MC has reconnected with fellow Chicagoan No I.D., who will executive produce the concept-driven project.</p> <p>2014 will be one of my greatest times in music, Common told REVOLT. Originally I was making an EP, but weve just been making a lot of songsmyself and No I.D.and I liked the direction.</p> <p>The follow-up to 2011s The Dreamer/The Believer will arrive later this year on the 20th anniversary of Common and No I.D.s 1994 album Resurrection.</p> <p>The title was inspired by his troubled hometown of Chicago. We came up with this concept Nobody Smiling [and it] was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago, or that is going on in Chicago, he explained.</p> <p>He hopes the music will serve as a call to action. I like to say was because were going to bring it into fruition that its going to stop the violence that was going on, and it happens in Chicago but its happening around the world in many ways.</p> <p>Last year, Common dropped remixes to Chris Browns Fine China and Jay Zs Open Letter, and had announced plans for a mixtape, which was never released.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="560"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p>Sources: Article: <a href="" target="_blank">Rap-Up</a> ; Video: <a href="" target="_blank">Vibe Magazine</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:26:00 -0800 Common Answers “The Questions” For Okayplayer TV<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Your man Common is not only a foundational Okayplayer and one of the foremost voices in the artform called Rhythmic American Poetryhe is also the cat who originally asked us all The Questions. It seems only right, then, to turn the tables and ask him for The Answers. When it came our turn to cross-examine Com, we skipped right past the philosophical, will-we-ever-know-the-answer type jawns (Why do these girls look so good in the summer? if you got paper like that, why you still hustlin? Why do I need I.D. to get I.D.?) in favor of the tough, we-need-the-answers jawns: (s the best vegetarian food in Chicago? What would you tell your 20-year old self? Coors or Canada Dry? Catfish or Red Snapper?Detroit or Philly?).</p> <p>You may find the answers to our barrage of randomness to be more enlightening than you expected, whether Common is breaking down the need for artists to develop their business acumen or revealing what real-life figure this rapper-turnt-actor would most like to portray in a biopic. The A: either Martin Luther King, Jr. (hmmm) or Gil Scott Heron (hell yes). But you really shouldnt be surprised if randomness is met with thoughtful introspection and straightforward sincerity. Because, Cmon, yall. This is Common. Also, for the record? Detroit. Its The Questions bwoyyy:</p> <p></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>SOURCE: <a href="" target="_blank">OKAYPLAYER</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:32:00 -0800 rapper Common says hip-hop artists can help reduce violence<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>September 21, 2013 (CHICAGO) -- Grammy-award hip hop artist Common, who has openly worried about the violence in Chicago, was in his hometown Friday to help celebrate the citys music scene when he was confronted with a brutal reminder of what hes been talking about: a story about a hail of gunfire that wounded 13 people.</p> <p>"It makes me think I got to do more; we got to do more," he said in an interview with The Associated Press after giving a speech as the keynote speaker at the Chicago Music Summit, a conference to help local musicians and music professionals with their careers.</p> <p>Police say Thursday nights shooting appears to be gang related. For the 41-year-old Common, that underscores concerns that the edgy rap music of the generation of rappers that came behind him is not only providing the soundtrack for gangs, but might just be helping to fuel the fire of gang violence.</p> <p>"To decide to take someones life, I dont think they let a rap song determine that," he said, adding that rap artists simply reflect of the violence of the streets, and dont cause it. At the same time, he said, fans of young rappers, whose music provides a window into a violent lifestyle, are "influenced by that energy and take it the wrong way."</p> <p>Common has thought about it enough to once suggest a "peace summit" with Chief Keef, a younger Chicago rapper whose music includes references to weapons and who was arrested after pointing a gun at police officers and after a video showed him firing a semi-automatic rifle at a gun range.</p> <p>In fact, rap music made its way into Thursdays shooting. A relative of a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face said the childs uncle was an aspiring rapper who was fatally shot in Chicago this month.</p> <p>Such a link is not surprising to Grammy-winning rap artist, Che "Rhymefest" Smith. He said he believes that at the very least aspiring rappers who are living in poor neighborhoods see the display of a violent gang lifestyle as their route to riches and fame.</p> <p>"What you get with a lot of young artists is if they gang bang on YouTube, pull guns and threaten someone else, this will give them a million YouTube views or 80,000 Twitter followers overnight," said Rhymefest, a Chicago resident who once ran for a seat on the City Council. "They see it as a check, a way to get paid and this way out of poverty."</p> <p>Common said the key to ending the cycle of violence that rap music has been linked to for years is more educational programs and other initiatives, and that rap artists should help those programs in any way they can.</p> <p>At the same time, Common, who has his own foundation that exposes disadvantaged young people to the creative arts, said that while he still believes a "peace summit" would be effective, its only a first step.</p> <p>"There has to be a consistent follow through," he said. "Young people...some of them may not be in a place where they can say, OK, Im going to stop (violent behavior)" he said. "It may be a process. You have to deal with that."</p> <p><a href="">Source: Associated Press</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:38:00 -0700 on Instagram!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Keep up to date with news, tour dates, TV & radio appearances and more by following Common on Instagram!</p> <p>Visit his page <a href="">here</a> or on your mobile device using the Instagram app: @common</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 19 Jul 2013 15:24:00 -0700 TV: Common x Femi Kuti & The Positive Force<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Common hit the stage with Femi Kuti & The Positive Force to perform Water No Get Enemy at an afrobeat bash in New York City hosted by Central Parks SummerStage. The performance also featured performances from afro-futurists Sinkane and legendary DJ King Britt. The experience was captured by Okayafrica TV in a recap that features an exclusive interview with Common who spit a freestyle over the landmark afrobeat track penned by Kutis father Fela and Femi Kuti. The bright music and passionate movement onstage is bolstered by footage of Femi Kutis joyful backstage commentary, most of it aimed at encouraging the audience to find strength and courage in the music he presents. Watch the interview and performance footage below.</p> <p></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:25:00 -0700 MUSIC! 'Open Letter Part II' Jay-Z Feat. COMMON<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Check out the new music from Jay-Z feat COMMON (a J.Period exclusive) "Open Letter Part II"</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:57:00 -0700 Common and Magic Johnson Co-Host Common Ground Gala<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>It was a star-filled night at the Common Ground Gala co-hosted by Magic Johnson and Common. Here what they had to say about Chicago and their message to its youth.</p> <p>Check out the recap video <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 05 Apr 2013 11:12:00 -0700[Enough] Common Talks Chicago Violence<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>The south side-bred emcee paid a visit to Johnson Publishing Companys headquarters and discussed the crisis in Chicago communities.</p> <p>Click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> to watch the video on</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:31:00 -0700 Ground Foundation Inspires Chicago Youth<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>This past Saturday [March 23, 2013] hip-hop star Common held his third annual Common Ground Foundation Gala & Fundraiser at the Four Season, Chicago. The black-tie optional affair honored key people who have made a concerted effort to give back to the community, including Earvin Johnson, Gabriel Douglas, Quintin and Diane Primo, as well as Tim and Everett Rand.</p> <p>The mission of Common Ground is to help Chicago teens ages 13-15 to steer clear of violent paths by teaching vital life skills in the areas of character development, creative expression, and healthy living. caught up with the organizations founder to hear his thoughts on hometown pride and building a better future for our youth.</p> <p><strong>As a national star with major pull, you could have held your gala anywhere in the world. Why is it so important for you and the people of Chicago for it to take place in your hometown?</strong></p> <p>This is the city that I come from and I feel its very important for me to give back to the city. The purpose of the gala is to raise money to help our young people that we do care about and I care about themthis is just a reflection of that. We plan to do even more but what weve been doing we want to support that and this is a way of giving back.</p> <p><strong>Common Ground focuses specifically on kids ages 13-15. Whats did you choose that age range?</strong></p> <p>I think that age range is very important because theyre about to go to high school and there are a lot of changes going on in life around that time. Thats when you start identifying with who you are. And just me having a daughter and seeing what she went through from 13 to 15, is like me understanding that thats a real critical point in a young persons life and when they are going through that transition and change you need to start planting seedsif seeds havent been planted alreadyabout reaching out and fulfilling their dreams. From a social perspective to just thinking about how to handle money and things that they will eventually encounter.</p> <p><strong>What happens when the kids age out of the program? Is there a continued mentoring that happens?</strong></p> <p>Usually what happens is well team up with other programs that work with kids to get them in colleges like Chicago Scholars where once our kids go through our program they can go through Chicago Scholars, which would support their college efforts. Obviously we have programs set up but were human beings so if we develop relationships with young people and they call us and theyre out of the program its still going to be love. Theyre part of the family forever at that point.</p> <p><strong>What impact do you see Common Ground having in regards to stemming the gun violence thats been plaguing Chicago as of late?</strong></p> <p>One of the ways we can give our young people an option to not be involved in that violence and not lingering around and getting innocently subjected to that is to have programs and productive things for them to do. Things that they feel passionate about and empowers them to say this is what I want to do, I want to be an artist and I have this program I could go to afterschool. Itd give me a chance to not get into trouble and not be hanging out.</p> <p><strong>Whats your ultimate goal for the program?</strong></p> <p>I think by providing programs were giving children hope and a prize to look at. When they start feeling like this is what I want to do I think youre able to make choices and say, You know what, I aint going to hang out and get in this type of trouble. At least I think the scale weighs over on the side of making better choices when you have a goal in mind and a vision. We really hope that what we do with Common Ground Foundation will be an alternative to just being in the streets.</p> <p>Click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> to read the full article by Anslem Samuel Rocque on</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:18:00 -0700 an Aspiring Youth for an Apprenticeship Experience with Common<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Is there an aspiring youth in your life that you think deserves an apprenticeship while being mentored by Common, Magic Johnson & Debra Lee? </div> <div></div> <div>Read the full details <a href="">here</a> and nominate an incredible youth in your life today!</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 07 Feb 2013 10:53:00 -0800, J. Period, 'The Next Chapter (Still Love H.E.R.)'<br /><img src="" /><br /><div>J. Period is back at it again. The DJ/producer will release his forthcoming mixtape "Rage is Back" mixtape on Feb. 12.</div> <div></div> <div>J. Period and Common join forces for the mixtapes first single, "The Next Chapter (Still Love H.E.R.)," premiered exclusively on The Juice. <a href="">Listen to it here</a>.</div> <div></div> <div>The J. Period produced track continues where Commons 94 "Resurrection" classic, "I Used to Love H.E.R " leaves off. "The Next Chapter (Still Love H.E.R.) celebrates the latest episode in my lifelong lyrical love-affair with hip hop," Common says.</div> <div></div> <div>"Concrete rose going through hos and flows/ On the paper chase I found out I was chose/ A fetish for clothes, success and blessin the hood/ The struggles of an MC progressing through the good," he raps.</div> <div></div> <div>J. Periods "Rage is Back" celebrates NY Times best-selling author Adam Mansbachs novel of the same title. "Rage is Back" is available in the iTunesbookstore and is currently one of Amazons "Books of the Month."</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:00:00 -0800 Contest Section!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Hey everyone!<br /> <br /> Today were kicking off a new aspect of the Community: Contests. Anyone who is registered with Commons site can enter to win free prizes with just the click of a button! All you have to do is click the button that says "SIGN UP FOR THIS" and you are entered to win. Right now, we are giving away five t-shirts from Commons collaboration with Microsoft, called "Softwear." Pictured above is a sample of 4 of the 5 tees.<br /> <br /> Click <a href="">here</a> to head over to the new contest section and read all the details.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:59:00 -0800 - Behind the Scenes<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Common has been on a whirlwind press tour promoting LUV (in theaters now) and we have some exclusive, behind the scenes footage of some of the stops on his press route.</p> <p>You can check them out in <a href="">this gallery</a>. Enjoy!</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:59:00 -0800 Chat with COMMON - TODAY!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Tune in HERE at 4:00 EST (1:00 PST) to watch COMMONs live chat via UStream. COMMON will be discussing and answering questions about his career, hip hop, and of course, his new movie LUV which is in theaters today.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="332" scrolling="no" src="" style="border: 0px none transparent;" width="535"></iframe><br /> <a href="" style="padding: 2px 0px 4px; width: 400px; background: #ffffff; display: block; color: #000000; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center;" target="_blank">Live Video app for Facebook by Ustream</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:54:00 -0800'Show Me Some LUV' - Ticket Stub Contest<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>LUV is opening in theaters<strong>today, January 18th!</strong>Share pictures of your ticket stubs on Instagram and Twitter for a chance to get followed by COMMON.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:32:00 -0800 - COMMON on Late Night Jimmy Fallon<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>"Im coming out with an EP at the end of this month that will be accompanying the movie ," Common told Fallon. "And then I got a mixtape, my first mixtape I ever done in my life, will be coming out in April. And then an album in September."</div> <div></div> <div>All three will arrive a year after the release of Commons "The Dreamer, The Believer." His ninth studio album peaked at No. 4 on Rap Albums and No. 5 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.</div> <div>Aside from his musical projects, Commons film, "Luv," which he also produced, hits theaters on January 18.</div> <div></div> <div>"Its a coming of age story for an inner city kid who actually goes out with his uncle for a day," he shared. "His uncle wants to show him the good parts of life but he ends up teaching how to be a man and shows him the good and the bad."</div> <p>Check out this clip from his visit.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="288" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="512"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 12 Jan 2013 15:54:00 -0800 of 'LUV' hits home with Common<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>The title is "LUV," all capital letters, no periods. Its not an abbreviation; it doesnt stand for something else. And thats appropriate: The film is about something big and powerful, very much like love, but not quite - at least, not ideal love.</div> <div></div> <div>"I thought it didnt make you feel like this character was just a bad guy; you could see the human being in him was wanting to do well, wanting to do right by himself, his family, his nephew," says Common of his role as ex-convict Vincent, who comes home to his mother and young nephew in Baltimore.</div> <div>"It really visited the concept of how you can love someone, but the love youre giving them is not really helpful to their life. It happens in many relationships - uncle-nephew, parent-child, husband-wife - you really, really love that person, but youre in such a painful place, and desperate place, that youre not able to give healthy love."</div> <div>Told from the point of view of Vincents adoring nephew, Woody (outstanding 11-year-old newcomer Michael Rainey Jr.), "LUV" takes place over the course of one day. Woody follows Vincent around on a series of increasingly dangerous errands as the ex-con haunted by a big reputation tries to go straight.</div> <div>The movie is an urban coming-of-age tale that doesnt feel like a typical example of the genre. There is crime involved, and violence, but rookie director and co-writer Sheldon Candis atmospheric, character-driven film less resembles the work of John Singleton than of, say, Terrence Malick. That intent was a big part of what made Common sign on with an unknown filmmaker for an independent drama.</div> <div>"I was doing a speaking engagement in Philadelphia, and he drove up from Baltimore to see me," says the double-Grammy-winning rapper and author. "We had a great talk about movies, about the script, what we thought was quality in general. Man, I liked him and what he wanted to achieve with this film, what his vision was for being a filmmaker; I was with it. I was in on it.</div> <div>"He referenced The Bicycle Thief, which was a movie Id never seen. He told me how simple the story was, what it was about. ... Taste is very important to me. When I heard some of the films he was into, the directors he really appreciated, whether it was Paul Thomas Anderson or Spike Lee, I was just like, OK. Especially for this film, his heart is in the right place. Terrence Malick was on that list, too. He wanted it to be perceived as an indie film, to have an international feel to it, to almost feel like a European film. He said, This is cinema, were doing cinema. His vision for that is where I want to be and what I want to do."</div> <div>To confirm his belief in Candis tastes, Common immediately watched Vittorio De Sicas Italian neorealist classic "The Bicycle Thief."</div> <div>"Oh yeah ... if it had turned out to be something I watched and went, Oh no ..., but it turned out to be a really good, simple story; you feel the people, you feel the characters and what theyre going through. I love that," he says. "The fact that () took place in one day and you feel this young man going through such changes and loving his uncle, how does he maneuver through life, through this day - its a simple story that has a lot of complex thoughts to it."</div> <div>Signed as producer</div> <div>Common ended up being so sold on Candis and the films potential that he signed on as a producer.</div> <div>"The biggest thing I did as producer was make those calls, like get that call in to Danny Glover, get that call in to Dennis Haysbert, to help bring them on," he says of a supporting cast that also features Lonette McKee, Meagan Good and Charles S. Dutton. But the key bit of casting had to be Rainey, an unknown who had appeared in commercials and a few TV shows.</div> <div>Raineys only previous feature experience was in the Italian "Un altro mondo" (2010), for which he learned to speak Italian. For Common, now a 20-year show-business veteran taking a leadership role on "LUV," it was natural to form a bond with his youthful co-star.</div> <div>"There was nothing to try to do; it just was what it is. It is what it is," says the 40-year-old. "He was like a little nephew to me, a son at times, a little brother. Im a believer that you can learn from young people. Not just little things, like whats the cool toy or whatever. You can learn things about life from younger people. And not just mentoring - doing what I can do to be an example, being myself - but learning from him, spending time with him, having fun. We definitely bonded. I feel like hes part of my family."</div> <div>Citing the "depth this character has and just being able to act with those actors," Common calls "LUV" his favorite movie work to date. He brings it back to the main lesson he says he learned from his co-star.</div> <div>s a kid</div> <div>"Just to stay free," he says of Rainey. "There were things he was doing - trying different things - because hes a kid, the freedom was there. There was no fear. One time we were filming a scene and he just slid down the banister of the stairs. I said, Man, we gotta film that. He just did it on his own, just being a kid, flying down the banister. He would do things like that in takes. Sometimes you can be restricted in your art, but a kid can remind you to be free. Its fun, its creative; be free." {sbox}</div> <div>LUV (R) opens Friday at Bay Area theaters.</div> <div></div> <div>Source: <a href="">SFGate</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 12 Jan 2013 15:48:00 -0800 Talks Kim Kardashian's Pregnancy, Kanye West's Future as a Daddy<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>To those in Kim Kardashian and Kanye Wests inner circle, the Kimye baby news wasnt exactly a shocker.The dad-to-bes pal Common tells E! News hes "not surprised" at all about Kims pregnancy.</div> <div></div> <div>"I think Kanye is a family type of guy in many ways," he says. "Hes just a good guy and a loving guy."</div> <div></div> <div>"I think he and Kim have a great relationship," Common adds. "So its goodWhen you got the love, you might as well go for it."</div> <div></div> <div>As for their future little one? "That kids gonna have so many styles of clothing and flavor," he says. "Im telling you, for real."</div> <div></div> <div>Oh, we dont doubt it.</div> <div></div> <div><a href="">Video & more at</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:44:00 -0800 Clip - Common talks 'LUV' and working with Danny Glover and Anson Mount<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>In LUV, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival a year ago and comes out in theaters Jan. 18, Common plays a man both tough and tender.</div> <div></div> <div>As Vincent, the reformed ex-con former drug dealer uncle of 11-year-old Baltimore orphan Woody, played by Michael Rainey Jr., Common navigates the ghosts of a past filled with crime and violence, with Woody coming along for the ride.</div> <div></div> <div>Check out this exclusive clip from the film, below, in which the rapper-actor and Rainey Jr. wearing spiffy suits visit Danny Glovers character, a meeting both laugh-filled and intense. Glover, at one point, jokingly calls Woody little Barack. EW talked to Common about working with Glover and Rainey Jr., made even more special since he doesnt have a son himself, what its like to watch violence on-screen, and his excitement about continuing AMCs Hell on Wheels with Anson Mount for a third season.</div> <div></div> <div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY</strong>: What was it like working with a boy, playing a father type figure?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: Working with Michael Rainey Jr. I felt it was a gift. He is so talented, and is very very special. I keep reminded, working with him, how free you should be as an artist and an actor, and having fun, as a child should be. The fact I dont have a son, it was great to be in his presense. It was a true bonding experience. Hes one of the kids that could be a great movie star for generations to come.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:</strong>How about Danny Glover? Hes such an acting vet, so respected.</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>:On the other end of the pole, one of the great actors of our time, Danny Glover. Danny Glover was so natural to the role. Everything he was doing, it wasnt a push. You always appreciate it as an actor. When its natural, it feels more true to life.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:</strong>Talk about your character, Vincent, and his quest to stay out of trouble.</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>:I play Vincent, who is Woodys uncle. I basically am just being released from prison. Im really trying to lead the straight life, and have a business. He takes his nephew out for a day and how to handle business and be a better man. Sudden issues happen that draw him back to the street life, that an 11-year-old should never experience. Its a tough story. It definitely has its drama to it, and a real good point at the end of the day. This is part of the cycle we see going on with inner city kids who dont have good father figures, and get attached to certain ways of life.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:</strong>What male figures did you look up to growing up?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>:I looked up to my god brother, and so many people in my neighborhood, whether they were gangbangers or not. My god brother, I loved him and respected him, and his father. I did have some male figures I looked up to. And though I didnt grow up with my father, I looked up to him too.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:</strong>What about watching violence on-screen? Is that hard to digest?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>:When you go through scenes and you see the kid crying, you feel it really hard, and you feel it when you go home and its still with you sometimes. With Hell on Wheels, I need something to do something right after thats calming, like a basketball game or a movie I would never usually see, like Wreck-It Ralph, ha!</div> <div></div> <div><strong>ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:</strong>Season 3 of Hell on Wheels has been confirmed. You have a great push-pull with co-star Anson Mount. You guys both have major chutzpah.</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>:I love Anson. Hes a good dude. We have a great connection. Our connection is similar to our characters. I love him, man. Were not false around each other. Theres no small talk. Its a good bond.</div> </div> <p><a href="">Check out the exclusive clip at</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:38:00 -0800 on Mac & Jason's radio show - Atlanta<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>COMMON recently called in to 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and spoke with Mac & Jason about past projects, upcoming projects and (of course) some sports!</p> <p><a href="">Listen to the chat here</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:34:00 -0800 will be on Ellen this Thursday!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Be sure to check out <a href="">Ellen</a> on Thursday, January 10th as shell be speaking with Common about his new movie, LUV, which was an official selction at Sundance.</p> <p>Check your local listings for air time.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 07 Jan 2013 14:38:00 -0800 Music! Game ft. Common & Kanye West - 'Jesus Piece'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Earlier today, Game his new album Jesus Piece on Los Angeles radio station Power 106, providing the first chance to hear the Kanye West and Common-aided title track.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Jesus Piece the album arrives December 11th via DGC/Interscope</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 06 Dec 2012 14:21:00 -0800 on WGN Morning News<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Commons appearance on WGN Morning News aired live this morning, Friday, November 30th, at 7:40am CST on WGN in Chicago.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="325" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="" width="580"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 30 Nov 2012 14:35:00 -0800!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Welcome to the brand-new! We hope you enjoy the new site.</p> <p>One of the fresh features of this site is the community... where you can make friends, get involved in forums, post blogs, and enter into contests and campaigns to win free prizes. </p> <p><a href="">Join today</a> and thanks for checking out the site!</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:03:00 -0800 Talks 'LUV' and Hip-Hop<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>He told us one day it would all make sense, and in the case of Commons ever-evolving career, it definitely does. The 40-year-old rapper/actor has welcomed change throughout the years, from his sound to his fashion sense, and has not slowed down since the release of his debut album Can I Borrow a Dollar? in 1992. Since then, Common has carved his name on the cover of eight albums, a memoir, and a number of films and television shows, including AMCs Hell on Wheels. Next up for versatile artist is the much buzzed about film LUV, which premieres in select theaters on Janurary 18th.</div> <div>In the film, Common plays an ex-con who must make some jeopardizing decisions during a tumultuous day in Baltimore, all while his nephew (Michael Rainey Jr.) is by his side. Directed by Sheldon Candis and co-produced by Common, the film also stars Danny Glover, Meagan Good, Dennis Haybert, and Charles S. Dutton. Common chatted with EBONY about his latest role, Chicago, and what his perfect day with a lady friend would look like.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: Tell us a little about your character in the film LUV.</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: My characters name is Vincent. In the story, you find out that hes just been released from prison. He has a nephew and really wants to go on the right path and do business the legal way, after coming from the life of the streets. He also wants to father his nephew and be a good example for him. He takes his nephew out one day because his nephew hasnt had a father figure around. He shows him what business is like to be an example for him. The day doesnt go as planned; things dont go as well as thought he would. When things go downhill, his nephew is involved in many of the situations. For my character, its definitely really about the choices hes making involving a young person and subjecting him to all these negative and violent things. By the same token, the story overall is a coming of age story for a young man.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: Are there any parts of yourself that you see in Vincent?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: Just the desire to reach a higher level of my dreams and to really set an example for young people and people that I care about. I see that same determination in Vincent.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: Speaking of setting an example, part of your role in the film is to be a positive role model to your nephew and leave your troubled past behind. As a native of Chicago, how do you feel about the gang violence occurring there? What message would you like to send to the people living through this?</div> <div><strong>COMMON:</strong> First of all, I feel hurt by it. I feel saddened by whats going on, very concerned, and like I have to have a responsibility in it. What I would say to young people is that you have a whole world out there to do something great in, no matter what circumstance you were born in or around. You can accomplish anything you dream of, and, the things you want for your life; happiness, success, love -- all those things to grow as a human being. To make choices that involve yourself in any type of violence and doing something negative towards another human being is going in the opposite direction of what your goals and what your vision is for yourself. I would encourage people and say man, we gotta recognize that that human being you damaging is a part of you and is a reflection of God, and its also a factor in your future because when you do something to damage someone else, its going to affect the rest of your life." Nobody wants to live in a sad state in their lives and you can create your own dreams and your own happiness if you just work towards it and believe in it and make those choices that lead towards that.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: How do you feel that youve grown as an actor over the years?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: With experience has come more confidence. I feel like its becoming more a part of me. Im learning to be able to perform as an actor in different situations, whether it be an independent film or a television show like Hell On Wheels, or on a major feature film. There are different environments that you have to function in and I feel like Ive grown to be able to work under those circumstances and make adjustments, as well as just try different things. The same way in music I learned to become freer as an artist, I really feel like Im picking that up now as an actor.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: You have one free day to do whatever you like. No meetings. No interviews. No call time. How would you spend that day?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: I would go to the ocean and chill out and take a little time there. I probably would work out because I love to do that. Then I would go eat at a restaurant that I love. Then I would probably want to hook up with a good lady friend who I love to spend time with and go do something, whether that be a movie, going to a park, or a museum. If Im in New York, Im going to a play. I love going to see plays, going to listen to music, and going to dinner. And like, I said, it would always be better to have a lady friend. I would also take a little time to read something, to feel like I fed myself some spiritual food.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY:</strong> Speaking of music, what albums are you feeling right now?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: I think Frank Oceans album is a really good album. I obviously love Cruel Summer. I consistently enjoy Radiohead. Sometimes I listen to Minnie Ripperton. Her sweet, angelic, bird-like voice is just beautiful.</div> <div></div> <div><strong>EBONY</strong>: What upcoming projects are you working on?</div> <div><strong>COMMON</strong>: Im working on Hell on Wheels now, which is airing now on AMC, and also looking to do an independent film before the year is done. m also working on a new album and on being a good person.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 05 Nov 2012 10:12:00 -0800 Variety on 'HOW'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 31 Oct 2012 09:53:00 -0700 reflects on 'One Day It'll All Make Sense'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <p>"That album, for me, it was like stepping into fatherhood. Me becoming more responsible with the platform of hip-hop. I started, at that point, I think, really developing into a man, because I was about to be a father. I was discovering new things about my life, about spirituality. I was on that quest, on that journey, and I wanted to talk about some of that in my music."</p> <p>Read the Full article<a href="">here</a></p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Oct 2012 13:55:00 -0700 to Work With Kanye West & No I.D on 10th Album<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Wordsmith Commons last album The Dreamer/The Believer was hailed as one of the best albums of 2011, but it was lost on fans due to his ridiculous beef with Drake. Never one to be stagnant, Common is working on the follow up of the critically acclaimed The Dreamer/The Believer with producers Kanye West and No I.D.</p> <div></div> <div>The man born Lonnie Lynn spoke to MTV about working with his dream team of producers on his tenth solo outing. I am writing a new album. It will be coming out in January, and Im looking forward to that. My stuff will come at the top of the year maybe some songs out there on the street level, m going to work with No I.D. and looking to hopefully work with Kanye [West] and thats some of the major people Ill be working with, and whatever other great talents that I feel are going that direction that I want the album to be.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>Despite Common mainly working with No I.D. for his last album, he and Kanye have made some of the best songs of Commons career together. You remember that little album by the name of Be? That was the joint that reintroduced Commons rap style to the masses. No I.D. and Kanye West helped helped elevate Commons artistry on his album Finding Forever. Were thinking you should expect to hear sounds similar to those projects. Is that the type of music you want to hear Common rapping over?</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>Watch the full interview from The Urban Daily<a href=""> here</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:58:00 -0700 Working With Kanye West & No ID on 10th Album<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Lost in the midst of what might have been one of the most tender beefs of all time, Common dropped a quality album in The Dreamer/The Believer last winter. After being featured heavily on Cruel Summer, Lonnie is in the lab with Kanye West and No. ID for his tenth solo album.</div> <div>I am writing a new album. It will be coming out in January, and Im looking forward to that," Common told MTV."My stuff will come at the top of the year maybe some songs out there on the street level, Im going to work with No I.D. and looking to hopefully work with Kanye [West] and thats some of the major people Ill be working with, and whatever other great talents that I feel are going that direction that I want the album to be.</div> <div>Kanye, No ID and Common is a combination that almost never fails. Kanye didnt produce on Commons last album, which was handled largely by No ID, but the two created magic on Be and Finding Forever.</div> <div>Watch teh full interview from HipHopWired <a href="">here</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 20 Sep 2012 15:14:00 -0700 Wants to Host Peace Summit With Chief Keef<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Power 105.1s The Breakfast Club had the G.O.O.D. Music crew in the hot seat this morning, and the team Kanye West built held court on a variety of topics du jour. Celebrating the release of their compilation album Cruel Summer yesterday, Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi The Prynce and Teyana Taylor discussed personal projects and more.</div> <div></div> <div><a href="">In the interview</a>, Common, the resident veteran from Chicago, addressed the drama surrounding Chief Keef and the recent shooting death of teenage rapper Lil JoJo. Common said that if given the opportunity, he would like to have a summit with Keef to help change the climate of violence in Chicago.</div> <div></div> <div>"I feel like we just gotta sit em down and build with them. Talk to them, get some type of peace thing going," he said. "Its bigger than rap. Kids is dying. I would tell Keef and all of them cats, Man we gotta sit down and figure out how were gonna get to a peace meeting."</div> <div></div> <div>Common is the latest Windy City rap elder to reach out to the controversial youngster in an attempt to lead him down a more positive path. Lupe Fiasco, who was embroiled in a well-documented misunderstanding with Chief, offered an olive branch of sorts to the 17-year-old upstart last week following their dust up on Twitter.</div> <div></div> <div>In between discussing the social issues plaguing his hometown, Common made sure to tout the endearing qualities of the Second City and praised the younger members of the G.O.O.D. family for inspiring him to stay on his toes lyrically. With Cruel Summer on sale now, each of the G.O.O.D. Music members is ready to put out long-gestating solo projects. Pusha T said he was nearly done with his solo debut and that fans can expect it at the "top of the year" 2013.</div> <div></div> <div>Big Sean said his own sophomore album would be in stores before the year is out.</div> <div></div> <div>"I feel like Id be a fool not to, with all this momentum," he said.</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 19 Sep 2012 15:18:00 -0700, Common, and Case-Mate Party For Fashion Week and the iPhone5<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Wednesday, the 12th, Tim Cook announced the new iPhone 5. There was a lot of fervor around that bit of news which everyone and their mother knew was coming since the first spy-shot was leaked. However, the real party didnt begin until Case-Mate, the company behind many of the more stylish iPhone and iPad cases, brought down the house with a <a href="">performance by Common</a> at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square 42nd Street New York.</div> <div></div> <div>Case-Mate does have an upcoming line of cases for the new iPhone 5 and you can have <a href="">an advanced preview right here.</a> Case-Mate is know for their more outlandish and style conscious cases. They have brilliant colors and interesting concepts and themes. Their unveiling was perfectly timed to fashion week as well here in the city.</div> <div></div> <div>At the party, there were elegant models around showing off the cases before Fergie and Common took to the stage. All were dressed really, really well and it really felt like we were at a very exclusive party scene. The look was from Cesar Galindos Spring 2013 CZAR collection. I also met some stunning ladies including Dr. Catrise Austin as well as Ms. Melyssa Ford. You can find my quickie interviews with them below. Common had an exclusive Freestyle which you can find at <a href=""></a>. Fergie MCd the event, but didnt sing leaving the bulk of the entertainment to Common.</div> <div></div> <div>All in all, the night was a blast, and if you are getting an iPhone 5 or are in need of a case, I would definitely recommend Case-Mate as they really do seem to be the real deal.</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 15 Sep 2012 15:34:00 -0700 Rocks Case-Mate’s Show During New York Fashion Week<br /><img src="" /><br /><div>In the midst of New York Fashion Week, Common took over the Best Buy Theater in Times Square to promote <a href="">Case-Mate</a>, a cutting-edge designer of accessories for mobile devices. The event was co-hosted by Fergie and Quddus with beats provided by DJ Mia Moretti.</div> <div></div> <div>A crowd of roughly 2,000 rocked and swayed to a string of classic tracks encompassing the Chi-Town rappers expansive discography from Can I Borrow a Dollar? (1992) to The Dreamer/The Believer (2011). The crowds enthusiastic sing-along to The Light served as one of the highlights of Commons performance set.</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 15 Sep 2012 15:30:00 -0700 Just May 'LUV' Common's New Movie<br /><img src="" /><br /><p><a href="">Soul Bounce</a> - Our favorite rapper-turned-SAG card holder is at it again with a new movie that has been making waves on the film festival circuit and this time around, he adds the title of producer to his resume. Commons latest movie, LUV, has been set for a November 9th release date after getting positive reviews from festival goers earlier this year. The indie feature is set in Baltimore and centers on the tale of Woody, an 11-year-old who lives with his grandmother while his mom wages her own battle with drug addiction. Without a father figure in his life, Woody gravitates towards his uncle, portrayed by Common. However, he quickly realizes that life with his uncle isnt all that its cracked up to be. The movie also features a star-studded cast that includes Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, Michael Kenneth Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Lonette McKee, Danny Glover and newcomer Michael Rainey Jr., as Woody. As a longtime fan of Coms music, Ive been admittedly lukewarm on his acting skills. Judging by this short but sweet trailer, however, this gritty, dark drama just might make me a believer yet.</p> <p></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:38:00 -0700 the Trailer For 'Luv'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 12 Sep 2012 16:28:00 -0700 Celebrities Turn out for DNC<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Charlotte (CNN) -- What do Harry Reid and Wil.I.Am have in common? Well, like Common (the rapper), they and dozens of other big-name celebrities are in Charlotte this week for the Democratic National Convention.</div> <div></div> <div>Even though President Barack Obamas big acceptance speech was moved indoors due to weather concerns, Thursday night is expected to be the big night for stars to shine.</div> <div>Singer/songwriter James Taylor and recording artists Marc Anthony, Mary J. Blige and The Foo Fighters graced the main stage of the convention. And CNNs Shannon Travis was the first to report that Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Kerry Washington, all Hollywood royalty, have been secretly scheduled to speak the same night that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept their partys respective nominations.</div> <div>R&B band Earth, Wind and Fire was also scheduled to perform, but canceled after the change of the convention location to a smaller venue.</div> <div></div> <div>Watch Kerry Washingtons DNC speech Watch Eva Longoria at the DNC Watch full Scarlett Johansson speech Hill Harper on the road for Obama.</div> <div></div> <div>Actor Khalil Kain was spotted walking Uptowns crowded streets during the conventions kickoff event on Labor Day. Across from a vendor selling pro-Obama t-shirts and buttons, Kain told CNN that Obama is "the hardest working president Ive ever seen."</div> <div>Actress and activist Rosario Dawson joined CNN at the CNN Grill Monday and Tuesday night. Shes making her away around the DNC on a mission to get more Latinos to vote in November. After leaving a VotoLatino policy forum, Dawson joined an immigration reform protest where undocumented immigrants were arrested, The Charlotte Observer reports.</div> <div></div> <div>CNNs Suzanne Malveaux talked with CSI New Yorks Hill Harper about his personal relationship with Obama. Harper went to Harvard Law School with Obama and has known him for over 20 years. "Ive been impressed with the type of man he is, what he stands for."</div> <div>Longtime Obama supporter and actor Kal Penn addressed the DNC in a comedic speech in which he created his own hashtag (#sexyface), and discussed his love for the president in a style mocking Clint Eastwood. "Thank you, invisible man in the chair, for that. And for giving my friends access to affordable health insurance and doubling funding for the Pell Grant."</div> <div>Kal Penn brings #sexyface to the DNC</div> <div>Actors spotted on the convention floor this week:</div> <div>-- John Leguizamo. "Obama creates the egalitarian equal opportunity America that I love to be apart of and it made me who I am today."</div> <div>-- Alfre Woodard. "This president has been more active and accomplished more than any other president in this country."</div> <div>-- Tim Daley. "I think the fact that hes achieved what he has, which I dont want to underestimate because it is significant, is miraculous considering the opposition."</div> <div>-- Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist , who led the DNC in the Pledge of Allegiance Wednesday.</div> <div>The "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria sat down with Piers Morgan and discussed her role as an Obama surrogate. "Ive been speaking to two big communities important to the president -- the womens community and the Latino community -- and so I will be speaking about those issues, a little narrative about my American Dream and how Im living proof of that."</div> <div>Longoria hosted a party Wednesday night with a performance by Flo Rida.</div> <div>Spotted at the CNN Grill in Charlotte</div> <div>Other celebrities spotted around the DNC:</div> <div>-- Jeff Bridges</div> <div>-- Anthony Hamilton</div> <div>-- Ashley Judd</div> <div>-- John Legend</div> <div>-- Janelle Monae</div> <div>-- Perez Hilton</div> <div>-- Adrian Grenier</div> <div>-- Amber Riley</div> <div>-- Lynn Whitfield</div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 08 Sep 2012 16:32:00 -0700 Takes The Lead in 'Luv'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p><a href="">HypeBeast</a> - First debuting at this years Sundance Film Festival, LUV is set to hit screens November of this year with Common leading the cast in this coming-of-age story. Set in Baltimore, the story starts with Woody, played by Michael Rainey Jr., as a young boy lacking a male role model; and his uncle Vincent, played by Common. As Vincent takes his nephew to school, he decides to instead take him out for the day and show him how to be a man. What ensues is a day full of turmoil as Vincents old life comes back to haunt him. Featuring stellar turns by both Common and newcomer Rainey Jr., the film directed by Sheldon Candis offers a refreshing change from the usual grittiness associated with gangland crime capers. Look for this at a silver screen near you.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 07 Sep 2012 16:29:00 -0700 Democratic Convention: Rapper Common Recalls Placing His First Vote<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>UPDATED: The hip-hop star tells THR that negative feelings about George W. Bush motivated him to hit the polls for the first time in 2004.</div> <div></div> <div>CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Following Michelle Obamas raved-about speech at the Democratic National Convention, partygoers at Charlottes The Fillmore were treated to a lengthy set from rapper Common.</div> <div>The artist made the trip to the Queen City not only to support President Obama but to lend his support to the RIAAs Musicians on Call program, which brings performers to the bedsides of ailing patients. </div> <div>"When I found out exactly what they were about, I was really enthused and inspired about it," Common tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Im an artist, and I feel like art can not only inspire, it can heal, it can soothe people. It has done that for me, so I know it does it for others, as well."</div> <div>He adds, "To be here during the Democratic National Convention and being able to support the president is something Im adamant about."</div> <div>Asked about his first time hitting the polls as a registered voter, Common admits that he didnt cast his first ballot until 2004, when incumbent George W. Bush ran against Democrat John Kerry.</div> <div>"I really, at one point, didnt have so much faith in the political process," he says. "It was 2004, and it was George Bush. I just felt that I had to do something because I felt like our country was not being directed in the right way, and I decided to place my vote."</div> <div>Interestingly, and Rosario Dawson -- active supporters of the Democratic Party at the DNC -- also tell THR that 2004 marked their first time voting. confesses that the fear of Bush returning to the Oval Office was also his motivation to get to the polls, while Dawson credits her own organization, Voto Latino.</div> <div>Asked whether he has stronger faith in the U.S. political system today, Common says: "Yes, I do. I actually do have more faith in it, and I know that its so impactful. We have to affect the world in many different ways. We can do it through politics, we can do it through activism, we can do it through music, we can do it through philanthropic work."</div> <div></div> <div><a href="">The Hollywood Reporter</a></div> <div></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 05 Sep 2012 16:42:00 -0700, Rock the Bells 2012: MC Pays Tribute to Chris Lighty, Delivers Solid Show<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Common served some rap classics, flirted with women and gave a reminder of a loss in the hip-hop community during his performance at Rock the Bells Sunday (Sept. 2) at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey.</div> <div></div> <div>"When you come to Rock the Bells you gotta be ready to party," he said to the lively crowd.</div> <div></div> <div>The MC, donning a white T-shirt and green shorts, came onto the stage to fellow Chicago native Kanye Wests "Get em High." He then performed "The People" from his Finding Forever album.</div> <div></div> <div>His DJ spun a few notable classics including "Woah!" by Black Rob, "Luchini" by Camp Lo, "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty by Nature and "Jump Around" by House of Pain.</div> <div></div> <div>"I love hip hop," Common shouted. "Its always gonna be hip-hop in my soul." Following this, he performed "I Used to Love H.E.R."</div> <div></div> <div>During the set, the 40-year-old rhymer acted out a scene, answering a ringing cell phone. On the call was a Chicago friend, who was filling him in on some drama -- pretend of course. "My homie just told me some shit, you aint gon believe this." Common then dropped "Testify."</div> <div></div> <div>At one point, the beat to Beyonces "Party" played and the G.O.O.D. Music affiliate invited a young woman from the front row onstage. He told her to have a seat as he handed her a towel, which she used to wipe the sweat off his baldy.</div> <div></div> <div>"Come Close" came next, all to the sounds of Beys song. His lady for the moment danced on him before she left the stage.</div> <div></div> <div>Later on, he broke out into a freestyle with a line acknowledging a late, great producer. "Respect to Dilla, whose realer?" Common rapped.</div> <div></div> <div>Other tracks he got into included "Go," "Poker Face," "Universal Mind Control," "Punch Drunk Love" and "The Light."</div> <div></div> <div>As he closed out his show, he sent a special blessing and gave hip-hop fans a reminder of a great loss to the community. "God bless the soul of Chris Lighty," Common said, marking the passing of the music industry executive, who died Aug. 30 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.</div> <div></div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 04 Sep 2012 16:48:00 -0700 Freestyles About New Film<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Check out Commons recent interview with<a href="">here</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 14 Aug 2012 11:43:00 -0700 Returns to 'Hell' With Season 2<br /><img src="" /><br /><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 13 Aug 2012 11:19:00 -0700 Breaks The Chains on 'Hell on Wheels'<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Though Common plays a former slave in the AMC channels Hell On Wheels, he refuses to be shackled by limits. With Sundays (August 12) season premier showcasing his newdirection, he explained how his role is developing beyond the slave narrative.</div> <div></div> <div>Where were going in season 2 its growing with more depth, he told Hot 93.7s DJ Buck and Nancy B. You realize its not about being just a former slave but these are people you are dealng with and they arew going through the same stuff we are going through now.</div> <div></div> <div>In the series, Common plays Elam Ferguson, an emancipated slave. Common promises more depth this season.</div> <div></div> <div>Ive been through all this persecution and hard times, the course black people have experienced in America, Common said of his character. It was a lot of built up frustration, being oppressed.</div> <div></div> <div>Playing a freed slave of mixed race, hits very close to home, according to Common.</div> <div></div> <div>When youre on that set and dealing with situations and what the character is going through, It takes you there, he said. It hits your soul.</div> <div></div> <div>Season 2 promises lots of emotion, as Ferguson continues his controversial relationship with Eva, a white prostitute. Viewers will see the struggles of their relationship continue, but Common hints that they will gain an even deeper connection in the face of hardship.</div> <div></div> <div>A black man and a white woman, during those times, spells trouble, he said. But they say love conquers all, so who knows?</div> <div></div> <div>As for the response from fans?</div> <div></div> <div>People tweeted me like, How you fall in love with a prostitute? he joked. But man, they need love too.</div> <div></div> <div>The rapper/actor also appears in the new Disney flick The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Go here to listen to the entire interview, in which he he talks about the new film, his connection to Kanye West and G.O.O.D; and his support of Serena Williams Crip-walking controversy.</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href="">Wild 94.1</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 13 Aug 2012 11:10:00 -0700 talks The Odd Life of Timothy Green, LUV and Hell on Wheels<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Coming out on August 15th is The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who cant wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jimand their small town of Stanleyvillelearn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of lifes greatest gifts.</div> <div></div> <div>Written and directed by Peter Hedges, the film stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Ron Livingston, Dianne Wiest, Odeya Rush, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith, and Common.</div> <div></div> <div>For Common, who was last seen in a small role opposite Halle Berry in New Years Eve, the film is the first several project the Chicago native has coming up left in 2012. On August 12th is the start of the second season of his AMC TV series, Hell on Wheels.</div> <div></div> <div> caught up with Common as he spoke about his role in Timothy Green, the TV series, and his music career.</div> <div></div> <div>What role do you play in the film?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: I play Coach Cal and hes about winning and hes been a coach in that town and he takes pride in his team winning. Hes really driven wants them to push hard and get the . Eventually he learns a lot of lessons from Timothy Green that its not always about winning. Sometimes you win by the character you display. Its the experience and the journey that the win comes in.</div> <div></div> <div>If you were a coach in real life, how would you handle the situation?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: It depends, but Id probably play for the win, but if theres a kid that hadnt had the opportunity to play, Im a fair person so I will let that kid get in the game. Its in the fourth quarter and I have to have the best player in, then I will have the best players in.</div> <div></div> <div>What was the attraction to doing this film?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: I really enjoyed the story. Its very clever and a heartfelt story. I love the writer/director Peter Hedges. I thought it would unique to be play this character because Disney is the magical place and at the same time theres no time period in the film. You cant tell if the film takes place in the 70s or present day. Theres a lot of imagination and creativity that go into it, but the story has a lot of heart and a lot of lessons in it.</div> <div></div> <div>How was working with Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: I had a great time. There were really cool people. Jennifer would hire an Ice Cream truck for the cast and crew. They would bring ice cream up to the set. She also hired a band and I freestyled with them during lunch to entertain and keep the energy and spirit up. Shes a wonderful person. I had worked with Joel before on Aces, which is the first movie I did. Hes a cool guy. We played some ball. Hes come a long way from that film and keeps moving forward.</div> <div></div> <div>You also have another film coming out called LUV. Whats your role in that?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: I play Uncle Vincent whos been recently released from prison and wants to show his nephew a better way of life. He takes him for the day and wants to show him how to do things the right way, and the day just goes bad. He puts his nephew in situations that no one should be in. Its a struggle for a man whos trying to be a father figure and he doesnt know how to make the right choices. This kid has to learn things in a very hard way.</div> <div></div> <div>You also have the second season of Hell of Wheels coming up.</div> <div></div> <div>Common: Im very enthused about the second season. Its a blessing to be doing it. I really feel our show is growing and its getting into more into stories of the people and the characters. Thats what the show is about. Its about how these people relate and how they have to redefine themselves when they come to this railroad. Even the railroad tries to changes in those days. Its about how one establishes themselves; especially for Ferguson, who was a slave throughout his life, and now has his freedom. What do you do? How does he function in the world? When he gains power, how does he handle that? Its a lot of drama, for lack of a better word, in Hell on Wheels.</div> <div></div> <div>Is there any growth to your character?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: Yes. Hes definitely going through the struggles of getting power and his position is growing, but he also has to deal with working with the community. People expect to look at him different. Hes also dealing with a love relationship that he wants. Theres a lot that will go on with Ferguson this season.</div> <div></div> <div>What do you look for in a script that entices you to do the project?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: I look for great characters in a film and for the story to be interesting for me. If I love the story and once we start shooting the film and it comes out and its executed well, then I think people will love it. I look for films that I will enjoy. It could be the The Odd Life of Timothy Green or or Now You See. Thats action film and a thriller starring Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, and Morgan Freeman. I play the head of a FBI division. I look for great quality films and high level roles.</div> <div></div> <div>Hows your music career going?</div> <div></div> <div>Common: Im on the G.O.O.D. Music album because Im part of the G.O.O.D. Music family. That album should be in September and its called Cruel Summer. Its me Kanye, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and others. Im excited about it and Im also working on some new projects for me. I will also do a jazz album at some point.</div> <div>Between being in films and doing a TV series, how are you balancing life?</div> <div>Common: Im doing it by enjoying it. Keep God first and make sure that Im enjoying the moments because when after we finish filming, me and the cast go out and have drinks, eat dinner and laugh. . When Im in Chicago, I go out with one of my guys and hang out on his boat. I make sure to appreciate the aspects of life, and spend time with family when time permits.</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href="">Wilson Morales /</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sun, 12 Aug 2012 11:23:00 -0700'Hell on Wheels:' Common; behind-the-scenes; review<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Check out the full review, videos clips and interview <a href="">here!</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 07 Aug 2012 11:07:00 -0700 Wants To Work With Kanye West On New Music, Says 2 Chainz Gives Him “Inspiration”<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Long before G.O.O.D. Music was home to 2 Chainz, Pusha T and more, Common was a standout member on Kanye Wests record label. The Hip-Hop twosome collaborated on Commons 2005 release, Be, catapulting the rapperwho had long gone under the commercial radarto the No. 2 spot on the Billboard album charts.</div> <div>Six years later, the rapper-turned-actor wouldnt mind getting back in the studio with his good friend. In an interview with Complex, Common explained when he and West will link. When the time is right, I would love to get together [with Kanye] on some more music, he said.</div> <div>Provided that they are able to get in the studio together, the move would be an act of passion, according to the 40-year-old. I aint gotta do it, he aint gotta do it, he continued. s not like we had to do it then or when we first did it, but itd be a fun thing for us to do.</div> <div>As the G.O.O.D. Music crew preps the fall release of their Cruel Summer compilation, Common also revealed that he wanted to be added to their single, and was asked to do so by Big Sean but couldnt make it happen. I was working, doing something. Eventually the record, it got done quicker than I could get my verse out. They put it out and it was banging."</div> <div>Although he is widely known as a more conscious rapper (hence his former moniker Common Sense), the Chicago native has found motivation in the likes of 2 Chainz. When I heard 2 Chainz on one of the songs I was doing, I was like, Play his verse to me again, play it again! because he gave me inspiration. Its like when you get around your friends, you get reminded. With No I.D., I got reminded of who and what my essence is and why I love Hip-Hop music. Working around him would remind me like, You just gotta bring your Isht and have fun.</div> <div>No word yet on when Common will drop his new album, but would it be a good look if he added 2 Chainz to the guest list?</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href="">HipHopWired</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 07 Aug 2012 10:59:00 -0700 Wants to Make More Hits With Kanye<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Common made a classic album in 2005 with Be, which featured production only by Kanye West and J Dilla. In an interview with Complex, the hip hop star said hed love to do more music with Kanye, but sees it as an act of passion versus obligation.</p> <div></div> <div>Yes. You know, when the time is right, I would love to get together [with Kanye] on some more music. It would be an act of passion, it would be a creative project. It would be fun instead of, I aint gotta do it, he aint gotta do it. Its not like we had to do it then or when we first did, but itd be a fun thing for us to do, Common said.</div> <div></div> <div>The Chicago rapper is still very much in love with hip hop, much like Yeezy. The two continue to redefine the sound of the music genre with their creativity and appreciation for the game.</div> <div></div> <div>No matter where you go, you get reminded and youre like, I got into this because I love making music, I love hip hop, and I love being creative. Being able to work together with Kanye would be one of those experiences for me. How with No I.D. I had an experience like, This is what I do. This is hip hop, he explained.</div> <div></div> <div>There are no concrete details about when or if Common and Ye will work on a new project. However, fans eagerly await.</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href="">BET</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 07 Aug 2012 10:57:00 -0700 Rumors: Is Common Reuniting With Kanye West For Another Album?<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Common and Kanye West first collaborated on Commons 2005 album, Be. The album was critically acclaimed and was touted as Commons comeback album after the disastrous Electric Circus. Could these two be working on another collaborative album right now?</div> <div>In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Common spoke about the possibility of teaming up with Kanye West again for a full album. Check out what he said below:</div> <div></div> <div><em>Yes. You know, when the time is right, I would love to get together [with Kanye] on some more music. It would be an act of passion, it would be a creative project. It would be fun instead of, I aint gotta do it, he aint gotta do it. Its not like we had to do it then or when we first did it, but itd be a fun thing for us to do,</em> he said. <em>No matter where you go, you get reminded and youre like, I got into this because I love making music, I love Hip Hop, and I love being creative. Being able to work together with Kanye would be one of those experiences for me. How with No I.D. I had an experience like, This is what I do. This is Hip Hop.</em></div> <div></div> <div>Nice! Common also revealed that he was originally supposed to be on but didnt hand his verse in in time.</div> <div></div> <div><em>To be honest, Ive been in the studio and I was doing some recording, but it was mostly me, Big Sean, Cyhi, Pusha, and Teyana in there. For me, it was fun to just be able to rock with them and cats is smoking, cats is doing what they do, having fun more than anything. Just figuring it out. I can remember Big Sean being like, You should get on this talking about I wanted to get on that. I wish I wouldve gotten on it, he said. I was working, doing something. Eventually the record, it got done quicker than I could get my verse out. They put it out and it was banging</em>.</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href=""></a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 06 Aug 2012 11:01:00 -0700 Spirit Fest, Erykah Badu, Common and a tribute to Chuck Brown<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>The Summer Spirit Festival, an annual day of R&B, soul, hip-hop, funk and go-go, is different each year, but there have always been a couple of constants weather hot enough for a temporary moratorium on making fun of sweat stains, and a festival-stealing set from the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown.</div> <div></div> <div>On Saturday, the seventh annual Spirit Fest, headlined by singer Erykah Badu, was held at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and although the Godfather of Go-Go passed away in May, thanks to the magic of special effects, Browns record of perfect attendance at the event remained intact.</div> <div></div> <div>A Chuck Brown tribute was one of the most anticipated moments of the day, in part because of what was billed as a special surprise. The performance brought together Browns band (including vocalist D. Floyd, keyboardist Sweet Cherie and Browns daughter, rapper KK) and go-go icons Big Tony Fisher of Trouble Funk, Gregory Sugar Bear Elliott of E.U., and Rare Essence founding members James Funk and Andre White Boy Johnson.</div> <div></div> <div>The surprise was not, as popularly rumored, a Chuck Brown hologram a la Tupac at Coachella, but that wasnt a bad guess. After the band rolled for a while and the legends performed some of their own material (Trouble Funks Drop the Bomb and Essences Lock It were highlights), Browns distinctive raspy voice came through the speakers, and live footage of him appeared on the monitors, edited so that it seemed he was right there with the band. The trick gave KK the chance to duet with her father again on Chuck Baby.</div> <div></div> <div>I miss my daddy this is emotional for me, she said.</div> <div></div> <div>The tribute was preceded by music from independent soul artist Eric Roberson, Brit R&B sensation Estelle and soul revivalists Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who, between their funk/soul rhythms and Jones temperature-defying dancing, earned a standing ovation.</div> <div></div> <div>Hip-hop heads finally got their fix when the festivals penultimate act, Chicago rapper Common, hit the stage just before 9 p.m. He didnt perform numbers from his latest album, last years The Dreamer/The Believer, instead choosing to do his biggest hits (I Used To Love H.E.R., The Corner) and a few romantic raps ( Come Close). He also performed a freestyle that mentioned his past romantic relationship with Badu.</div> <div></div> <div>Badu herself emerged several minutes after 10 p.m. On a day so blistering that Estelle repeatedly worried about ruining her hair and Common invited a young woman onstage to wipe him down with a towel, Badu cemented her reputation for otherworldly cool by coming onstage in a sweater.</div> <div></div> <div>Badus live shows typically rearrange and remix her most popular songs into almost unrecognizable new pieces. But Badu (working from between a drum machine, laptop and small percussion set-up) played things pretty straight. New material including the alien soul of 20 Feet Tall and the more grounded Umm Hmm from 2010s New AmErykah Pt. 2 (Return of the Ankh), and On & On and from 1997s sounded close, if not identical to, the recorded versions.</div> <div></div> <div>She ended with hip-hop ode Love of My Life and then left the stage: The artist known for constantly pushing boundaries, flouting convention and breaking rules kept to the venues 11 p.m. curfew.</div> <div></div> <div>via <a href="">The Washington Post</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sun, 05 Aug 2012 11:04:00 -0700 West and Kim Kardashian Are Truly in Love, Says Friend Common<p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase=",0,47,0" height="450" id="flashObj" width="600"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=1762796537001&,AAAAFOjEdNk~,Ccf1BJmYkhML2OA3FEsF4-tPam_YW9WW&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=1762796537001&,AAAAFOjEdNk~,Ccf1BJmYkhML2OA3FEsF4-tPam_YW9WW&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" height="450" name="flashObj" pluginspage="" seamlesstabbing="false" src="" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600"></embed></object></p> <p><a href="">Via Celebuzz!</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:53:00 -0700 balances two passions — hip-hop and acting<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <div>Last year, while working on the independent film "LUV" in Baltimore, Common received the type of treatment typical for a celebrity of his stature. He met the mayor in her office. He played basketball at Carmelo Anthonys gym.</div> <div></div> <div>But now, reflecting more than a year later, the 40-year-old Chicago-native born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. says it was meeting the people in their communities that made his brief time in Baltimore "one of the best experiences" the rapper and actor ever had.</div> <div></div> <div>"I was in the heart and soul of Baltimore," said Common, who returns to the area Saturday for the Summer Spirit Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. "I definitely felt a connection to the people. Theyre really hard-working people that want to have a better life. And I saw the struggle that exists there."</div> <div></div> <div>Common has long been a keen observer, dating back to his 1992 debut album, "Can I Borrow a Dollar?" In 2005, after a couple of experimental flops, he sounded rejuvenated on his sixth album, "Be," thanks to a budding partnership with Kanye West.</div> <div></div> <div>Their connection continues with the release of "Cruel Summer," the compilation album by Wests G.O.O.D. Music crew due in September. Although he isnt signed to Wests record label, Common is considered a member of the popular hip-hop clique.</div> <div></div> <div>Rap crews are nothing new, but in 2012, theyre followed with fervor by hip-hop fans. Common says G.O.O.D.s wide range of personalities from the melodic and moody Kid Cudi to street-rap traditionalist Pusha T to rising punch-line rapper Big Sean will separate his group from others such as Rick Ross Maybach Music Group and Lil Waynes Young Money label.</div> <div></div> <div>"Its a great conglomerate of artists that really express themselves with creativity and truth," Common said. "The beauty of the album is youre going to have songs with Common and [Atlanta rapper] 2 Chainz, which is a combination people might not expect."</div> <div></div> <div>As of now, Common doesnt know which songs hell appear on because West, widely known as a studio perfectionist, has final say. That type of uncertainty fueled the crews writing process and brought a sense of competition to the project, he said.</div> <div></div> <div>"We all want to be known as the coldest MC," Common said. "As much as we support each other, I want my verse to draw people in."</div> <div></div> <div>His desire to succeed goes beyond the microphone. Commons other passion, acting, has landed him roles in high-profile films such as 2007s "American Gangster" and 2009s "Terminator Salvation."</div> <div></div> <div>On Aug. 12, the second season of "Hell on Wheels," a Western drama set in the 19th century on AMC, premieres, with Common reprising his role as former slave Elam Ferguson.</div> <div></div> <div>"Hes taking a lot of big steps for a black man in that time," he said. "When you start getting into power, you lose certain things, too, if youre not used to it. Hes going through different struggles."</div> <div></div> <div>While hes not the first rapper to catch the acting bug, Common is one of the few with the ability to make a viewer forget about his other job. He says hes always taken the craft seriously, dating back to his first acting class 10 years ago.</div> <div></div> <div>"I wasnt just going for it to be on a movie set," Common said. "It was like, Man, I love doing this."</div> <div></div> <div>While hes passionate for acting, Commons first love will always be hip-hop. He plans to soon start working on two albums: a rap-meets-jazz project driven by collaborations and a more traditional rap record. Common says the recent wave of young rappers he cites Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and previous lyrical foe Drake as examples "are bringing life to the music."</div> <div></div> <div>"I love that theres different crews," Common said. "Im hearing stuff and it gives me that urge to write. Hip-hop is alive and growing."</div> <div></div> <div><a href=",0,3314238.story">By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun</a></div> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:50:00 -0700 Reflects on the Highs & Lows of His Career<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>"When I hear myself rapping at 19, I had the raw element but the skill wasnt there. Can I Borrow a Dollar? is my least favorite album. It was young and fun, but I can hear the amateur aspect." -COMMON on one of his lows</p> <p>Read the full article <a href="">here</a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sun, 11 Dec 2011 11:56:00 -0800 Obamas Supported COMMON<br /><img src="" /><br /><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Common Says Obamas Supported Him During Sarah Palin Poetry Reading Controversy</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Click<a href="">here</a>to check out Part 1 of Commons interview with Billy J at Yahoo!. Stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3 coming soon!</span></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:06:00 -0700 Feat. COMMON<br /><img src="" /><br /><p class="p1"><span class="s1"> and Court Dunn Present: <a href="">ThisIsHipHop Video Series Featuring Common</a></span></p> <p class="p1"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Aug 2011 11:25:00 -0700"What's Your Ghetto Dream" Contest Winner<br /><img src="" /><br /><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Congrats to <em><strong>Rohan Houssein</strong></em> for winning the<a href=" Your Ghetto Dream</a>video contest we ran last year.</span></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Aug 2011 11:23:00 -0700"What's Your Ghetto Dream" Contest Winner<br /><img src="" /><br /><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Congrats to <em><strong>Rohan Houssein</strong></em> for winning the<a href=" Your Ghetto Dream</a>video contest we ran last year.</span></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Aug 2011 11:23:00 -0700 Top 20 Premieres<br /><img src="" /><br /><p class="p1"><span class="s1">VH1 Top 20 premieres: "Favorite Song" by Colbie Caillat featuring Common & Foster the People. Check it out <a href="">here</a>!</span></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Aug 2011 11:21:00 -0700