Being | 07/24/2014 | 03:08 PM EDT

Chicago-bred lyricist Common has become one of the most respected emcees of this generation. His charm, wit and street smarts has placed him in a league of his own and made him an influential figure in entertainment.

Chicago-bred rapper Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, is one of the most respected voices in hip-hop of this generation. His first underground LP, "Can I Borrow A Dollar?” was released under the name Common Sense and featured the tracks "Charm's Alarm" and "Breaker 1-9". With this LP, Common successfully established himself as a lyricist among the greats and introduced the world to his charm, wit, street-smarts and his love for metaphors and similes.

In 1994, Common released "Resurrection," notable for its title track as well as the ode to hip-hop, "I Used To Love H.E.R." This album further increased his reputation as an underground artist while simultaneously giving the world a new hip hop visionary to relate to.

After officially changing his name from Common Sense to Common, he emerged onto the scene with "One Day It'll All Make Sense" featuring guests like Erykah Badu, Canibus and De La Soul.

While Common was heavily involved in the underground hip-hop community, his mainstream breakthrough didnt come until 1999 when he appeared on The Roots' album, "Things Fall Apart" and then moved to MCA Records. He released his fourth album, "Like Water For Chocolate" which cleverly featured a mix of Afrobeat, funk, and old-school soul. The album was a success and paved the way for Common's successful career.  Common has also chosen to redefine himself, swearing off the alcohol, marijuana, and fornication that he had once indulged in. Now in his early 30s, Common strives to remain a relevant voice in an art form that is on life support.

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Categories: BEING, Being, Common, CentricTV

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