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Common, who was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., is a Chicago born hip hop artist who has used the platform as a way to speak out about political issues. Common debuted with the 1992 album Can I Borrow A Dollar?
Like Water for Chocolate was Common’s first major-label album, and he earned significant commercial success and widespread critical acclaim for his work. A string of awards followed including winning Best R&B Song for “Love of My Life,” and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Southside.” He also earned multiple BET Awards and earned several Image Award nominations as well as winning a Black Reel Award for Best Film Song.
Common’s activism has included being a supporter of PETA and the “Knowing Is Beautiful” movement which supports HIV/AIDS awareness. Common has also made a commitment to not use anti-gay lyrics in his music and consistently speaks out about a myriad of social justice issues.
The following video clip is a conversation between West Coast radio host DJ Julio G and Common. In the conversation, Common discusses how the book Autobiography of Assata Shakur changed him by teaching him the value of trusting and believing in the freedom that exists within you.
Common also discusses his feelings about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the conspiracy theories surrounding his death. King was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. A Memphis jury found the United States government guilty of conspiracy in his death.
Common discusses what he thinks about the conspiracy and about the truth being withheld from the masses. He also highlights the fact that it is his responsibility as a rapper to help people be aware. Check out the video below to hear Common explain in his own words: