things we learned about common at butler university

February 14, 2013

Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., or better known to the world as Common, has established himself as one of the most influential Hip Hop artists of our time. He has held up the flag of the Midwest after emerging from the South-Side of Chicago in the early 90s, and would go on to establish himself as a “concise rapper” after the release of his third album.

By: Brandon Jackson, AFROPUNK contributor 

This winter Common stopped by Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana to talk about his book, influence on hip hop music, and his vision for the future. I had the chance to read his book entitled One Day It’ll All Make Sense, which gave an in depth look at Common’s life during his early years, his slow rise to success, and his greatest accomplishments that have defined his life and career. Common gives much credit to his mother, Dr. Mahilia Ann Hines, who raised him as a single parent after Common’s father left when he was very young. In the book, Dr. Hines admits not knowing about her son being a rap artist until he was offered a record deal while he was a student at FAMU. Dr. Hines would agree to support her son for 3 years, where he would have to go back to school if his rap career did not work out. Common would persevere through the difficult years as his career struggled to get off the ground. His 3rd album, “Like Water for Chocolate,” would be ground breaking, as it went on to serve as his first gold album. 

Common’s relationship with singer Erykah Badu was the first time he actually discovered love. Their breakup would serve as a pivotal moment in his life where he would find inspiration to grow. Shortly after dating Badu, Common would start working with fellow Chicago rap artist, Kanye West, who gave him inspiration for the album BE. Common first met West early in his career when he would come to the studio to work with Common’s childhood friend, producer No I.D. Common continues to impact the lives of young people with his Common Ground Foundation and other initiatives that he does across the world. To learn more about Common’s visit to Indianapolis, check out the youtube clip below