- 02:15 PM, Jul 23
Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. on March 13, 1972 in Chicago's South Side. He was one of those kids whose parents got divorced while they were young His educator father left the family when he was six years old, leaving his counselor mother to take care of him. However, his father was still very much a big part of his life.
His mother would later remarry and teenage Common showed talents in both basketball and rap. His father found him a job as ball boy for the Chicago Bulls. His rap career, meanwhile, started in his cousin's home in Cincinnati and continued in high school when he formed a trio called C.D.R. The act indeed scored gigs as the opener of N.W.A. and Big Daddy Kane among others.
Common pursued higher education at Florida A&M University for two years under a scholarship and majored in business administration. But his study came to a full halt when Relativity Records offered him a contract in 1991. He went under the moniker Common Sense at first, releasing a single called "Take It EZ" the next year.
His first album was titled "Can I Borrow A Dollar?" and received positive feedbacks from underground hip-hop. Since the album sold relatively well, Relativity kept him for two more albums "Resurrection" and "One Day It'll All Make Sense" in 1994 and 1997 respectively. During this time, Common became friends with other prominent hip-hop artists such as Fat Joe and Wu-Tang Clan. Also, he was forced to change his stage name when he started becoming more popular and a reggae band with the same name sued him.
The release of his third album propelled his name in the industry and led him to a major label contract with MCA Records. In the same year the album was released, his first child, a girl named Omoye Assata Lynn was born from girlfriend Kim Jones. The album was actually largely inspired by his learning that he was about to be a father. He addresses family values several times in the album and decorated the album with old family photos.
Under the new flag, Common moved from Chicago to New York City in 1999 and began recording his fourth studio album. "Like Water for Chocolate" was released a year later to mass critical acclaim. The album was gold certified and the single from the album "The Light" was even