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Common Biography

Last updated: 05/10/2012 12:00:00 PM

b. Lonnie Rashied Lynn, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Originally recording under the expanded pseudonym Common Sense, Lynn is one of the more enlightened contemporary rappers, proffering a heady mix of verbiage and syncopated hip-hop rhythms. He made his debut in 1992 with Can I Borrow A Dollar?, a series of tracts on consumer identity with the occasional lapse into X-rated anatomical detail to make it a hit with the hardcore hip-hop audience. Conversely, the best song was "Take It EZ", a laid-back statement of identity and individuality. By the advent of Resurrection in 1994, Lynn had abandoned some of the bloated misogyny of the debut, and the results were excellent.

Fuelled by the soul and funk beats of his DJ No I.D., the album provided the rapper with a license to indulge his self-evident love of vocabulary and syntax (particularly affecting was his sketch of black economics - "Chapter 13 (Rich Man vs. Poor Man)"). A follow-up set was then delayed as Lynn lost a court battle to retain the rights to his name Common Sense, eventually abbreviating it simply to Common. In the interim, he also completed classes in music theory, encouraging him to bring live instrumentation to the fore on his new recordings. One Day It'll All Make Sense also displayed further development in songwriting. Although it lacked the consistency of its predecessor, there were several stand-out cuts, notably the single "Reminding Me (Of Sef)", which mourned the loss of a childhood friend. Common made his MCA Records debut in March 2000 with Like Water For Chocolate.