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Common, Award Winning Artist, Actor & Producer

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Common talks about how he turned his passion for rap into a career as a hip-hop artist, family, equality and activating change.

There’s something about Common. Many know him as the Grammy and Academy Award-winning hip hop artist, poet, actor, and film producer. He’s all of those things, but, largely thanks to the love and support of his mother, who he considers his “home and foundation” (awww!), he’s so much more.

Common also shouts out the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni for inspiring him in his formative years while growing up in Chicago, resulting in him writing his first rap at just twelve-years-old. Kick ass, boundary-breaking women like the aforementioned have uplifted and influenced Common’s art from the get-go -- so much so that he says his art will “always honor and uplift women.” There’s nothing more attractive than a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, is there? (He was also once photographed wearing his heart on the chest of a t-shirt which read “This is what a feminist looks like.”)

And the rest is history! With a career spanning 25 years, which has found him collaborating with Dr. Angelou, the household name is also a loud and proud activist for equality. He’s even played a Civil Right’s Movement leader in 2014’s lauded film, Selma, which was directed by another extraordinary woman, Ava Marie DuVernay, the first black female director to have a film (Selma) nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. (Meanwhile, “Glory,” the song Common co-wrote and performed alongside John Legend, took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song). Common clearly takes the whole “You’re the company you keep” thing seriously. Talk about #squadgoals!

“Man, if we had women taking over the world, the world would get better,” Common told us in the latest edition of MAKERS MEN, premiering here today. (We have a feeling “Who Run The World” is his favorite Queen Bey song. Same.) Check it out, and witness why Common is our type of guy.

More From Common

Being a Father
Common says he has been "conscious of women" since he was born because of the strength he saw in his mother in grandmother.

Hip-Hop Starts with the People
Common talks about how the "unapologetic" nature of hip-hop music is reflective the people who feel connected to it.

How We Get the World in Balance
Common talks about the imporance of harmony, peace, and understanding one another in striving to achieve equality.

The Journey
Common discusses how constantly challenging himself allows him to learn, and that being an artist is a journey.

Female Artists Who Influenced Me
Common talks about the female artists that have inspired him and influenced his career.

My First Rap
Common shares how he became hooked on hip-hop music after writing his first rap.

Being a Conscious Artist
Common opens up about how writing a song about abortion put him on the map as a conscious artist.

Why Not Be Courageous about Love?
Common shares the importance of being able to talk about love in the way he best knows how.

Opening Up for Eazy-E and NWA
Common talks about the first time his rap group opened for a professional music group in Chicago, who eventually became known as "Ice Cube"

The Responsibility of Our Voices
Common on the importance of using our voices to share integrity, personal values, and to inspire change.

I Grew Up with a Leader
Common on how growing up with a mother who was a strong leader allowed him to recognize the power women hold in the world.