MAKERS Profile

Common

Common, Award Winning Artist, Actor & Producer

In this video

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