What Every Artist Can Learn From Common’s Versatile Career and Accomplishments

Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as the talented hip-hop artist, actor, and poet Common – first started his career as an underground artist in 1992. He gained mainstream success through hip-hop informed music collective “Soulquarians” in the early 2000s and would later record several albums (of different styles) until he was finally out there performing for a wider audience. With successful albums, television roles, and accolades under his belt – Common serves as a shining example of an artist that has continuously evolved with their music career.

He Was Patient with His Career

A career doesn’t happen over night. Even though it seems that way for other professional artists, there is no doubt that a great amount of  patience was required to get to where they are today. Common has been in the music industry for over two decades, building a reputation as a respected artist and collaborating with countless more to create great music. As long as you are making the right steps to improve your art every day, be confident that you too will become one of the best artists out there.

He Developed His Music By Exploring Everything

Common began his career as rap trio C.D.R , opening for huge acts such as N.W.A and Big Daddy Kane. He would move on to explore a variety of themes in his albums – including fatherhood, abortion, the critique of hip-hop, a fusion of genres, and political activism. Common has filtered through different music labels, worked with a wide array of established artists (Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, John Legend), and even won two Grammy’s. His success doesn’t stop there. Common has also received a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his song “Glory” in the civil rights era film Selma. Your music should be constantly evolving and reflect your growth and versatility as a musician.

He Ventured into Other Career Options

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While releasing albums throughout the years, Common dove headfirst in the acting scene. Beginning with smaller roles on Girlfriends and One on One – to larger roles in American Gangster (played alongside Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe), Terminator Salvation, Date Night – and even a voice acting role in the film Happy Feet. Even if you’re not too savvy as an actor, finding multiple career options can help you fund whatever main project you’re working on, or just be a great way for you to further develop as an artist. Are you also a good drummer? Network with other bands that may need someone to fill a temp position. Know that you can create your own opportunities!

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Michelle Aguilar has a strong passion and love for music – and it’s history. She enjoys reading literary books, dancing, trip-hop/indie venues, working on her blog, and digging up new music. 

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