The son of a former basketball player, the young Lonnie Lynn (aka Common) worked for Chicago Bulls for a spell during his teens before emerging as one of America's most popular rappers on the back of his 1992 debut single Take It EZ. It reached Number 5 in the US rap charts, laying the groundwork for his first album Can I Borrow A Dollar? His second album Resurrection (1994) - including the single I Used To L.O.V.E. Her - is now widely regarded as a classic, and features raps about growing up on Chicago's South Side and includes some of his father's poetry. Common's raps were more intellectual and sophisticated than most other rap artists, but his disdainful attitude towards gangsta rap brought him into conflict with fellow West Coaster Ice Cube, igniting a long-running feud between them. Third album One Day It'll All Make Sense (1997) pursued the anti-gangsta theme and included collaborations with Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Cannibus and Q-Tip. After moving to New York in 1999 Common formed a collective called the Soulquarians and maintained his popularity with the albums Like Water For Chocolate (2000), Electric Circus (2002), Be (2005), Finding Forever (2007) and Universal Mind Control (2008). He diversified into acting, but was back recording a new album The Believer for 2011 release.

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Stations Featuring Common

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