A Grammy-award winning rap artist, poet, lyricist, and actor, Common is also a dedicated community activist who supports animal rights and HIV/AIDS awareness, among many other causes. He is the founder of the Common Ground Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower underprivileged urban youth to become strong and productive citizens. The foundation offers programs that foster the development of leadership skills, creative expression, and a commitment to education. Common engages audiences with stories of his childhood on the South Side of Chicago and the obstacles he overcame. Drawing upon his own hard work and path to success, he helps audiences understand how to strive for and achieve greatness by making a commitment to a greater cause.
Rewriting The Story
He always lets love have the last word in music and on the screen.
Following his 2011 memoir “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” Common’s next book “Let Love Have the Last Word” will be released on May 7th, 2019. “Let Love Have the Last Word,” shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer.
Common recently wrapped production on the upcoming action drama, EVE for director Tate Taylor. Also cast in the film are Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain.
Up next, Common will be seen in THE KITCHEN based on the DC/Vertigo female-led comic book series. He stars alongside Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss. Set in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen during the 1970s, the story follows wives of Irish mobsters (McCarthy, Haddish and Moss) who team up to take over running the business after their husbands are sent to prison. The film was released August 9th, 2019.
Common will also be seen in THE INFORMER with Joel Kinnaman and Rosamund Pike. The film follows a story of an ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum-security prison. The film is set to release on August 16th, 2019.
Last year, Common was seen on the silver screen in the Fox 2000 film, THE HATE YOU GIVE with Amanda Stenberg, Issa Rae and KJ Apa. This timely drama, directed by George Tillman Jr., premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. He lent his voice to the Warner Bros animated film SMALLFOOT alongside an all-star cast, Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden and LeBron James. Common also starred in the indie film, ALL ABOUT NINA opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead and directed by Eva Vives and the action film HUNTER KILLER with Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Linda Cardellini.
He starred in the Oscar nominated film, SELMA, a film centered around the civil rights marches that changed America. Alongside John Legend, he won the Academy Award and Golden Globe in 2015 for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” for “Glory” which was featured in the film. In 2016, he appeared in the David Ayer’s high-profile comic book movie, Warner Bros’ SUICIDE SQUAD. The film broke box office records both domestically and around the world.
In 2017, Common starred opposite Keanu Reeves in the highly anticipated sequel JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 and appeared in Judy Greer’s directorial debut A HAPPENING OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS with Allison Janney. He also appeared in Bleecker Street’s MEGAN LEAVEY alongside Kate Mara, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford and Edie Falco.
Behind-the-scenes, Common recently executive-produced the Netflix drama BURNING SANDS and performed the closing credits original song “The Cross” featuring Lianne Le Havas. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix March. He serves as an executive producer of Showtime’s hit TV series “The Chi,” a coming-of-age story set in Chicago from Emmy Award winning writer Lena Waithe.
Common’s 11th studio album, BLACK AMERICA AGAIN, was released November 4, 2016 on ARTium/Def Jam Recordings. The album includes socially conscious new single, “Black America Again” featuring Stevie Wonder and the anthem “Letter to the Free,” the end-title track to Ava Duvernay’s powerful Oscar-Nominated documentary 13TH, for which he also received the 2017 Emmy for “Best Music and Lyrics.” After collaborating on the album, Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins joined together to form supergroup August Greene. The trio made their live debut in January 2018 at New York’s Highline Ballroom as part of Glasper’s annual Grammy Awards party and will release their first joint album on March 9th through Amazon Music.
Common was most recently featured on Andra Day‘s song for Open Road Films’ MARSHALL soundtrack, “Stand Up for Something,” co-written by Common and eight-time Academy Award-nominee Diane Warren. The original song has received Oscar, Grammy, NAACP, and Critic Choice Award nominations, as well as the “Hollywood Song Award” at the 2017 Hollywood Film Awards.
For the past few years, Common has dedicated countless hours and has been deeply engaged in social justice and advocacy work around mass incarceration, mental health and voting. After the success and impact of his Imagine Justice concert in 2017 and his Hope & Redemption Tour to eight different prisons, Common decided to establish and launch Imagine Justice as a new nonprofit in 2018. Centered at the intersection of art and activism, Imagine Justice is dedicated to leveraging the power of art to advocate for communities around the country, to fight for justice and equality and to stand united against injustice wherever it appears.