Rapper Common to discuss memoir

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Rap artist Common is anything but common. A well-known hip-hop phenomenon, he has rapped about politics and social issues, called out the commercialization of the hip-hop industry and even created some controversy when he accepted an invitation to the White House this year, despite having rapped about violent topics.

This week, Common will be the first Great Issues Committee speaker of the year, speaking to the Saint Louis University community about the content of his new memoir, “One Day, This Will All Make Sense.”

Common, otherwise known as Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., gained popularity as a rapper in the 1990’s. He is known for his politically conscious lyrics and has preformed and worked with artists such as Mary J. Blige and Kanye West. Common is also an actor and has been in several movies, including “American Gangster,” “Wanted” and “Terminator Salvation.”

Common’s release of his new book is one of the reasons GIC President Luke Gatta said the organization wanted to bring the artist to speak to the University.

“We wanted to bring him before the book came out,” Gatta said. “But we thought it would be a good idea to ride the wave of enthusiasm and bring him now that the book is out.”

Gatta said that Common expressed enthusiasm for his upcoming appearance at SLU and that GIC is equally enthused to be having him.

“He’s a role model for so many people,” Gatta said. “He has a message of coming together, something we can related to the Oath of Inclusion.”

While Common’s lecture will be focused less on diversity and more on the rapper’s experience, Gatta said that he hopes everyone who attends will have a good time.

The speech, also entitled “One Day, This Will All Make Sense,” will feature a performance by SLU’s hip-hop dance group Xquizt, as well as a book signing at the end of the event.

“I was really excited to hear Common was coming,” senior Jina Dubose said. “I was a big fan of him as a musical artist and I’m really interested to hear what he’s going to say because I know he’s a very conscious rapper.”

Common will be speaking at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Wool Ballrooms, located in the Busch Student Center.  Doors open at 6 p.m. for ticket holders and at 6:30 p.m. for everyone else.  Tickets are available in the Student Involvement Center, room 319 in the BSC.