Renowned hip hop artist, author, actor and activist Common will speak about his troubled childhood on the South Side of Chicago and the experiences of his diverse career at 8 p.m. tonight in Campbell Hall.
Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., Common has released nine studio-length albums, starred in multiple feature films such as “Date Night” and “American Gangster” and will soon star in the new HBO series “Hell on Wheels.”
The lecture, sponsored by the A.S. Program Board, aims to highlight issues like self-discovery and life struggle featured in the multi-dimensional artist’s memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense, released today.
According to Program Board Concert Coordinator Ali Abbas, the event — followed by a Q&A session and book signing — will provide a behind-the-scenes look at Common’s career.
“I think it’s going to be an inspiring, also very informative, lecture,” Abbas said. “I think [he] shows that through every trial and tribulation — all we’re going through now, being in school and putting all this work into education — that all in all, you should stay focused and stay positive and that one day it’ll all make sense.”
Program Board Cultural Arts & Lectures Coordinator Aladrian Goods said the lecture will give attendees insight on the rapper’s success in avoiding the mainstream and espousing social issues.
“He’s a great role model and a legend to the hip-hop game,” Goods said. “He gets a lot of respect from his fans and he can cater to our crowd — people who like music and hip hop, people who are socially conscious [and] involved in bettering the community [and] not just going with the flow.”
Common has worked alongside other famous rappers including Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. as well as politicians such as Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela. He also founded the nonprofit Common Ground Foundation, dedicated to promoting leadership ideals, education and creative expression among underprivileged youth.
First-year English and math major Justin Astorino said Common’s music differs from his contemporaries by transcending the typical themes of hip hop music.
“Common raps about social issues, politics and modern problems with the world as opposed to sex and drugs and whatnot,” Astorino said. “It’s import to me that I attend this lecture because he speaks directly to components of social change with his rapping.”
Pre-sale tickets are available today until 4 p.m. at $19 for students and $25 for general admission. Tickets at the door are $29 for students and $35 for general admission.