Anyone who’s been following popular hip-hop over the past 20 years can tell you that Common isn’t just another rap artist from Chicago. The famous recording artist, actor and humanitarian can now proudly say that he is the only rapper in the history of commercial music to take home an Emmy, a Grammy and an Academy Award throughout his impressive career.
As Billboard points out, Common first won his first of three career Grammy Awards back in 2002 in the Best R&B Song category, as a songwriter for his collaboration alongside Erykah Badu on "Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip-Hop).” 12 years later he and John Legend would go on to impressively win themselves both a Golden Globe and an Oscar during the 2015 awards season for Best Original Song for “Glory,” from the 2014 historical drama biopic, "Selma." He sealed the prestigious Emmy this past weekend for his song “Letter to the Free,” from the incredibly powerful Netflix documentary, "13th."
“I want to thank God first and foremost,” Common told Deadline about his latest accomplishment in a statement. “Any time I get a chance to work with [13th director] Ava DuVernay it leads to something positive, something strong.”
It was his involvement with the film, which details the sad continuation of slavery and oppression amongst African-Americans within the U.S. judicial system, that sparked the concept for his current Imagine Justice initiative. Part of said initiative is his YouTube series titled, The Hope & Redemption Tour. The tour sees Common visiting, meeting with and even performing at various prisons and rehabilitation centers around the country in hopes of shining a positive light on some of America’s countless inmates.
Congratulations Common, you can now officially say that you are in quite the league of your own.