Common as Elam Ferguson
With his multi-Grammy Award winning music career, continued work in film and television, and multiple written works, Common has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men.
His numerous film and music credits include roles in the films Smokin Aces, American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, LUV, and Now You See Me. He will next be seen in Run All Night with Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman and recently completed filming Selma, a film about the civil rights marches that changed America.
Prior to acting, Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists having recorded over eight albums and garnering multiple Grammy Awards. In 2004, he partnered with Chicago native and rap music mega-star Kanye West to produce the album Be, which went on to garner four Grammy Award nominations. In 2007 Common released his critically acclaimed seventh album, Finding Forever, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and went on to earn a Grammy award. His eighth album, Universal Mind Control, was released in 2008 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Album. Common's ninth album, The Believer, The Dreamer, was released to critical acclaim by Warner Bros. Records. In 2012, Common joined forces with fellow members of the G.O.O.D. Music crew including Kanye West, John Legend, Pusha T, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Kid Cudi to release the highly anticipated album, Cruel Summer. Common plans to release his tenth solo album, Nobody’s Smiling, in July 2014.
Common also offers the younger generation a better understanding of self-respect and love by utilizing the cultural relevance of hip hop in the children’s books The Mirror and Me, I Like You But I Love Me, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and M.E. (Mixed Emotions). Common recently added to this list of accomplished written works One Day It’ll All Make Sense, a revealing memoir which made The New York Times best-seller list upon release.
In 2000, Common launched his own philanthropic effort, The Common Ground Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to the empowerment and development of disadvantaged youth in urban communities by mentoring in three areas: character development, creative expression, and healthy living.