"Common: The Rare Romantic Rapper"

Essay by TBNThug316College, UndergraduateA, November 2006

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"Chicago is such an authentic city to me. It's really not an industry driven place. You don't have record companies and movie houses. It's really a blue-collar city and a real soulful city." In this quote from a 2005 interview with Vibe Magazine, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, also known as the hip hop artist Common, sums up his love for his hometown of Chicago by stating how original it is. By growing up in such an authentic place, the city of Chicago helped Common become one of the most unique artists in hip hop today. Rather than talking about how many cars and how much cash he has, Common chooses to create songs that discuss sensitive subjects that are rarely talked about in hip hop. And instead of objectifying women by calling them disrespectful names, Common chooses to rap about how much love and respect he has for the women in his life, something that rarely occurs in today's world of hip hop.

Common's romantic approach and sensitive lyrics makes him one of the few artists who approaches hip hop from a poetic standpoint. Although he occasionally talks about similar subjects to most popular rappers, he creates his authenticity by approaching his subject matter in a much more artistic way. By preaching ideas of staying true to yourself and respecting women, Common is a rare, uncommon voice in the hip hop world.

Before looking at the subject matter in Common's songs, it can be seen that Common displays his authenticity in just the way he chooses to deliver his songs. Most hip hop artists today choose either the communicative delivery, where they discuss stories from their true life, or the narrative delivery, where rappers create stories from their own imagination. Common is one of the few artists in hip hop today...