Common (USA)

This summer's unofficial fulfiller of dreams is here. A visit by Common has certainly been longed for and desired, both aloud and quietly.

This Chicago rapper was christened in 1972 as Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., and 36 years later he has completed 7 albums and has had a long but firm ascent. Common is an exceptional artist in the sense that he has retained the support of his listeners in spite of grand acknowledgements – which is no wonder, as he hasn't compromised his message or the quality of his production. This year Common has been seen on the silver screen in the film American Gangster, and has also finally received the Grammy that he was nominated for many times already. The victorious song Southside includes a visit by a certain Kanye West. Yep, looking at it from today's perspective, the modest title of Common's debut album is thrilling: in 1992 the situation was Can I Borrow a Dollar?

Common never tires of spurring his listeners to think and be aware of their choices. "Think Before You Eat", says the animal rights activist Common as we are shovelling down festival food on our disposable plates. "Knowing Is Beautiful", he goes on, referring to the risk of venereal diseases: you are allowed to think even when you are on a rock festival. Fun is definitely to be had, but with a functioning brain. These few scratches on the surface give you some idea of what Common has to say. Take a moment some time to delve deeper into it. And an hour of your festival weekend for his gig.

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