Over the course of his career, Common has made a name for himself in everything from music to film, philanthropy, publishing and more.
But despite his success, the multi-award winning artist didn’t truly learn about himself until writing his second memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word.”
“Although my music can be personal and my first book detailed my story…I hit another level of vulnerability and openness with this book,” he said.
Common was joined by poet and artist Cleo Wade during a keynote discussion at the 2019 Promax Conference on Wednesday in Los Angeles. There, he discussed the inspiration being his love-themed memoir—and the newfound knowledge that came along with it.
“I’m willing to share the darker sides of me—the wounds of myself—[while] creating something encouraging and inspiring that people from all walks of life can relate to,” he said.
Diving into the creative process allowed him to “chip away” at things he never explored about himself. It also helped him unlock new potential and information, guiding him further through his journey as a creative, multi-talented artist.
“Storytelling for me has been a gateway to learning about myself….it has also been a gateway to emotional and philosophical information,” he said.
But despite learning new things about himself and embracing a newfound respect for self-love, Common takes pride in staying true to his authentic self—a person from the south side of Chicago who creates from the heart, instead of chasing money or chart-topping hits.
“I didn’t know what a brand was when I first started doing music. I was just following my heart, spirit, energy and love for creativity…a lot of my choices were made because they felt like the right thing to do.”
But the one time he stepped outside this principle, he quickly learned that inauthenticity wasn’t for him. He tried creating a song that could instantly be played on the radio, which led to a piece of unpopular—and inauthentic—music.
“It had to come from a place of love, what I’m actually feeling and what I think is dope,” he said.
[Images by Memoryscape]