An ever-dapper Common, wearing a classic Caruso black tuxedo is accompanied by the ever-sexy Selita Ebanks on the cover of the latest issue of UPTOWN magazine.
With his 10th album Nobody Smiling now in stores and a role in the upcoming MLK Jr. biopic Selma on the way (in which he plays civil rights activist James Bevel), Common opens up and gets a little personal in the mag’s cover story: “The Reality of Rashid Isn’t Common Knowledge.”
Check out a few excerpts:
Common is no stranger to violence:
His 6-foot-8 father, Lonnie Lynn, (Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) was a basketball playground legend who suffered from an addiction to drugs and the fast life. He once kidnapped Common, then a toddler, and his mother at gunpoint, taking them to a tryout with the Seattle SuperSonics to prove to recruiters that he was a family man.
On almost marrying Serena Williams:
Common is single now, and enjoying his unattached life, but says he believes in marriage. He thought it would happen with Williams, but he is taking his time now before he jumps into something else. “If I’m in it as much as I was with Serena, as much as I loved her…it takes time to heal and find that peace to be able to move on.”
On being labeled as “soft”:
“I’m hardcore which to me is coming from the heart. Putting your heart on that paper and being true.”
Speaking for the first time on the death of close friend and industry peer J. Dilla:
“He was physically deteriorating. It would be sad for me to see. You know you coming home healthy. You feel guilty. It brought my own immortality to the forefront […] Until I did [“Rewind That”], I wouldn’t answer questions in interviews about him. I wouldn’t keep pictures around. That song has been part of my process in dealing with it still.”
On his tenth album Nobody’s Smiling and the youth of Chicago:
“One way of giving back is by having young Chicago artists on the album. This album is an action to increase awareness to people in the city. I owe it to Chicago […] The most beautiful thing about this project is it’s not ahead of its time, it’s not a throwback album. It feels like today. I feel like a new artist. There are people out there that don’t know my music, but they know me from acting. Some don’t know me at all.”
You can read more and check out a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot via UPTOWN.