Style Evolution: Common

Style Evolution: Common

If you could point to one aspect or culture that has changed the world, I pick hip-hop. It’s elevated the voices of those who are unheard and overlooked and looked down upon. And it has given us a lot of voices… Now the world connects with us in so many different ways.”

- Common

Common is a renaissance man. His career started in 1992 when a young emcee named "Common Sense" was featured in the Source’s coveted "Unsigned Hype" column and later that year dropped his debut solo project, Can I Borrow a Dollar? He's long-since dropped the "Sense" and has evolved into many things over the past thirty years: renowned rapper, talented actor, and prolific writer. He has created a slew of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, starred in numerous film and television projects and also wrote two memoirs. His focus on love and light is reflected in his personal style. We’ve picked 10 of his dopest fashion moments:

1 of 10

Higher Purpose

"My ambition initially was driven by wanting to be seen, wanting to be heard – I wanted to be the dopest. When people start telling you how your music has affected them, you know that it has a higher purpose."

2 of 10

"Divine Music"

"My goal is to create music that is part of people’s hearts and souls and minds, and really create something that is divine. Divine music has no time to it."

3 of 10

Let My Shine In

"I realized I'd been consistently reining myself in—in relationships, friendships and work—to avoid disappointing anyone or making people uncomfortable. I knew I had to embrace the gifts God gave me—I had to let my light shine. When I started doing that, I immediately felt stronger."

4 of 10

"Higher Power"

"My relationship with God is something that I work on every day. Building that relationship is the most important relationship that exists for me. And in believing in God, I work in a higher power."

5 of 10

The Movement

"I think art is definitely something that helps change the perspective and inspire people to movement. I think the movement right now is about Black people being acknowledged, being respected and valued in this country."

6 of 10


"It would be great to have a balance because Hip-Hop culture is balanced. It’s love, and it’s freedom and it’s peace. But it’s also some pain, and it’s some struggle. And it’s also fun and parties… It’s so many aspects."

7 of 10


"Writing things is powerful. Creating is powerful and those things are powerful tools to release so much stress, anger, and depression.”

8 of 10


"Music was the first thing that allowed me to be my confident, young Black self. At home, it wasn’t like I was walking around bragging. Because somebody was going to humble you. Through music, though, I was able to express things that I felt and use my imagination."  

9 of 10


"What I love about music is that it connects me to people around the world who I would normally never get to know or meet. I love how it can bring all these people together who come from different walks of life. But when the music is on, we all feel the same thing."

10 of 10


"The first raps that I wrote, the way they made people feel, the way they made me feel, made me want to pursue music. It was amazing to me. I saw the joy in my neighbors and my friends."


photo gallery

Style Evolution: Common

Mary J. Blige performs as Mary J. Blige performs a special set by The Roots at Roots Picnic 2022 at Mann Center For Performing Arts on June 04, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Live Nation Urban) photo gallery

2022 Roots Picnic

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