Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn in Chicago on March 13, 1972, Common
rose to prominence as one of hip-hop's most poetic and respected lyricists,
having garnered multiple Grammy Awards for his first eight albums. Common's
ninth, The Dreamer, The Believer, will be released in December by Warner
The "Happy Feet Two" Interview
with Kam Williams
Kam Williams: Hey Common, how you been, bro?
Common: Great! Great! How you been, Kam?
KW: Very well, thanks. Let me get right to questions sent in by fans. Judyth Piazza asks: What interested you in playing Seymour?
C: The reason why I really wanted to play Seymour was because Happy Feet Two is a family movie that can touch people of all ages. So, I saw the opportunity to be in the movie and to work with [director] George Miller, who is an incredibly talented visionary, as a great honor and blessing.
KW: Larry Greenberg asks: What is the acting process like when you're voicing an animated character? Do you picture the character saying the words?
C: First of all, you start by finding the pulse of the character, because even though it's animated, it still has a soul. George Miller creates characters who have heart, so you start by finding their essence. Then you bring that essence to the character, and add your imagination.
KW: Teresa Emerson asks says: You're really branching out between Seymour in Happy Feet 2 and Elam Ferguson in Hell on Wheels on AMC. What surprising role will you be tackling next?
C: God willing, I'll be doing leading roles in some dramas, comedies and action
films. My goal is to develop into a great actor.
KW: Aleesha Houston asks: Have you ever eaten at Harold's Chicken in Chicago?
C: Of course, Aleesha! I grew up eating at Harold's my whole life, specifically, the one that used be at 88th and Stony Island Avenue.
KW: Aleesha would also like to know, what is your fondest memory of growing up in Chicago?
C: Just enjoying time with my friends, from hanging out with the kids I grew up with, to playing basketball, to riding up and down Lake Shore Drive. Having fun!
KW: Denise Clay asks: When did you know that you had a future as a lyricist and poet?
C: I felt I had a future when I did I Used to Love H.E.R. When that was released, I was like, "Man, I really can do something." I really felt strong about it.
KW: Jimmy Bayan says: Common, through your lyrics and your comments, you've seemed to attract a bit of controversy over the years. Being a rapper, in the past some of your lyrics have been flagged controversial. Being a father and a Christian, one could say you're a bit of a mixed bag. I'm trying to get to the essence of who Common is. Tell me how your journey has morphed you into the man you are today.
One Day It'll All Make Sense by Common
Buy via Amazon.com
C: I put God first, and strive to do my best by being a loving human being,
recognizing that sometimes I make mistakes and bad choices. But God is my guide
and love is the strongest element in the mix, so I try to not judge myself too
much, knowing that at the end of the day, my greatest judge will be Jehovah God.
KW: Jimmy has another question: Do you think President Obama has made a good enough effort to create jobs, balance the budget and work with the Republicans in Congress to move this country forward?
C: I think the President is doing his best to create jobs and better situations for the American people. As far as working with Republicans, I believe he's doing what he can to make that happen.
KW: Felicia Haney says: Do you there's something hypocritical and patently political about conservatives complaining about you being an invited guest to the White House but being silent about you starring in a children's film?
C: Yeah, their complaining about my being invited to the White House was just me getting caught up in politics. They didn't even know who I really am.
KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier says: You participated in the video Yes We Can. Do you think Hip-Hop was a driving force behind Obama's presidential campaign paving the way to the White House?
C: Yes, I definitely think Hip-Hop was one of the strong forces behind President Obama's winning the election.
KW: Patricia would also like to know, what message you want the public to take away from your memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense?
C: I just want people to feel like they can achieve something great in their lives. We all go through rough times, but love is the antidote. You've got to dream and just believe in yourself. And if you believe, you will achieve it.
KW: Children's book author Irene Smalls asks: To what do you attribute your ability to maintain your cool in the craziness of show business?
C: I attribute it to God, self-esteem, and knowing your purpose in life. It can't be based on anything material or external.
KW: Thanks again for the time, Common, and best of luck with the movie, the TV show and the new album.
C: Thanks, Kam, I appreciate it.
A trailer for Happy Feet Two
"Smokin' Aces" Interview
"Smokin' Aces" Interview