Footage by ICF Entertainment (@foreverahustla)
His name might be Common, but there's very little ordinary about him.
The Chicago MC has been a mainstay in the rap industry for over 15 years, but he's also an actor, a spokesman, and if his longevity is any indication, he's an extraordinary man.
AllHipHop.com spent some quality time with Common backstage at yesterday's (July 4) "Welcome America" Independence Day concert in Philadelphia, as he was readying to join industry pals, The Roots and Queen Latifah, onstage for a star-spangled celebration.
Ever the charmer with the words, Common spoke eloquently on the "freedom" he enjoys most (and it's not his current single status), and he also relayed the message that "being you" is job number one, a point not lost in light of the recent "coming out" of singer Frank Ocean.
Common was also stoked to be in the presence of his peers - including a special surprise guest that AllHipHop.com didn't know about beforehand, but he spilled the beans on.
And, he was kind enough not to pummel his peers from the past - namely a certain sweater-wearing, bottle-brawling Canadian whom he had words with just months ago. Since that time, the heat has intensified between crews, but ever the gentleman, Common advises that beef is always best kept in the booth.
Check out AllHipHop.com's exclusive, Fourth of July interview with the incomparable Common, where he talks freedom:
Follow Common on Twitter (@Common).