Un-Common greatness

Commitment to one word transformed Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. into a Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist and actor. “Greatness” helped Lynn achieve much more than his stage name, “Common,” would suggest possible. He spoke to an enthusiastic audience in Wait Chapel on Friday, Feb. 25, about his inspiring journey.

Common warmed up with a freestyle rap, dropping references to icons of the Wake Forest experience, like eating in The Pit and rolling the quad, former Wake Forest athletes Tim Duncan and Chris Paul, and professor Maya Angelou. Through a series of personal anecdotes Common shared the importance of hard work, listening to mentors and believing in your own abilities.

According to Common, the secret to being great is to find your path, believe in your path and live your path. Your path “is your purpose for being here,” Common said.

Common made light of his disappointment when he was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2006 and walked away empty handed. “You’ll have challenges,” he said. “But if you live your path, opportunities will come your way in their own time. Obstacles make you better, build character, make you great.”

Categories: Arts & Culture, For Alumni, For Parents, Speakers, Top Stories