The UAlbany Student Association
The World Within Reach Speaker Series


February 28th, 2015
4pm - CC Ballroom

This is a FREE event. Tickets will be given out February 23rd-February 27th in the SA Lounge on a first come first serve basis.

Doors Open at 3 pm, show starts at 4 pm
Tickets: FREE (Limited amount of tickets)
********1 ticket per UAlbany Student********
Common will be coming in to speak to the student body about current situations that are occurring within out society and to discuss his recent movie, Selma.

More details about the event can be found on Facebook.


The King of Conscious Hip-Hop

Common rose to prominence as one of hip-hop's most poetic and respected lyricists, having recorded nine studio albums, the latest of which is titled, The Dreamer/The Believer. Some of his other titles include, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Resurrection, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Like Water For Chocolate, Electric Circus, BE, Finding Forever, and Universal Mind Control. A multi-talented superstar, Common also plays freed slave Elam Ferguson in the AMC historical drama series Hell on Wheels. Common most recently earned the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. "Glory," which was featured in the 2014 film Selma, was also nominated for an Academy Award.

Common partnered with Chicago native and rap music megastar Kanye West to produce both BE and Finding Forever. This dynamic partnership resulted in four Grammy Award nominations, in addition to being nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Hip-Hop Video.

Common knows exactly what you’re thinking. After the crossover success of albums BE and Finding Forever, you would expect the "King of Conscious Hip-Hop" to serve you another set of introspective rhymes over raw soul tracks by Kanye West. But Common hasn't lasted 16 years in the notoriously fickle hip-hop game by avoiding risk. This Renaissance Man is all about pushing boundaries — and winning while he's at it. In 2009, Common was able to motivate and empower collegiate minds across the country, speaking at such prestigious institutions as California University of Pennsylvania, University of Memphis, Wright State University, University of Rochester, and KIPP Charter Schools.

In 2007, he launched the Common Ground Foundation, which gives back and allows our youth to realize their full potential. By providing opportunities for them to learn new skills as well as a support system that fosters personal growth and empowerment, Common hopes to inspire today's urban youth to become tomorrow's leaders.

Common also offers a younger generation a better understanding of self-respect and love, utilizing the cultural relevance of hip-hop, in the children's books he has written. The first, titled The MIRROR and ME, teaches lessons of life, the human spirit, and human nature. His follow-up book I Like You But I Love Me, was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and his third book, M.E. (Mixed Emotions), was released in 2008. His first book for adults is a provocative and touching memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense, which explores his upbringing and familial relationships.

In 2006, the Grammy Award-winning artist Common made his big-screen debut as a musical performer in Dave Chappelle's Block Party. In January 2007, he made his Hollywood debut co-starring opposite Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Alicia Keys, and Ryan Reynolds in Smokin' Aces for Universal Pictures and writer/director Joe Carnahan. Since then he has co-starred opposite Denzel Washington in American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott, David Ayer's Street Kings starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker, Wanted opposite Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman, and Terminator Salvation, directed by McG and starring Christian Bale. Common also appeared in Date Night, starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey and directed by Shawn Levy, and appeared in his first starring role in the 2010 film Just Wright, starring opposite Queen Latifah.

In addition to his music, film, and literary pursuits, Common is the face of the Diesel men's fragrance Only the Brave. He also partnered with Microsoft on their Softwear clothing line, as well as other companies like Microsoft Zune, Lincoln Navigator and AMP Energy Drink. In 2007, he launched his Italian hat line SOJI.

Common will focus on expanding his series of children's books, starring in more box office hits, completing his next Grammy Award-winning project, branding opportunities, and inspiring youth across the country with his Common Ground Foundation.