Arts and Entertainment
|Common denominator: Love has the last word with book and music|
|Author, vocalist gets busy with national tours|
|Published Friday, May 31, 2019 8:39 pm|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|Common was in Charlotte Friday to promote his new book, "Let Love Have the Last Word." He is releasing an album by the same title in August.|
Common is letting love lead.
“Let Love Have the Last Word” is the title of his second book and upcoming album. The book published in early May; the album is scheduled for an August release. The New York Times bestselling author’s book tour began on May 6 in New York, and will conclude on June 27 in Detroit. It included a stop in Charlotte at The Park Church’s Beatties Ford Road campus on May 31. Senior Pastor Bishop Claude Alexander moderated “A Conversation With Common & Bishop Claude Alexander.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to read Common’s book,” Alexander said. “It is a very insightful, powerful story of a personal journey of an individual who has influence that is global. Tonight we’re going to delve into the things that he has revealed, hopefully so that all of us might benefit from the truths he seeks to convey.”
Common has earned nearly every entertainment accolade from Grammy Award to Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy and Oscar. Yet it is about applying love to his life, which he reflects on in his book.
“It is really my journey into my discovery of how I could apply love in my life more,” Common said.
His work explores everything from his relationship with his daughter, Omoye Assata Lynn, to his own experience of being molested as a child.
“It is talking about specific situations in my life, like being a father, being challenged by my daughter, about how I wasn’t a good father and it made me examine myself,” Common said. “It made me examine myself in a lot of ways, and the self-examination made me really be on the quest to become a better person overall. Love, in the different dimensions of love, is the greatest way to pursue that bettering of self: love for God, love for self and love for others—even for those who are not like you. Just striving to practice those things.”
A concert tour commences on July 11 in Denver ahead of the release of Common’s first album in two years and concludes on July 26 in Newport Beach, California. He has never worked on a project like this.
“I never ventured into a project where I was writing the album based upon a book or a film—some project where it was already connected,” Common said. “I’ve had titles that were based on other things, “Like Water for Chocolate,” the title of one of my albums, it was based on a movie and a book, but I didn’t write the album around the movie.”
The project is all about telling the story.
“I want my projects to have their own stories to them,” Common said. “I would love to write a whole album for a movie or for a play, or for an instillation at an art exhibit. That type of stuff is cool, because it’s like a collaboration in a way because you are writing for something that exists already. It gives you different themes that you might not normally write about.”
However, he is quite familiar with the theme of love.
“I do feel like it made me go into more personal places in my writing,” Common said. “I’ve always been an artist that’s open and talking about things that I feel and places where I’ve failed, and I always talked about love, to be honest. In fact, my songs that have thrived the most in my career were ‘I Used to Love H.E.R.,’ ‘The Light,’ ‘Come Close,’ and those are songs about love, or the people, and that’s love for the people, and glory, which is really about love for God, and the people.”
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