Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. aka Common (or Common Sense if you’re an OG fan) has never been the type of MC you can place in a box. Certainly he is regarded as one of the best pure lyricists to bless a mic, but his subject matter has run the gamut from crime ridden streets to sex between the sheets and all of the life experiences that fall in between.

His personal style has swung the pendulum from 40s and Timberlands to knit pants and hats to camera ready fatigues and basketball shorts for his various film roles.  So for his tenth album (!), “Nobody Smiling,” it only makes sense that we get all of the different colors of Common’s palette. For the next installment of Rhyme and Reason he shares a verse from the song “Diamonds,” a collaboration with Big Sean that finds him documenting and celebrating life, starting with his own.

“I did write this verse on my born day, my birthday, which is March 13th,” he tells of the opening line. “Two days before that I was working with NO ID, who made the beat, and the beat made me feel like shining and diamonds, being able to glow. It was a good time, too because a lot of my homies had come out and surprised me for my birthday to listen to the album so I just started riding out to the beat.”

The track features flossy punchlines like “I’m gambling with watches getting better with time,” but Common explains that it goes deeper than a back alley dice game.

“When I say ‘champagne ambitions’ I’m talking about reaching a higher level,” he says. “And when I say I’m ‘gambling with watches’ I’m saying that as time goes on I’m getting better.”

Watch more in “Rhyme and Reason” above.

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Rhyme & Reason
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