Things have gotten off to a fairly serious start for Common in 2015. The Chicago-bred rapper and actor kicked off the year with an Academy Award for his John Legend collaboration “Glory” from the movie Selma. I March, he caught some backlash for appearing on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and giving his take on the fractured state of race relations in America. In recent days, Keane University rescinded an invitation for Common to speak at a commencement when the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey took offense to a 15-year-old song Common made paying homage to exiled Black Panther member Assata Shakur.
Thursday, all of the political rhetoric took a backseat to make room for leather and lots of jheri curl juice. The GRAMMY Award-winning rapper faced off with John Legend on Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle,” with a rendition of Lionel Richie’s 1983 hit “All Night Long (All Night).”
You can view the performance, which Common billed as his debut as “Lionel Rashid,” below.