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"I feel like I can become a bigger actor than I am a rapper. It's scary thinking, Damn if I don't sell no records, what am I going to do? When you haven't made multimillions in this game, you got to think about what you want to be doing when you're 50 or 60. I found an art that I really love and it's infinite."  - Common on acting


Claim to fame:  Artistic ability


This was the year of the good guy finishing first.  It may have taken Common seven albums and 15 years to get here, at the top of the charts, at the heart of the hip-hop-really-ain't-dead movement - but he finally knows what it feels like to win.


Picking up BET Awards for Lyricist of the Year and CD of the Year, 2007 saw Common experiencing his biggest commercial success while still maintaining his audience of backpackers via Finding Forever, the highest debuting album of his career.


2007 also found Common going from the Lincoln Navigator commercials and ads to the silver screen.  He started his debut in January along side Alicia Keys in “Smokin Aces” as a mob enforcer and ended it last month in the Ridley Scott crime epic, American Gangster which transforms Common into a fresh-faced "country cousin," who's summoned from North Carolina to become one of gangster Frank Lucas’ Harlem street soldiers.


In between his artistic projects, Common also found time to weigh in on one of 2007’s most controversial events.  Days after shock jock Don Imus was fired in April for referring to the Rutgers women’s basketball teams as “nappy-head hoes” Common appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show as a panel member of industry insiders and critics.  Ever politically correct, Common offered these words, “We are apologizing for the disrespect.” 


In the same public service vein, Common later announced the launch of The Common Ground Foundation, Inc. dedicated to the empowerment and development of urban youth through education.  He’s also joined the “READ" campaign by the American Library Association and Vote Hope - a series of celebrity public service announcements to Get-Out-the-Vote for Obama in California in advance of the February 5th primary.


And just in case, the rapping acting gig doesn’t pan out, Common always has his hat game to fall back on.  In January, Common officially launched his new hat line, Soji (The Rebirth). The Italian hand made hats are sold exclusively at La Coppola Storta stores, a trendy retailer with locations in Palermo, Roma, Firenze, Bologna, and New York City's SOHO district.


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