I Used To Love H.E.R.

Bless The Mic HipHop Lecture, October 2010

“Find your path, believe in your path, and live it.”

Words spoken by my celebrity crush Common.  I got the chance to hear him speak and to meet him last Tuesday.  A few posts down I shared that he would be in town.  You know there was no way that I would miss it!  In my head, Common seems like the ideal guy. He’s hella cute, intelligent, socially conscious and down to earth.  I had to discover if my perception of him was accurate.

Of course, I showed up later than what I intended for the lecture.  As I was approaching the auditorium, where Common would speak, the student usher welcomed me and shared that the auditorium was at capacity.  She then stated that I could view the lecture from another building where they would stream it live. Ummm, no.  As I was thinking that, four women walked out and they were leaving.  That was the green light I needed to get in the auditorium.

Of course there were plenty of sporadic, middle of the row, one only seats available.  So, I politely made my way to a seat in the rear of the auditorium.  I was super happy and geeked that I was there.  And Common did not disappoint me.

When he made it to the podium he opened by free styling.  He was cold on the mic…as usual.  He had the crowd excited…especially when he dropped lines about different landmarks/mom & pop joints in the city (that you would only know about if you lived here).  His message was on point too.  He referred to God a lot and spoke about mentors (two of them were educators) in his life that motivated him to be great.  He also used words like anecdotes and Pythagorean Theorem (a man that uses an expansive vocabulary…that made me melt).  So in short…here’s Common’s message.

He encouraged everyone to find their path.  What is it that you are passionate about?  What do you dream of doing?  You may have family, friends, or society telling you what it is that you should do with your life.  But only you should determine your path.

Believe in your path.  Common shared that when his rap career began that he was cool with being okay.  Ultimately he was afraid of being great.  He made the decision to push himself and approach his career differently by believing and gaining the confidence needed to move him to greatness.   

Lastly he encouraged everyone to live.  Stating that there will be obstacles in your life that you will face whether its financial hardships, the loss of love, cancer or the death of a loved one…you have to turn your obstacles into possibles. He shared how his breakup with Erykah Badu broke his heart but taught him to stay true to himself and not lose his identity in future relationships.  He also spoke of his cousin’s death.  As youth, he and his cousin would spend their summers writing and performing.  It was difficult for him to come to terms with recently losing his cousin.  It was a great, heart-felt message…he’s definitely an excellent public speaker!

After his lecture, the audience was allowed to come on stage and take a picture with Common.  I introduced myself to him and shared that I was a nine month cancer survivor.  He gave me a hug and said “God bless you.  Just know that you are going to be alright and you’re gonna make it through.  It’s very nice to meet you.”  Grinning from ear-to-ear, I thanked him.

Yes, he was everything that I expected him to be.  Long live my Common crush! Now on to meet President Obama, Mrs. Obama and Oprah (the three O’s) and I’m good with the celebrity meet and greets. 

Tell me, do you have a celebrity crush? Is there a famous person that you would like to meet?  Or have you met a celebrity that was totally opposite of what you were expecting them to be?  Please share.

Peace and Love


2 thoughts on “I Used To Love H.E.R.

  1. Great story and very very nice picture!

    I’m not sure that I really have a celebrity crush, or have been the presence one thatleft a major impression on me. Well there are a few….I recently attended banquet where Judge Mathis was the keynote speaker. He spoke about his childhood experiences and path the bench. I also learned that he is very involved in the Rainbow Coalition as well as many other community activities. Pretty great guy. He also accepts law clerks…so I might have to submit my application soon!

    I also heard Patti Labelle speak this year. She is AMAZING!


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