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One Day It'll All Make Sense Hardcover – September 13, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Common distinguishes himself here as a true artist and a writer of deep talent. This book is the story of an artist in constant evolution, one who embodies the strength of the brilliant woman that raised him, the love of the Southside Chicago land that spawned him, and the raw spirit of the pro basketball player who fathered him. I’ve always heard that the people of Southside Chicago were special. I’m glad their native son Common shows us why. --James McBride Author of The Color of Water

“Common has written a magnificent memoir. It states that it is a book about his fascinating life. That is true. More importantly, his story is the story of all young people trying to grow up. His saga reminds the reader that love liberates and poverty cripples. Common writes beautifully, like the poet he is.”

–Maya Angelou

"Common is a 360-degree human being, and I don't say that about many people. He never needed to "pimp the hood" to achieve his deserved success. He is an eloquent and honorable role model and his memoir is a perfect example of his depth as a human being. In addition, reading about his childhood and upbringing in Chicago is really a trip - because we went through so many of the same experiences albeit decades apart. Chicago is still the roughest and primary "Institution of Hard Knocks," and if you can make it there, you can truly make it anywhere!” –Quincy Jones

“Raw in its honesty, profound in its insights, One Day It’ll All Make Sense establishes Common as a voice that is as compelling on the page as it is on a record. This is not simply the story of an individual artist but a crucial page the history of hip hop itself.” –Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope

“A powerful memoir that speaks to all audiences.” –Queen Latifah

"A thoughtful and beautiful book that tells us much more about Common... His mother's perspective takes this to another level." –Touré, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness

About the Author

Rashid Lynn, aka, Common, a film and television actor and award-winning music artist, lives in Los Angeles. An independent publisher/author of books for children, including The Mirror and Me and I Like You but I Love Me, this is his first book for adults. Adam Bradley is the co-editor of The Anthology of Rap and the author of Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop, among other titles.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451625871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451625875
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Buxman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While this review might be the kiss of death since I'm probably not the target audience, I have to say I thought this book was terrific. I didn't know much about Common, although I had heard about Fox News coverage of his visits to the White House. When I saw him on the Daily Show last night it became clear that this Common wasn't the same guy that was villified by Fox. Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. While I probably disagree with most of his politics, the observations he had about fatherhood, responsibility and being a man were universal. I really enjoyed Common's writing style and the juxtapositioning of his Mother's comments throughout the book was priceless. Parts of the book were quite funny (like the story about Common being an ugly baby), but the overriding message of what personal responsibility and a Mother's love can accomplish was extremely inspirational. Common is a man of strong faith, while being open to other religious paths. He admits his mistakes and takes responsibility for them, while recognizing that we can all be better people and have more that should unite us than divide us.
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Format: Hardcover
Malik Sayeed and Hype Williams should snap up the movie rights to this incredible coming of age memoir. It would make a great film and THEY could probably get the artists to play themselves...what an ode to hip-hop THAT would be!!! (I want in on opening night if this becomes a feature film)...

I'm probably not the demographic either; yet Common always fascinated me. His style, his swagger, his humility, what he said and MORE IMPORTANLY what he NEVER said. NOW he speaks, eloquently, spiritually, honestly about himself, his flaws, his yearnings, his desires - which were and are no different than any other Black boy in America. I heard about this book via PUT ON BLAST, and I was directed to an excerpt. Each chapter begins with a letter written by Common. His mother also contributes and her wisdom -- well she can and should expand and write her own book. I would recommend this book to any young single mother of a boy; especially a Black boy. Mrs. Hines has a lot to say about womanhood, motherhood, and raising a boy that is worth reading beyond Common's story. Common is blessed. His mother is one sharp woman! I LOVE the three criteria for allowing Common to move back into her home...and the letter to her son is GENIUS!!! In my opinion it is right up there with the writing of Lorraine Hansberry expressed via Lena Younger, "Raisin In The Sun" (the "you feelin' better than him today" soliloquy to Beneatha Younger). Common and his Mother have collaborated to create an extraordinary memoir!!!

I had the pleasure of attending his book signing in NY earlier this week, and I'm glad I supported this book AND got a signed copy from both Common and his Mom. I love that brothers are telling their stories (Tyrese has a very good book out and the long awaited Kevin Powell tome is coming).
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By D. Smith on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I would have to say I am the demographic this book is for. I've been a Common(sense) fan since high school in Houston when my boy Brandon from the Chi put me on to his first cassette. I've followed his career ever since happy to put people on to his music who didn't know and sometimes having to defend his artistic growth to a barbershop full of non believers (Electric Circus, i tried lol). This book has helped me get a better perspective of the artist I respect now even more as a fully discovered man. Sometimes you put entertainers on another level that isn't human, you forget that they have the same issues you might have and are growing just as you are. This feels like a chat with a friend that you are catching up with after years apart. I could relate to many of his reminisces since we are about the same age and I feel like I've grown as a man along the same path. I grew up on his music, I was a student at Howard U (with a Resurrection poster on my dorm wall) during the Million Man March, I've lost close friends to violence and disease. It's refreshing to be able to see what he was going through and thinking at times when I can remember where I was and what I was going through as well. I loved the insight into one of my favorite artists. I've passed his earlier music on to my nephew and god son and they are now fans and look forward to his new music. I think this book will make it to them as well. Hell, after his movies now my mom asks who he is so she's about to get down too. Good looking out yet again Com.
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By R.Belle on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Started reading and killed it in a day or so. I was so into this book. I also came of age on the South Side of Chicago just a few years behind Common...all of the old haunts, how vividly he portrayed it...he nailed it. This is a great book and I highly encourage gifting it to your sons, nephews, little brothers, any young man trying to find his way. There was much food for thought...you'll laugh (the weed trip...pure comedy). You'll also see a very transparent Common...the letters say it all. I was pleasantly surprised at just how raw and eloquent this book was at times.

Highly recommended!!!!
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By Mr NiceGuy on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This was the first book that I read in 2 days.. it was so interesting.
I would be interested to meet Common one day because he is worth it!

This book was so inspirational that I would like to leave my thought with me and not to share it here.
At least now I know that I'm not the only person like "that" in this world.

Additionally, when I listen to "Be" now his music received a new dimension.
I'm waiting for new artistic expression from him in a form of music and other books!
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