Entertainment Lead Story West Edition

COMMON TOUCH: Rapper visits Eso Won Books to sign copies of his memoir

LEIMERT PARK — Fans of all ages gathered in the heat of the day outside of Eso Won Books June 12 in hopes of having their copy of Common’s new book signed and maybe even getting to snap a photo with the celebrity.

Common, a Grammy-Award winning rapper and activist, released his latest book, “Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir,” in May. In the book, he explores the ideas of love through God, self-love, partners, children, family and community.

Fans showed up for his book signing at Eso Won for different reasons.

Mark Sevillano Jr., who was among the first group of people to enter the store said, “I saw an interview where he talks about some sexual abuse when he was younger, and so definitely interested in reading that. I just love his transparency. The fact that he sought therapy after that, too, it was just huge.

“So, for me being a man myself, in my 30s and just being able to talk about that — that means a lot to me. And it’s such an example of what a true man is — someone who can talk about past hurts and address them in a healthy way. I’m just so excited to see what else the book has in store.”

Cheryl Mcclellan is a longtime Eso Won Books customer, however she’s not as familiar with Common and his work.

“I saw him on “Trevor Noah,” I saw him on “Good Moring America,” so that’s why I decided to purchase his book,” she said. She said she is looking forward to discussing the book with her book club friends.

Born Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn in Chicago, Common began performing with friend as a rap trio while still in high school, opening for acts like N.W.A and Big Daddy Kane. His first recording under the name Common Sense was released in 1992.

A 1994 CD, “Resurrection,” first brought him acclaim outside Chicago, but it wasn’t until the first major label release in 2000 “Like Water for Chocolate,” that he first reached major success. 

In 2003, he won a Grammy for best R&B song for Erykah Badu’s “Love of My Life.” he won another Grammy in 2007 for best performance by a rap duo or group for “Southside,” which featured Kanye West.