Greatness. Not good, greatness. Common said that word repeatedly as he spoke at Clowes Memorial Hall last Thursday to a sold-out crowd.
“This is a chance for me to talk to the future,” said Common, a Chicago native.“ Butler University has the components to make the future full of greatness.”
Common is a two-time Grammy winner as a rapper and also produces work as an actor, author and poet.
Before he started his lecture, Common entertained the crowd with a freestyle rap laced with Butler-themed lyrics, such as, “I’m coachin’ future MC’s / Like my name Brad Stevens.”
He also took the time to sit with a class of Butler students to have a more intimate conversation with them, even as cameras were flashing with the mob of reporters surrounding the group.
“I want to live a full life and inspire people with the things I do,” Common said to students. “Challenge yourself and dig deep.”
Freshman Derrick Rogan said the need for diversity on campus has been evident, and Butler is taking steps in the right direction to address it.
“I think this event means that Butler is truly making the effort to diversify itself,” Rogan said. “Everyone can learn and benefit from Common’s visit.”
Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs, said people like Common coming to Butler is critical because he can connect so well with the students.
“We’ve had Common once before, and the reaction as to bringing students together from all different backgrounds was phenomenal,” Johnson said. “I think he will have the same effect tonight.”
Common opened up to the students and the audience in the same fashion as the writing in his book, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense.”
He told the crowd that everyone is given a path in life, and everyone finds it by dreaming.
“We all have been given a path,” Common said. “Find your path. Believe in your path, and live it.”