By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Believe it or not, Common has been rocking mics professionally since 1992 and it’s taken quite awhile for him to get his props outside of underground hip-hop circles. But nowadays it’s been all about Common and his new Gap ads as well as parts in two upcoming films and a new album coming next year.

Slated to drop in June, Common’s new album, Finding Forever was once again produced by Kanye West and is a mixture of hip-hop sprinkled with vintage soul, progressive jazz and what Common calls “futuristic boom bap.”

      "I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to sell millions and become a household name, but I won’t lose myself to do it," Common told Newsweek. "I see a lot of people in hip-hop who don’t love the music. It’s become the new dope game—they’re in it to make money. If they could obtain that same kind of money or fame by dancing on one leg like a fool, they’d be doing that."

      You can also Common in two upcoming films. One film, American Gangster, stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and is a Ridley Scott flick about NYPD trying to take down a Harlem drug kingpin. The other film, Smokin’ Aces, stars Jeremy Piven (Entourage) and tells the story of a Vegas magician who snitches on the mob. Common plays bad guys in both films. Look for the films to drop in 2007.