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Rap artist Common's distinctive style and generally positive message have attracted a large audience since his move from Chicago underground cult favorite to Brooklyn-based popular lyricist in the late 1990s. He's also acted in movies and was invited to perform at the White House. Common is an intelligent, thoughtful writer, and his memoir documents his colorful life so far, including work with Kanye West, his relationship with Erykah Badu, and encounters with Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela. He sets the tone and subject for each chapter by beginning with a letter to a particular meaningful person in his life. Verdict Common has obviously learned many life lessons (especially from his mother) and is hoping that he can reach young black youth with his message of love, fatherhood, and strength. Recommended for fans of rap music books and popular biographies. [National tour; see Prepub Alert, 12/20/10.]-Bill Walker, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.