Common is one step closer to hip-hop history. The Chicago emcee nabbed an Emmy award at the Primetime Emmy Awards over the weekend for “Letter To The Free,” a song he penned in collaboration with Robert Glasper for Ava DuVernay’s powerful 13th documentary. Winning in the “Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics” category, it marked the first time a rapper had ever won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Grammy award.
The historic feat means that Common, the man Jay-Z famously said he wanted to rhyme like before he sold five million records, is one Tony win away from becoming the 13th person in history to win an EGOT, practically the entertainment Grand Slam. “Any time I get a chance to work with Ava DuVernay it leads to something positive, something strong,” Common told Deadline after winning the award.
He has a point. “Glory,” the single he and John Legend earned a Golden Globe and Academy Award for was for DuVernay’s Martin Luther King biopic Selma.
Common first got to work on his EGOT resume by nabbing three Grammy Awards, beginning with a 2002 “Love Of My Life” duet with Erykah Badu, his Finding Forever single “Southside” with Kanye West and the aforementioned “Glory.” By comparison, only Eminem with one Oscar win (“Lose Yourself”) and 15 Grammy wins comes close to the former Common Sense. Will Smith and Queen Latifah both have Grammy victories in their respective careers but have been shut out of the other three notable categories.