A hip-hop legend, the Grammy Award-winning lyricist Common had been left for dead at age 33 by fans and critics alike, after he went seriously left for his fifth studio album, Electric Circus. The man behind the seminal rap album, Resurrection, had taken a creative risk with 2002's experimental Electric Circus, and just two years later, was seen as more outcast than OutKast.
But one man's trash is another man's treasure. Kanye West, then a burgeoning backpack producer/rapper with an extremely popular soul-sample sound, was emerging as his own brand, and on the eve of his first Grammy Awards as an rapper, Kanye started his own label, G.O.O.D. Music. His flagship artist: Common. Ye and Common teamed to produce a classic album in 2005's Be, which not only put Common back on top of rap, but introduced him to a whole new audience. His resuscitated music career begat a steady acting career, and Common, more popular than ever, hasn't looked back.