One of the most unique artists of our era, Common has had a career unlike anybody else. Emerging on the Chicago underground rap scene under the moniker Common Sense, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. first thrust himself into the mainstream consciousness with his 1994 album Resurrection, which brought him national recognition and led to him being sued by a ska band also named Common Sense, which is why he is now known only as Common.

His evolution since his days as Common Sense is one of the most fascinating and unique stories in the history of rap, and taking the full view makes one appreciate the breadth of this rapper/actor/poet/activist/author’s talent. Given Common’s diverse array of a talents, to appreciate his journey you have to look at every step; here are 10 Ways Common Has Reshaped His Career.