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Common and Harvey

Honest.

Authentic.

Transparent.

Rapper Common was all these things last week during the Gantt Symposium 2014. The rapper, who is best known for his socially conscious and sometimes politically charged music and movies, was very honest about his struggles.

He has struggled with self doubt and depression.

“I realized I didn’t believe in myself,” said Common. “I was willing to dim my light to allow others to shine.”

This was a lesson he learned after breaking up with singer Erykah Badu.

“I was afraid of my greatness. [As a result of this realization] I told myself, it’s time to believe in you more. I started working on myself and surrounding myself with people who believe like Kanye; y’all know Kanye does not have a problem believing in himself,” said Common with a giggle.

“Kanye would do listening sessions when he was promoting his first album, The College Dropout. During the listening session he would jump on the table and perform the songs.  There were songs I didn’t even like, but I started liking it because he believed.  What I learned from that is belief is contagious. You have to believe in you with every part of who you are. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

During the nearly two-hour conversation, Common shared many more life lessons. They are captured in the photo gallery below. Feel free to download and share.

9 Life Lessons From Common was originally published on thelightnc.com

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