Sad news from earlier this week as Common’s father, Lonnie Lynn Sr., has passed away reports Billboard. Lynn Sr. played in the ABA for a couple of years and that connection to pro basketball led to the well-known story of young Com as a ball boy for Michael Jordan. There has been no cause of death revealed to the public, though Billboard notes Lynn Sr. struggled with drugs later in life and put forth that struggle and the struggles of raising six children into his art.
It’s his art that we best know Lonnie Lynn Sr., a.k.a. “Pops” as he became a recurring addition to his son’s albums. In our first intro to Pops on Resurrection he said, “I see harmony, understanding and they’re working on that love thing, too.” I brought back Pops Raps 2 centered on Common’s upcoming fatherhood at the time.
The Intro to ‘Pops’
Pops was also featured on the 10 minute, collab-heavy song with Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and more on Electric Circus, wherein he wrote,
Heaven? Heaven is being Pops
Heaven is spending a day with the grandchildren
Listening to their voices and laugh to them play
And then at the end of the day we hug, we kiss, and slowly they walk away
And then suddenly they turn and rush back to me and hug me around the knees
Yeah … thats heaven to me
Pops’ last poem was for The Dreamer / The Believer and concluded with these, perfect, words:
Live the life you believe. The American dream, the black American dream, the universal dream. For the sake of the unwritten laws of humanity, I believe in God. I believe in my ancestors, I believe in my offsprings … I believe in the truth, truth. See you next lifetime.
The Last Poem
R.I.P. to Lonnie Lynn Sr. His work alone on Common’s albums gave them a unique and fitting finality and it will live on as Common’s legacy of one of the best rappers ever does for generations to come. I suspect we’ll see an emotional Common perform at his AAHH Fest tonight in the Chi, dedicating it to Pops!
Common on his father, Lonnie Lynn Sr:
[A] natural poet and master of words. His personality and soul shined through his work. The way he said things made me look at life and the world in a new way, in a different way. They always sparked a thought in my head. His words would always make me strive to achieve higher, to write better, to be more truthful with my words.