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Common's Birthday: Rapper Turns 40, Style Evolution (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post    
First Posted: 03/13/2012 9:21 am Updated: 03/13/2012 9:24 am

Happy 40th Birthday Common!

The Chicago born rapper hit the hip-hop scene 20 years ago and has since his lyrical skills into becoming a successful actor, influential philatrophist, and just added author to his long list of talents with the release of his memoir One Day It'll All Make Sense.

While he continues to entertains us on track, on screen and on paper--Common's sharp personal style is also worth noting.

The fashion forward star is consistently pulled together whether in a pair of jeans and T-shirt or tux. We've also noticed his particular love of neck adornments (scarves, ties, bow ties and ascots) and hats.

We caught up with Grammy-winning rapper at a New York Fashion Week event last month where he told us that he describes his style as smart, gentlemen like and progressive.

"I allow my style to change. As an artist and a human being I don't hold back--I stay free with what I want to do," Common told Huffington Post Black Voices.

In celebration of Common's 40th birthday, here's a look at his stellar style evolution over the years.

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  • 2001: 43rd Annual Grammy Awards

    Common arrives at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on February 21, 2001. Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

  • 2001: National Grammy in the Schools Career Day

    Recording artist Common talks at National Grammy in the Schools Career Day at USC in Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2001. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

  • 2003: 30th Annual American Music Awards

    Common during The 30th Annual American Music Awards - Press Room at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

  • 2005: 3rd Annual Artist Empowerment Coalition Pre-Grammy Brunch

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Rapper Common during the 3rd Annual Artist Empowerment Coalition Pre-Grammy Brunch at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 12, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

  • 2005: VH1 Hip Hop Honors

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Rapper Common attends the Second Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Hammerstein Ballroom September 22, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

  • 2006: Sapporo & Mercedes Benz Maybach Presents VMA Cookout

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Rapper Common attends Sapporo & Mercedes Benz Maybach Presents VMA Cookout 2006 at Sky Studios on August 30, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

  • 2006: The 4th Annual Action Awards

    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Rapper Common arrives at the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network's Fourth Annual Action Awards at The Lighthouse October 16, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

  • 2007: Common Launches Soji Hat Line

    NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Common attends the launch of Common's hat line Soji at La Coppola Storta on January 23, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Moet Hennessy USA)

  • 2007: "Smokin' Aces" Premiere

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Common attends the 'Smokin Aces' world premiere held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 18, 2007 in Hollywood California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

  • 2007: Kanye West's 30th Birthday Celebration

    NEW YORK- JUNE 07: Hip hop artist Common attends Kanye West's 30th birthday celebration at Louis Vuitton on June 07, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

  • 2007: MTV TRL Presents Common

    NEW YORK - JULY 17: (U.S. TABS OUT) Rapper/actor Common appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on July 17, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

  • 2007: BET 106 & Park With Swizz Beatz And Common

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 01: Rapper Common makes an appearance on BET's 106 & Park on August 1, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

  • 2008: Playboy's Super Saturday Night Party

    PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 02: Rapper Common attends Playboy's Super Saturday Night Party for Super Bowl XLII at Wild Horse on February 2, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

  • 2008: Fun Fearless Male Of The Year Awards

    NEW YORK - MARCH 03: Rapper and actor Common arrives at the Cosmopolitan honors John Mayer as fun fearless male of the year event at Cipriani March 3, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

  • 2008: BET Hip-Hop Awards

    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 18: Recording artist Common attends the 2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards at The Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on October 18, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET)

  • 2008: Sean "Diddy" Combs' Birthday Party

    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 05: Rapper Common attends Sean 'Diddy' Combs' private birthday party at Mansion on November 5, 2008 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • 2010: "Date Night" Premiere

    NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Actor/rapper Common attends the premiere of 'Date Night' at Ziegfeld Theatre on April 6, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • 2010: "Just Wright" Premiere

    NEW YORK - MAY 04: Rapper/actor Common attends the premiere of 'Just Wright' at Ziegfeld Theatre on May 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • 2010: Vh1 Save The Music Foundation Gala

    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Actor and musician Common attends the Vh1 Save the Music Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on November 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

  • 2011: 42nd NAACP Image Awards

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Rapper/actor Common arrives at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • 2011: The Common Ground Foundation Gala

    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 16: Common attends the 2011 Common Ground Foundation gala fundraiser at the Intercontinental Hotel on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

  • 2011: "Happy Feet Two" Premiere

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Actor Common attends the Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Happy Feet Two' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 13, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • 2011: Soul Train Awards

    ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 17: Common attends the Soul Train Awards 2011 at The Fox Theatre on November 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

  • 2011: Blackberry Presents BBM Music Fan Night Hosted By Common

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Singer Common attends Blackberry Presents BBM Music Fan Night Hosted By Common at Drai's Hollywood on November 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

  • 2011: VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Rapper Common attends VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul at Hammerstein Ballroom on December 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Vh1)

  • 2012: BET Honors

    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14: Common attends the BET Honors 2012 at the Warner Theatre on January 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

  • 2012: T-Mobile Presents Google Music At TAO

    PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Rapper/actor Common attends the T-Mobile Presents Google Music at TAO, a nightlife event at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2012 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for T-Mobile)

  • 2012: "LUV" Premiere

    PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actor Common attends the 'LUV' premiere during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival held at Eccles Center Theatre on January 23, 2012 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

  • 2012: Stella Artois Lounge

    PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actor Common attends Day 5 at Stella Artois Lounge by Ally B at T-Mobile Google Music Village at The Lift on January 24, 2012 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stella Cafe)

  • 2012: 16th Annual "Power Of Love Gala"

    LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 18: Recording artist and actor Common arrives at the Keep Memory Alive foundation's 'Power of Love Gala' celebrating Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event benefits the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)

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