Common’s “Letter to the Free” Wins Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics


Common continues to rack up the accolades for his work in other avenues. Last night (Sept. 9), the Chicago luminary took home the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, for his song, “Letter to the Free,” off the score of the documentary film, 13th.

“This is really for the people that are incarcerated,” he said during an intimate Instagram acceptance speech, after thanking all those involved. “We believe and know that we can bring the love to the people that’s locked up. That’s what we are doing this for. This is gonna make me do more work. But hey, I’m celebrating too though.”

Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins also got Emmy’s for their roles in the song. 13th, the award-winning documentary directed by Ava DuVernay that shows a stunning look into the United State’s race and justice system issues, took home three other Emmy Awards including, Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Writing for Nonfiction Programs and Outstanding Motion Design.

Common further expounded on his feelings after the win in the aforementioned video’s caption typing, “Although I’m honored and excited beyond belief for this award, my motivation for doing this song was from the heart like it always is. This award is for all the incarcerated people in the prison system and for justice. In the words of the late great Phife, ‘I’ll never let a statue tell me how nice I am…’. We have more work to do and this is only the beginning. So please don’t think for 1 second that my passion for justice stops here. Thank You”

Comm beat out Chance The Rapper, who was nominated for “Saturday Night Live” from the film, Last Christmas. Other nominees included songs from Crazy Ex-GirlfriendJimmy Kimmel LiveA Mickey Mouse Christmas Special, and the Lemonade parody from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Now Common only needs a Tony award to obtain famed EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status.

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