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Chicago-bred rapper Common is adding real estate developer to his repertoire. According to the Chicago Tribune, the music artist—whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn—is investing in the transformation of an underdeveloped property located in the city’s South Side area.

Lynn is reportedly working with a group of real estate developers to transform a vacant piece of land which used to be a U.S. Steel plant into a large mixed-use development. He wants to convert the 415-acre site into a hub that will include homes, stores, entertainment and sports facilities, and a movie production campus. He hopes that the development of these new establishments will revive the surrounding community and provide job opportunities for people in the neighborhood. The cost to purchase the site will be nearly $71 million. The developers are working on bringing investors on board and the plans for the site would have to be approved by the city.

Lynn has been dedicated to bettering his hometown and bringing authentic narratives about the city to the forefront through his artistry. “I felt a responsibility to be a voice for the people of Chicago, to represent their humanity,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We are human beings and that’s something many people don’t get to experience or witness because they hear about Chicago through its violence. We have a duty to make sure we tell the stories of these human beings.”

The rapper isn’t the only one who is investing in their hometown. Earlier this year it was announced that Queen Latifah is creating an affordable housing complex in Newark to level the playing field when it comes to housing equity. The project—which is reportedly going to cost $14 million—will include a community of multi-family townhouses, a fitness center and commercial space that will be used by nonprofit organizations.


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