A reassuring paternal voice from Common‘s albums has passed away. Lonnie “Pops” Lynn, whose spoken-word rhymes appear on several of his son’s albums, died last week at age 71, according to an interview Common gave to the Associated Press.
“He was truly a natural poet and master of words,” the rapper born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. told the AP. “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.”
“Pops” delivers introspective poems set to music as the closing tracks on Common’s albums. The first “Pop’s Rap” on 1994′s Resurrection. Lynn’s final appearance on a Common album came on 2011′s The Dreamer/The Believer. On the song “Pops Belief,” he pronounces: “Live the life you believe. The American dream, the black American dream, the universal dream.”
Common reportedly declined to provide other information about his father’s passing. Lynn played professional basketball with the American Basketball Association in the 1969-1970 season. Born in Chicago he was a father of six in all.
Common has a recurring role as an actor on AMC’s Hell on Wheels. He sent a video message to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri and called for a moment of silence in the memory of slain teenager Michael Brown during the MTV Video Music Awards.