Grammy- and Oscar-winning rapper, writer, activist, and actor Common just launched a new YouTube series about wellness.
Com+Well premiered in August and will air every Tuesday for its six-episode run. The show features “wellness gurus” such as Grace Harry, Yancy Berry, and Ron Finley—the founder of educational gardening nonprofit Plant the Seed.
Common, whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., adopted a vegan diet in the 90s. He credits hip-hop acts like A Tribe Called Quest and KRS-One for first introducing him to the concept of personal wellness. While he is now a pescatarian, the activist continues to promote animal rights and veganism for personal health.
“Once I started eating vegan, I saw how things were improving in my life,” Common told Vogue last month. “Just by removing certain things from my diet—pizza, fried food, meat, all of that—and adding vegetables and plant-based foods. It became the true foundation to leading a better lifestyle, a happier one.”
Lauren Von Der Pool, the executive chef for Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity prevention campaign, features on Common’s new show. Pool—who previously worked with Common and other celebrities as a personal chef—prepares vegan meals and discusses the importance of therapy and meditation.
‘Eating Well Is Caring for Yourself’
Common told Vogue that he launched Com+Well to support people in their pursuit of wellness. In particular, people of color who may not have had access to these resources otherwise.
“There are a lot of Black men, a lot of brown men, a lot of Black and brown women who have not had exposure to some of the things we’re talking about in the series. And I just think people, in general, would like to have that information, that access,” he explained.
Last year Common helped open a creative arts charter school in his home town of Chicago. The school, named Art in Motion, emphasizes student wellness and even has a dedicated wellness center.
“I wanted to give people access to some of the tools and resources that help me to stay peaceful and happy and joyful. And it doesn’t mean you will have those feelings every moment of the day, but you’ll have the tools to help you get out of the difficult moments,” added Common. “Eating well is caring for yourself, working out is caring for yourself, meditation is caring for yourself.”