The 2015 awards season swept us off our feet, made our hearts skip a beat and made our souls dance. From the Grammys to the Golden Globes to the Oscars, each moment was rich with joy, celebration, and inspiration.

The hero in our magical award season adventure was a dear friend of Heart of Cool, Mr. Rashid Lynn, otherwise known as Common. Mr. Lynn was nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Original Song), Grammy (Best Rap Album) and Oscar (Best Original Song). And of course he ended up batting 2 out of 3: One Golden Globe and one Oscar for his riveting collaboration with another mega-talent, John Legend, on the musical selection, “Glory, ” from the movie, Selma. As a consequence, the movie Selma was the movement and the force to be reckoned with this year, not just in the entertainment industry, but in the everyday lives of Americans.

Mr. Lynn’s acceptance speech both at the Golden Globes and the Oscars left eyes teary, minds enlightened, and hearts open as he received his accolades and was not interested in self-promotion. Instead, he used the platform to speak life and wisdom into the audience, igniting a new fire and sense of awareness in us.


The divine and passionate posture Mr. Lynn upheld as his speech rolled off the tip of his tongue just as effortlessly as his iconic freestyles do and it symbolized a profound knowing and understanding that we all stand on the shoulders that came before us. It showed us that we are all connected, no matter our race, sexual orientation, class, religion, or beliefs, and that we all exist where we are today as a result of the sacrifices of the named and the unnamed souls that journeyed in life before us.

Mr. Lynn showed the world that in times of social turmoil caused by social ills, one should speak up and speak out for people who are voiceless, not always because we cannot hear them; but instead, simply because we sometimes turn a blind eye on our way up the social mobility ladder. Because we sometimes forget to realize the importance of paying it forward for others with love and gratitude whenever we have an opportunity to do so.

In the spirit rooted in the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who died fighting to eradicate not only racism but also poverty, and a man who played a colossal part in humanizing America by exposing how inhumane America could be, Mr. Lynn truly redefined a word and experience that most of us strive for in life, success. He demonstrated that real genuine success is an inside-out job and it’s something that you are and exude because you operate from your heart as you live out your unique purpose.

This year’s awards season was about more than the expected Hollywood glamour and celebrity appearances. The depth and meaning captured was unparalleled, organically reflecting the issues in the immediate world around us and fervently reminding us human beings that perhaps our lives are not necessarily our own if we truly wish to impact the world? It was heart-wrenching. It was motivational. And it served as a platform for activism and humanism, reminding us of the fact that progress and change have often times been ushered into society through the creative arts.

Love & Light, Cris