Happy 40th Birthday Common!

The Chicago born rapper hit the hip-hop scene 20 years ago and has since parlayed his lyrical skills into becoming a successful actor, influential philanthropist, and just added author to his long list of talents with the release of his memoir 'One Day It'll All Make Sense.'

While he continues to entertain us on tracks, on screen and on paper -- Common's sharp personal style is also worth noting.

The fashion-forward star is consistently pulled together, whether in a pair of jeans and T-shirt or tux. We've also noticed his particular love of neck adornments (scarves, ties, bow ties and ascots) and hats.

The Huffington Post Black Voices caught up with Grammy-winning rapper at a New York Fashion Week event last month where he explained that he describes his style as smart, gentlemen-like and progressive.

"I allow my style to change. As an artist and a human being I don't hold back -- I stay free with what I want to do," Common said.

In celebration of Common's 40th birthday, click below for a look at his stellar style evolution over the years.

Check out Common's Style Evolution.