Saturday, August 15, 2009
Throwback Series #1: Common - Resurrection (1994)
Holla holla bread. I’m instituting the Throwback of the Week starting… now! And why not hit you with one of my all-time favorite albums, one I can listen to indefinitely and still be impressed with, Common’s Resurrection.
Released in 1994 (the same year as Nas’s Illmatic), this is Common’s second album (no one would call their first album Resurrection obviously). After a relatively weak showing on his first album Can I Borrow A Dollar? in 1992, Common Sense expanded on his lyrical style to what would eventually become what is now his unique and timeless signature. Resurrection, as an album, has lyrics, oh sweet sweet lyrics, containing astounding word play, deep metaphors, and insightful stories that are self-reflective and border on parables. AND THE KICKER, all the production is done by No I.D., the man who schooled Kanye West in beat making during his early years in rap music on the south side of Chicago.
The album also has arguably MY favorite song ever and probably one of the top 10 best rap songs of all time, I Used To Love H.E.R.
If you haven’t heard it, DON’T READ any further and LISTEN to it! OVER and OVER AGAIN. The video is posted below. Throughout the 3 verses of the song, Common takes the listener on a timeline of the evolution and transitions that a girl, the love of his life, has undergone throughout the years and eventually expounds on why he no longer loves her anymore. All this to find out in the last line of the song that the woman he is describing is a metaphor for hip hop music. Can you believe this guy? Ha, I can. Common uses the whole song to explain that hip hop started out so pure yet now he detests the current state of the music which is dominated by materialism, thug/drug culture, and “un-committed” rappers that sell out for money and fame. The amazing/sad thing about this song is that it is even more relevant today than it was in 1994. With all the c(rap) that pervades the radio these days, it feels like Common could have conceivably written this song a week ago.
This album definitely goes on my list of the 10 albums I would bring if I were stuck on a desert island for the rest of my life…in fact, I might welcome it if I had a boombox and endless batteries to go with it.
Extra Credit: The Roots song Act Too (The Love of My Life) featuring Common is Com's pseudo follow-up on I Used To Love H.E.R. Listen carefully!