- I Used to Love H.E.R.
Name = I Used to Love H.E.R.
Artist = Common Sense
from Album = Resurrection
B-side = "Communism"
Released = 1994
12-inch single, Vinyl
Recorded = 1994
Chicago hip hop
Length = 4:39
Writer = Common
Chronology = Common singles
Last single = "
Soul by the Pound" (1993)
This single = "I Used to Love H.E.R." (1994)
Next single = "Resurrection" (1995)
"I Used to Love H.E.R." is a hip hop song by the
Chicago-born rapper Common. Released on the 1994 album "Resurrection", "I Used to Love H.E.R." has since become one of Common's best known songs. Produced by No I.D., its jazzy beat samples "The Changing World" by George Benson. A video directed by Chris Halliburton was made for this song. The song is found on Common's greatest hits album, "".
The song uses an
extended metaphorcomparing a woman that Common loved to hip hop music. The acronym H.E.R. stands for "Hip Hop in its Essence and Real."Fact|date=August 2008 It is also believed that it means Hearing Every Rhyme, therefore possibly stating "I Used to Love Hearing Every Rhyme."cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?acronym=HER | title = Abbreviations and acronyms from Acronym Finder: What Does Her Stand For? | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = November 13 | accessyear = 2007]
The song criticizes the direction that hip hop music was taking during the mid-1990s. It specifically refers to the fall of conscious and Afrocentric rap; as well as the rising popularity of
West Coast hip hopand G-funk. In the song, Common makes an analogy comparing the degradation of a woman with the deterioration of hip hop musicafter its commercial success forced it into the mainstream. This criticism ignited a feud with West Coast rapper Ice Cube, and helped fuel the growing animosity towards the West Coast hip hop scene during the early stages of the East Coast-West Coast rivalry.
It also said that within the song Common speaks on his disapproval of
Onyxand Das Efx(two rap groups immensely popular in the early/mid nineties) with the line "I see niggas slammin' her, and takin' her to the sewer". 1993 saw the release of Onyx's hit single "Slam" and Das Efx's album " Straight Up Sewaside". Onyx were famous for their overly violent and offensive lyrics, and could be considered the gangsta rapof the East Coast. At the same time Das Efx were widely criticized by the hip hop community for rapping in a style which many people said was a gimmick created to sell records.Fact|date=August 2008
It is often regarded as one of the greatest hip hop recordings ever.cite web | last = | first = | url = http://rap.about.com/od/top10songs/ss/Top100RapSongs_10.htm | title = 100 Greatest Rap Songs at About.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = March 25 | accessyear = 2007] cite web | last = | first = | url = http://top40-charts.com/features/top100_greatest_hiphop2.php | title = Top 100 Greatest Hip-Hop/Rap Singles of All Time at Top40-Charts.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = March 25 | accessyear = 2007] cite web | last = | first = | url = http://www.rocklist.net/source.htm | title = The Source's 100 Best Rap Singles at Rocklist.net | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = March 25 | accessyear = 2007] Tiffany Hamilton of AllHipHop.com describes it as a "timeless ode to Hip-Hop [...] that established Common as one of the pioneers in conscious Hip-Hop."cite web | last = Hamilton | first = Tiffany | url = http://allhiphop.com/features/?ID=1083 | title = AllHipHop Feature - Common: Invocation | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = April 22 | accessyear = 2007] Vukile Simelane of RapReviews.com claims it to have one of the "fattest beat [s] ever constructed".cite web | last = Simelane | first = Vukile | url = http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_resurrection.html | title = Resurrection Review at RapReveiws.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = March 25 | accessyear = 2007] Alex Henderson of
Allmusicconsiders it to be the standout track on "Resurrection".cite web | last = Henderson | first = Alex | url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:it4uak6khm3m | title = Resurrection Review at Allmusic | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = March 25 | accessyear = 2007] Mark Anthony Neal of PopMattersconsiders it to be Common's best single ever. cite web | last = Neal | first = Mark Anthony | url = http://www.popmatters.com/columns/criticalnoire/000505.shtml | title = Like Water for Chocolate Review at PopMatters.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = April 27 | accessyear = 2007] Andrea Duncan-Mao of "XXL" considers it to be a "bittersweet ode to hip-hop" and a "classic" track.cite web | last = Duncan-Mao | first = Andrea | url = http://xxlmag.com/Features/2005/june/common/index.html | title = XXL Magazine Features: Common | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = May 24 | accessyear = 2007] Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal considers it to be a "classic hip-hop parable".cite web | last = Dombal | first = Ryan | url = http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/16278-be | title = Be Review at PitchforkMedia.com | format = | work = | publisher = | accessdate = May 24 | accessyear = 2007]
*In 1999, "I Used to Love H.E.R." was featured on the
Chuck Dhosted compilation album "Louder Than a Bomb".
*In 2005, Jin released a single named "
Top 5 (Dead or Alive)", where he mentions Common (rapper)and the song :"Trying to figure out the fly chick I discovered... At the same time Common (rapper)said he used to love her".
*In 2007, Japanese hip hop group
Teriyaki Boyzreleased a song named " I Still Love H.E.R." featuring Kanye West, a rapper who has collaborates with Common (rapper). *Shabaam Sadhdeeq also released a song named "I Still Love Her" and he mentions Common in the song's first line.
*A Taiwanese hip hop group TriPoets released a song named "Used to Love Her," which was inspired by and samples Common's "I Used to Love H.E.R."
Kardinal Offishallmakes reference to "I Used to Love H.E.R." on his 2007 track "War".
*"I Used to Love H.E.R." helped to inspire the film, Brown Sugar.
P.H.E.A.R., a neo-soul hip-hop group from Detroit, released a song on "", called "I Love Her Again".
*The song inspired the title of the
Danny!'s album "" and its third track "I Want H.E.R. (She's So Heavy)".
*Nas briefly parodies "I Used to Love H.E.R." in his 2004 song "Getting Married" and references it in his 2006 song "Who Killed It?".
*Kanye West's 2008 song "Homecoming" mimics the extended metaphor of "I Used To Love H.E.R.", but uses the woman as a metaphor for West's hometown of Chicago instead of hip hop.
personificationof hip hop is a theme found in three prominent collaboration songs by Common:
Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" by Erykah Badu,
* "Act Too (The Love of My Life)" by
The Roots, and
*"Angel" by The Game.
This theme is also used in songs like
* "Bird's Eye View" by
* "Can't Let Her" by
Little Brother, and
* "American Beauty" by
9th Wonder, a producer from North Carolina, remixed "I Used to Love H.E.R." and released the remix as a single. Independent record label Boom Bap Records distributed the single, which contained " The 6th Sense" as a b-side.
Jazz band Vitamin Jazz covered "I Used to Love H.E.R." on their 2006 album "Commonication: The Smooth Jazz Sessions to the Music of Common".
The video was filmed in 1994 and released later that year, too. It shows clips of Common's home of Southside Chicago and a woman, who is obviously the main subject of the video since of the extended metaphor. It shows how she "became a gangster" when this woman is seen with two other ghetto-looking women in allusion to the rise of gangsta rap.
# "I Used to Love H.E.R." (4:29)
# "I Used to Love H.E.R. (Instrumental)" (4:43)
# "I Used to Love H.E.R. (Acapella)"
# "Communism (2:16)"
# "Communism (Instrumental)" (2:39)
# "Communism (Acapella)"
List of Common songs
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