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I Used To Love H.E.R.

I Used To Love H.E.R.

by Common

Music

The Resurrection single "I Used to Love H.E.R." put Common on the map for his clever raps and timeless style. Having proved his worth with his debut record, Can I Borrow A Dollar?, in 1992, Common was ready to make more than radio songs and singles with the second album. His producer, No I.D. (then Immenslope), said, "With that second album, our whole goal was just to make good songs. It was all just making music without worrying about what would happen when it was done" (Coleman 111). As a result, Common's second album was highly personal both in its content and in its sound. In addition, Common had recently become a fan of jazz music: "I was listening to a lot of Last Poets and Coltrane, and understanding that I wanted to make some pure, timeless music" (111).

Although Common didn't produce this song, he did pick the samples, and Benson's "The Changing World" fits the tragic love story of Common's rap perfectly. "I Used to Love H.E.R." tells the story of "hip-hop, in its essence, and real"—H.E.R.—as the story of Common's love changing from the inspiring woman he once knew into someone unrecognizable and morally compromised. No I.D.'s sample of Benson's sliding jazz guitar reflects this transience with a tinge of sadness and romanticism.

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