I Used To Love H.E.R.
| 1994 | Reissue
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1994 / Reissue
First-time 7" vinyl single release, remastered by Simon Francis, full color printed sleeve
The best twist in music lyric history?
On 7" for the first time ever, one of the most important rap records ever.
It's timeless, it's genius, it's just pure beautiful brilliance. It's Common's masterpiece.
One of the best songs in all hip-hop history, “I Used To Love H.E.R.” was the first single from Common's eternal 1994 LP, Resurrection. He personifies hip-hop as an ode to the art form he once loved, lamenting how the genre became too commercialized and, due to a mass influx of mainstream rap in the 90s, some of the purity and freshness of the culture was being lost.
Common uses a first-person romance narrative to detail the history of hip-hop, resulting in an extended metaphor that's sophisticated, clever, and delivers a moral message that touched millions of people and still absolutely blows minds at the song's conclusion: "'Cause who we're talkin' about, y'all, is hip-hop"
Perfectly produced by No ID and incorporating a gorgeous, melancholic sample of George Benson’s “The Changing World”, the plaintive sonic landscape provided the ideal foundation for Common’s innovative storytelling. Almost 30 years later, “I Used To Love H.E.R.” remains one of the most significant moments in hip-hop: a classic in every sense of the word.
Common did discuss the true meaning of the track in a 1995 interview on “Yo! MTV Raps”, stating: “H.E.R. stands for Hip-Hop in its Essence is Real. And all I’m talking about his how I first came into contact with hip-hop music and how it evolved into where it is now. And it’s like all these gimmicks going on, all the phoniness, ain’t nobody being real with it. Everybody’s stressing that it’s real, but ain’t nobody being true to it. I think that came about because — once it started becoming a business, then people started losing their soul, and they started looking at it, taking it more as a business than an art form.”
On the flip, we've stayed faithful to the track used for the original 12" release. And what a track it is. Destined to be overshadowed by the behemoth on the A-Side, the frenetic neck-snapping jazz-rap "Communism" has it all - those horns at the start, the lyrical dexterity, the beat. Oh my.
So, one of the greatest pieces of music ever, in any genre. This is not merely music. It's high art. Speaking of which, we've recreated the striking original artwork from the 12" and shrunk it down to the 7" format. It looks and sounds stunning. The most important song in rap history, if you really think about it. We all miss her. We all miss hip-hop...