I Used to Love H.E.R.

Album: Resurrection (1994)
  • In this song, Common relates hip-hop music to a woman. In the early '90s, gangsta rap went mainstream as artists like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg became very popular, and Common used this song to express his dissatisfaction with the genre. The song created some tension between the East Coast and West Coast rappers.
  • This samples "The Changing World" by George Benson. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2
  • "H.E.R." is an acronym for "Hearing Every Rhyme." Common laments mainstream rap's sacrifice of meaningful lyrics for superficiality, particularly the praise of the blinged-out and violent gangsta lifestyle.
  • No I.D. produced this track using a SP1200 sampler to generate the bass line that he blended with the George Benson sample. "Common came with this incredible story, which at the time we had no idea would be so revered," he told Complex. "Once he had the rap in his head, it was just a matter of making it come across the best."
  • Kanye West borrowed the opening lyrics of this song for the beginning of his 2008 track "Homecoming."
  • Chris Halliburton directed the music video. Set in Southside Chicago, it follows a woman's transformation into a gangsta, paralleling Common's view of hip-hop's decline into gangsta rap. According to No I.D., they made two failed attempts and blew a lot of money before getting it right on the third try.
  • This was featured in the 2002 romantic comedy/drama Brown Sugar, starring Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan and Queen Latifah.

Comments: 1

  • Fatima from Norfolk, VaBEST SONG EVER!!! Only Common could do this extended metaphor this well.
see more comments

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.