Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Commons fourth studio release Like Water for Chocolate.
Like Water for Chocolate is the introduction of the production team Soulquarians. It consisted of Dilla, ?uestlove, D’Angelo, James Poyser and Pino Palladino. This collective created a canvas for Common to showcase his skill and his soul.
“Funky for You” one of my favorite songs seeps into your spirit. Dilla’s drums are all over it. Bilal and Jill Scott’s voices ring like a mantra singing “As long as it’s funky alright, ok” Common floats over the production and that South Side Chicago sensibility blesses the rhythm.
Like Water for Chocolate ushered in a new sound and created a lane for Common as the consciousness of Hip Hop.The biggest hit and single from the album is “The Light” and the video featuring Erykah Badu helped to launch Common into a different space as he proved that rap can also be romantic and loving. I remember being so moved by that song that it inspired me to propose to my now ex-wife.
The best projects teach you something. Because of this album I know who Fela Kuti is “Time Travelin’ (A Tribute to Fela)” and “A Song for Assata” made me take a real look at freedom and what people have sacrificed for my freedom and theirs.
The boldness and spirit of this album is why it has stood the test of time. The tile of the album is inspired by the novel of the same name. Common explains in an interview why he chose it. “Actually the album is named after a movie of the same title. In the movie the main character was a really good cook. She would always be cooking for people. Whenever she would cook, she would really put a lot of emotion into it. So when people would eat her cooking, they were able to feel the same emotions she felt while cooking it. You feel me? So this is the same thing. I put all my heart, my mind and my rawness into these tracks. So I hope that people can feel that when they listen to the album” he said
Congratulations Common for this milestone. Thank you for repping the South Side of Chicago and the culture of Hip Hop the way that you do.
Stream “It’s On Me” by Precise