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.
Assata Shakur – Photo Source: instagram @haliesalassie96
Former Black Panther Assata Shakur may be adversely affected by the recent death of Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro.
Assata explains in her own words what happened and why she currently has political asylum in Cuba.
“My name is Assata (“she who struggles”) Olugbala ( “for the people” ) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.”
The lines of communication have opened between Cuba and the United States after a vote by the United Nations urged the United States to lift the economic embargo in 2015. As a result of this vote both countries are now on speaking terms and travel restrictions are being lifted.
The FBI is currently offering a reward of up to 1,000,000 for the apprehension of Assata. She was charged with a murder in 1973. She was found guilty of first degree murder in 1977 and was sentenced to life in prison. She escaped and now lives in Cuba.
Now that the two countries are communicating, what will they be willing to do to sweeten any deals that may be in the works. Will Assata be used as a pawn. Their is a cry for President Obama to grant her a pardon before he leave office. Twitter is talking.
Rest in power Castro. Forever grateful for the role you played in the decolonial struggle in Africa & giving #Assata refuge #RIPFidelCastro