On this day in Hip Hop history Chicago legend, Common, released his sophomore LP Resurrection. Produced completely by No I.D., this album was a fitting follow-up to Common’s debut, Can I Borrow A Dollar.
Structurally, the album was split down the middle into two sections. The first half was the “East Side of Stony” and the second half was the “West Side of Stony”. Stony Island Avenue is a street that run’s through the South Side of Chicago, where Common grew up. Throughout the album, Common continued to relate his themes and lyrics to himself, his past, and his surroundings in Chicago, creating a very introspective experience.
This album also features one of Common’s most controversial singles, “I Used to Love H.E.R.”. As Resurrection’s lead single, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” was an ode to golden era Hip Hop. The song in it’s entirety is a metaphor in which Common relates Hip Hop to a girl who loses her innocence after being enticed by the materialistic side of life. The acronym “H.E.R” actually stood for “Hip Hop in its essence is real”. In the song, Common explains how Hip Hop culture is being destroyed by gangsta rap culture (which was centered around violence, materialism, and misogyny according to him). This opinion, of course upset the West Coast, especially rap legend Ice Cube, who felt it was a personal attack on his brand of music. He in turn responded with the single “Westside Slaughterhouse” featuring Westside Connection.
Commercially, the album was a marginal hit peaking at #179 on the Billboard 200. It showed a growth in sales from his debut and prompted the success of the coming album, one Day It’ll All Make Sense.