I Used to Love H.E.R.

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"Used to Love Her" redirects here. For the Guns N' Roses song, see G N' R Lies. For the Jay Sean song, see My Own Way (album).
"I Used to Love H.E.R."
Single by Common
from the album Resurrection
B-side "Communism"
Released September 27, 1994
Format CD single, cassette single, 12" single, 7" single
Recorded 1993
Genre Chicago hip hop, jazz rap
Length 4:39
Label Relativity Records
Writer(s) Lonnie Lynn, Jr.
Producer(s) Dion Wilson
Common singles chronology
"Soul by the Pound"
(1993)
"I Used to Love H.E.R."
(1994)
"Resurrection"
(1994)

"I Used to Love H.E.R." is a hip hop song by the Chicago-born rapper Common. Released on the 1994 album Resurrection, "I Used to Love H.E.R." has since become one of Common's best known songs. Produced by No I.D., its jazzy beat samples "The Changing World" by George Benson. A video directed by Chris Halliburton was made for this song. The song is also found on Common's greatest hits album, Thisisme Then.

Overview[edit]

Content[edit]

The song uses an extended metaphor, using a woman to represent hip hop music. The acronym "H.E.R" means "Hearing every rhyme", therefore stating "I Used to Love Hearing Every Rhyme and also Hip Hop in its Essence is Real."[1]

The song speaks on the direction that hip hop music was taking during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It specifically refers to the fall of conscious and Afrocentric rap; as well as the rising popularity of West Coast hip hop and G-funk. In the song, Common makes an analogy comparing the degradation of a woman with the deterioration of hip hop music after its commercial success forced it into the mainstream. This criticism ignited a feud with West Coast rapper Ice Cube, and helped fuel the growing animosity towards the West Coast hip hop scene during the early stages of the East Coast-West Coast rivalry despite Common hailing from the Mid-West.

Acclaim[edit]

It is often regarded as one of the greatest hip hop recordings ever.[2][3][4] Tiffany Hamilton of AllHipHop.com describes it as a "timeless ode to Hip-Hop [...] that established Common as one of the pioneers in conscious Hip-Hop."[5] Vukile Simelane of RapReviews.com claims it to have one of the "fattest beat[s] ever constructed".[6] Alex Henderson of Allmusic considers it to be the standout track on Resurrection.[7] Duke University professor Mark Anthony Neal considers it to be Common's best single ever.[8] Andrea Duncan-Mao of XXL considers it to be a "bittersweet ode to hip-hop" and a "classic" track.[9] Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal considers it to be a "classic hip-hop parable".[9] In 2008, it was ranked number 69 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. It was ranked #1 on About.com's Greatest Rap Songs Of All Time.[9]

Significance[edit]

  • In 1999, "I Used to Love H.E.R." was featured on the Chuck D hosted compilation album Louder Than a Bomb.
  • In 2005, Jin released a single named "Top 5 (Dead or Alive)", where he mentions Common and the song :"Trying to figure out the fly chick I discovered... At the same time Common said he used to love her".
  • The song inspired both the title and the premise of Danny!'s album And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and its third track "I Want H.E.R. (She's So Heavy)".
  • In 2008, on the underground track "Who Killed Hip Hop" Joe Budden references the track stating "But I still love H.E.R. the way Common used to"
  • In 2009, Brooklyn emcee Israel The ILLa Real stated his debut album's title I Fell In Love With H.E.R. (Hearing Every Rhyme) was inspired by "I Used To Love H.E.R."
  • The opening lines of "I Used To Love H.E.R." are also used as the opening lines to Kanye West's song "Homecoming".
  • In the Clipse song "Showing Out", a reference is made saying "Common loved H.E.R., I wish I'd never met her."
  • In 2011, New Jersey singer Eric Roberson used the opening lines of "I Used to Love H.E.R." on his song "Strangers" from his 2011 album Mister Nice Guy.[10]
  • In 2012, East Coast rap group Pro Era made a song "I Still Love H.E.R." inspired by "I Used to Love H.E.R."
  • In 2014 Broken Box Culture wrote It's Undeniable stating "I used to love H.E.R. but haven't for a long time. This morning I was reminded of the good times and maybe it is Undeniable... it's been Undeniable all along." talking about H.E.R. on a local level about Portland, Oregon emcee J-Ritz

Remixes[edit]

  • Jazz band Vitamin Jazz covered "I Used to Love H.E.R." on their 2006 album Commonication: The Smooth Jazz Sessions to the Music of Common.
  • Korean hip hop rapper The Quiett has a song called Give It to H.E.R. in his 3rd album, which also is related to "I Used to Love H.E.R." and uses similar metaphor.
  • American rapper Sivion also made a song named "I Still Love H.E.R." for his 2006 album Spring of the Songbird.
  • Chinese hip hop group TriPoets wrote a song named "Used to Love Her" which alludes to "I Used to Love H.E.R.".
  • Japanese DJ, DJ Deckstream has remixed this song on his album "Sweet 90's Blues" along with multiple other hit songs from the decade.
  • Tom Caruana has remixed this song for his 2011 album "Okayplayer The Bollywood Remake" along with multiple other hit songs from Okayplayer Allstars.
  • In 2013, Common released the sequel with J. Period entitled "The Next Chapter (Still Love H.E.R)"
  • 2014 David Gold of Yompton Radio and Ride Records, USA records a remix for Warner Brothers, Mousse demo. Live from the Bophouse studios; Mixed by Da Bopman @TheAudiologists, Portland; Youngstown A city formerly known as Little Chicago for its gangland style car-bombings in the 1950s and 60s.

Music video[edit]

The video was filmed on October 31, 1994 and released later that year. It shows clips of Common's home of Southside Chicago and a woman, who is obviously the main subject of the video because of the extended metaphor. It shows how she "became a gangster" when this woman is seen with two other ghetto-looking women in allusion to the rise of gangsta rap.

Track listing[edit]

A-side[edit]

  1. "I Used to Love H.E.R." (4:29)
  2. "I Used to Love H.E.R. (Instrumental)" (4:43)
  3. "I Used to Love H.E.R. (Acapella)"

B-side[edit]

  1. "Communism (2:16)"
  2. "Communism (Instrumental)" (2:39)
  3. "Communism (Acapella)"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 91
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Singles 31

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Abbreviations and acronyms from Acronym Finder: What Does Her Stand For?". Retrieved November 13, 2007. 
  2. ^ "100 Greatest Rap Songs at About.com". Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Top 100 Greatest Hip-Hop/Rap Singles of All Time at Top40-Charts.com". Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The Source's 100 Best Rap Singles at Rocklist.net". Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  5. ^ Hamilton, Tiffany. "AllHipHop Feature - Common: Invocation". Archived from the original on April 5, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ Simelane, Vukile. "Resurrection Review at RapReveiws.com". Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Resurrection Review at Allmusic". Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  8. ^ Neal, Mark Anthony. "Like Water for Chocolate Review at PopMatters.com". Retrieved April 27, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Duncan-Mao, Andrea. "XXL Magazine Features: Common". Retrieved May 24, 2007. 
  10. ^ Roberson, Eric. "Strangers". song. youtube.com. Retrieved 3/12/2012. 

External links[edit]