Retrospect for Life

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"Retrospect for Life"
Common - retrospect.jpg
Single by Common featuring Lauryn Hill
from the album One Day It'll All Make Sense
Released July 29, 1997
Format 12-inch single, Vinyl
Recorded 1996
Genre Hip hop Chicago hip hop
Length 6:23
Label Relativity Records
Songwriter(s) Lonnie Lynn
James Poyser
Ernest Wilson
Stevie Wonder
Syreeta Wright
Producer(s) James Poyser
No I.D.
Common singles chronology
"The Bitch in Yoo"
(1996) The Bitch in Yoo1996
"Retrospect for Life"
(1997) Retrospect for Life1997
"Reminding Me (Of Sef)"
(1997) Reminding Me (Of Sef)1997
Lauryn Hill singles chronology
"The Sweetest Thing"
(1997) The Sweetest Thing1997
"Retrospect for Life"
(1997) Retrospect for Life1997
(1997) Summer1997

"Retrospect for Life" is the first single from rapper Common's third album One Day It'll All Make Sense. It features production from James Poyser and No I.D., vocals from Lauryn Hill and bass guitar playing by Vere Isaacs. Its autobiographical lyrics weigh the choices of abortion and birth for a woman impregnated by Common. The lyrics as well as a "mellow, piano-driven beat" has caused Dan Menella to call it the most memorable track on Common's third album.[1] Kevin Powell of Rolling Stone considers it to be the centerpiece of its album,[2] and Leo Stanley of Allmusic similarly boasts of its significant emotional impact.[3] Lauryn Hill's verse embodies portions of "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" by Stevie Wonder, while the song's beat samples "A Song for You" by Donny Hathaway. A music video directed by Lauryn Hill was made for it. Two of its b-sides, "Invocation" and "Hungry," received low budget music videos.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Retrospect for Life (Radio Edit)" (2:14)
  2. "Retrospect for Life (Album Version)" (5:23)
  3. "Retrospect for Life (Instrumental)" (5:23)


  1. "Invocation" (2:14)
  2. "Hungry" (2:33)
  3. "Real Nigga Quotes" (5:23)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mennella, Dan. "One Day It'll All Make Sense Review at". Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  2. ^ Powell, Kevin. "One Day It'll All Make Sense Review at". Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ Stanley, Leo. "One Day It'll All Make Sense Review at Allmusic". Retrieved April 1, 2007. 

External links[edit]