In the same year that Nas‘ heralded Illmatic was released, so too did Common‘s similarly acclaimed “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” though one is probably more widely known than the other. Unnecessary comparisons aside, Common’s release created a base for ‘conscious hip-hop’ – a term now deemed clichè at best in many music circles. It was, and still is, an important song though, in its objective perspective on the state of hip-hop music and its subject matter. Fast forward about 20 years to 2013, where Common now releases the follow-up to his 1994 opus, entitled “The Next Chapter (Still Love H.E.R.).” Featuring some heavily funky production from Brooklyn’s J.Period, the twang of a sparse guitar rings ominous throughout the track. While it only features one entire verse, Common’s flow is as tight as it’s ever been, packing in all the metaphors and wordplay for which the Chicago MC is known.
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