“I Used to Love H.E.R” is arguably the most well-known track from American rapper Common (previously named “Common Sense”, but that was changed due to legal issues).
Released in 1994, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” is the first single from Common’s 1994 album: “Resurrection”. The track initially follows the narrative of Common reminiscing about a girl he knew in his childhood, who he eventually falls with. However, Common reveals at the end of the track that he is actually talking about hip-hop, using the woman’s life as a metaphor: “’Cause who I’m talkin’ about, y’all is, hip-hop”. Common did discuss the true meaning of the track in a 1995 interview on “Yo! MTV Raps”, stating: “It’s about hip-hop music. H.E.R. stands for Hip-Hop in its Essence is Real. And all I’m talking about his how I first came into contact with hip-hop music and how it evolved into where it is now. And it’s like all these gimmicks going on, all the phoniness, ain’t nobody being real with it. Everybody’s stressing that it’s real but ain’t nobody being true to it. I think that came about because — once it started becoming a business, then people started losing their soul and they started looking at it, taking it more as a business than an artform.” This did create a feud between Common and infamous rapper Ice Cube, who claimed that Common was dissing the West Coast in the track, blaming them for ruining hip-hop. They later went on to diss each other in their tracks; Ice Cube in “Westside Slaughterhouse” and Common in “The Bitch in Yoo”.
The music video was filmed in September 1994 and was released later in the year. It features Common walking around Southside Chicago (his hometown) with a woman who acts as the woman in the track. It was uploaded to Common’s official YouTube channel in January 2018, and as of August 2019 the video has over 717 thousand views.
Release Date: 27th September 1994
Songwriter/s: Lonnie Lynn Jr. & Dion Wilson
Producer/s: No I.D.
Label/s: Relativity Records
Music Video Release Date: 29th January 2018
Chart Rankings: “I Used to Love H.E.R.” ranked #91 in the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, as well as ranking #31 in the U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Singles.