It’s only fitting that the first “Ladies Love Lyrics” highlight is Common’, I Used to Love H.E.R. This is a Hip-Hop site. We are females and we love the music. Double entendres and “ish” rolling around, you get the point. For those who don’t know, let me school you a bit. This track, on the surface, sounds like an ode to a female that Common use to bang out (okay, love). However, let’s dig a little deeper. Most hip-hop purists and lovers would already know this, but we’ll revisit it anyway. It is actually an ode to hip-hop and what Common felt to be its deterioration from its true original essence to the mainstream. Honestly speaking, any of the three verses could have been selected, because they are all dope in their own right. We’ll go with the first though.
I met this girl, when I was 10 years old
And what I loved most, she had so much soul
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
On the regular, not a church girl, she was secular
Not about the money, no studs was mic checkin her
But I respected her, she hit me in the heart
A few New York niggaz, had did her in the park
Within each verse Common takes us through the hip-hop eras up until the present time, which would have been circa 94’. In the first few bars of the first verse he tells us that he was first introduced to Hip Hop when he was 10, which would have been 1982 and what the scene was like then. Rap ciphers in the parks were real, rappers were cursing! Back then the industry hadn’t taken advantage of Hip Hop yet. It touched Com and at that time he never realized what an intrical part it would play in his life.
But she was there for me, and I was there for her
Pull out a chair for her, turn on the air for her
And just cool out, cool out and listen to her
Sittin on bone, wishin that I could do her
Here he talks about how whatever he was going through, Hip Hop accompanied him. Kind of like the soundtrack to his life. He continued to support the movement and eventually felt like he wanted to become an MC.
Eventually if it was meant to be, then it would be
Cuz’ we related, physically and mentally
And she was fun then, I’d be geeked when she’d come around
Slim was fresh jo, when she was underground
Original, pure untampered and down sister
Boy I tell ya, I miss her
Com knew that if he were destined to be a part of it, he would be. Especially since this was something his people and basically his generation created that he could relate to more than anything before it. Back then he would get excited when anything Hip Hop was happening. It was in its rawest, unrefined form and he missed how it once was.
This verse is one that all lovers of the music and culture can identify with, because it answers the question “When did you first fall in love with Hip Hop?” à la Sidney Shaw (Brown Sugar). Each of us has a story to tell – What’s yours?