I’ve never been a huge fan of homework. But it’s not always doing math equations and reading 50pgs a day. For my Hip Hop and Black Culture class part of my assignment is to listen to this song, watch the video, and read the lyrics to prepare for a class discussion. Awesome!
Video, lyrics, then a couple of reflections.
Verse One: I met this girl, when I was ten 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 ont he 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 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 a bone, wishin that I could do her Eventually if it was meant to be, then it would be because we related, physically and mentally And she was fun then, I'd be geeked when she'd come around Slim was fresh yo, when she was underground Original, pure untampered and down sister Boy I tell ya, I miss her Verse Two: Now periodically I would see ol girl at the clubs, and at the house parties She didn't have a body but she started gettin thick quick DId a couple of videos and became afrocentric Out goes the weave, in goes the braids beads medallions She was on that tip about, stoppin the violence About my people she was teachin me By not preachin to me but speakin to me in a method that was leisurely, so easily I approached She dug my rap, that's how we got close But then she broke to the West coast, and that was cool Cause around the same time, I went away to school And I'm a man of expandin, so why should I stand in her way She probably get her money in L.A. And she did stud, she got big pub but what was foul She said that the pro-black, was goin out of style She said, afrocentricity, was of the past So she got into R&B hip-house bass and jazz Now black music is black music and it's all good I wasn't salty, she was with the boys in the hood Cause that was good for her, she was becomin well rounded I thought it was dope how she was on that freestyle shit Just havin fun, not worried about anyone And you could tell, by how her titties hung Verse Three: I might've failed to mention that this chick was creative But once the man got you well he altered her native Told her if she got an image and a gimmick that she could make money, and she did it like a dummy Now I see her in commercials, she's universal She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle Now she be in the burbs lickin rock and dressin hip And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city Talkin about poppin glocks servin rocks and hittin switches Now she's a gangsta rollin with gangsta bitches Always smokin blunts and gettin drunk Tellin me sad stories, now she only fucks with the funk Stressin how hardcore and real she is She was really the realest, before she got into showbiz I did her, not just to say that I did it But I'm committed, but so many niggaz hit it That she's just not the same lettin all these groupies do her I see niggaz slammin her, and takin her to the sewer But I'ma take her back hopin that the shit stop Cause who I'm talkin bout y'all is hip-hop --------------- Besides this being a classic work it is one of the great hip hop parables. This would be anexample of one of those songs that is all-too-easy misunderstood at face value. You could listen and even be offended because he talks of sex or lewd observations about the subject's new sexy style. When this song came out you gotta remember what was happening in the world-especially in the hip hopworld. West Coast vs. East Coast and Gangsta Rap was c oming up. Hip Hop had gone through the folk and art phases and was now in the pop phase-it was being made for mass consumption. Common uses the woman he always loved as a metaphor for hip hop, showing him the way-going through consciousness and into a place that he did not want to follow-making money and being about sex, violence, and drugs. It had sold its soul, but hope remained for redemption. H.E.R. means "Hip Hop in its Essence is Real." Great song and this was when Common was still the man. His last 2 albums haven't quite lived upto his old stuff, imho.