On this day, March 28, in hip-hop history...

2000: It's been 18 years since the release of Common's Like Water for Chocolate. At this point in his career, the Chicago native had already been solidified as a renowned lyricist, but it was his fourth album that placed the "messenger in the Metropolis" high on the charts and opened him to a legion of commercial success.

Common's continues his innate knack for storytelling on Like Water for Chocolate. He opens up the LP with a tribute to Nigerian musician Fela Kuti on "Time Travelin'," with assistance from Kuti's own son, Femi. His wordplay continues on tracks like "The 6th Sense" and "The Questions," which are only a couple of standout hits on the project. Neither of them, however, had the same impact as the J Dilla-produced "The Light," one of Common's hugest singles to date. Sampling Bobby Caldwell's "Open your Eyes" on the deep cut, Common's "The Light" serves as a love letter to his then-girlfriend, the illustrious Erykah Badu. The cut went on to peak at No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100, and to date is his third-highest charting song. The album's outro, "Pops Rap III....All My Children," is another notable track, as it features words from Common's father, Lonnie Lynn, Sr.

Like Water for Chocolate peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, and was placed on over a dozen Album of the Year lists worldwide the year of its release. To this day, the project is undoubtedly viewed as the turning point in the Southside rhymer's career.

Geffen Records

 

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