“Watermelon”

Produced by: No I.D.

Common: “‘Watermelon’ was one of the songs we did later in the album. That beat was so fresh to me. That’s when I applied my emceeing. I wanted to say clever things and punchlines. That was a direct descent of all that working on the freestyles and wanting to light up emceeing.

"I did that chant, ‘I come to the party in a b-boy stance/I rock on the mic, make the girls wanna dance,’ so, obviously, I’m still coming from hip-hop. But ‘Watermelon’ was about me emceeing; ‘I express like an interstate, hyper when I ventilate/My rap pieces penetrate and infiltrate your mental state.’

 

For me, it was like, ‘You got Souls of Mischief out there, you got Nas out there, you got all these other MCs that’s bringing something.’ I just wanted to bring that cleverness, that Chicago-ness and that’s what ‘Watermelon’ was. - Common

 

"For me, it was like, ‘You got Souls of Mischief out there, you got Nas out there, you got all these other MCs that’s bringing something.’ I just wanted to bring that cleverness, that Chicago-ness and that’s what ‘Watermelon’ was.

"It actually became one of the songs that some people that know Common or know Resurrection and they be like, “Ay, man, when you gon’ do ‘Watermelon?’ I want some of that stuff like ‘Watermelon’.’”

No I.D.: “Whenever me and [Common] worked it was more like a joust. It wasn’t ‘Let’s sit down and create something.’ I just put that ‘Watermelon’ chorus on there because I was challenging him to see if he could take anything and make something ill out of it. There was no real chorus. It was almost like he was freestyling.

“Me and Common sequenced the album together. When I sequence, I sequence based on musical mood changes, and ‘Watermelon’ just worked. I like how different songs move my moods back and forth musically, because then it doesn’t get redundant.

"Common may have been debating over topical sequencing—what records should have been where. I was like ‘Nah, Watermelon breaks that up and leads into this better’ It was the perfect transition musically.“

 

Whenever me and [Common] worked it was more like a joust. It wasn’t ‘Let’s sit down and create something.’ I just put that ‘Watermelon’ chorus on there because I was challenging him to see if he could take anything and make something ill out of it. There was no real chorus. It was almost like he was freestyling. - No I.D.

 

The Twilite Tone: “That was really just Common freestyling on there. If you listen to how Rashid was on the first album, and you see how he rhymed on the second album, it was a quantum leap. The reason why is because in between those two albums, we recorded a song called ‘Can I Bust.’

“On that record, Com was still using his old style and old antics, and you can see that I wasn’t on that. Not only rhythmically, but I was a straight lyricist. I wasn’t playing around. I was really scientific with how I approached rhyming at the time.

“After that record, you could see it in their eyes, it was time for Rashid to change how he was rhyming. Going into the second album, Nas had come out with Illmatic, so Rash got real serious—and it was articulated on songs like ‘Watermelon.’

“Rashid was more on his emcee game. He wasn’t on no goofy TV skits and sound effects. It was a complete switch up. I believe I was a major influence on the album from that aspect. When it comes to the rhyming, the extended metaphors, I was very influential. Rashid had that drive to get better after he got his ass whooped by me on ‘Can I Bust.’ [Laughs.]”