Common “Resurrection” (1994)

Album: Resurrection

Label: Relativity

No I.D.: “We actually started that song with another beat. This track and ‘Nuthin To Do’ both ended up with different beats. A lot of the songs would start with me just trying to come up with a scratch and a beat.

“We’d felt the pressure of [Nas’] Illmatic coming out, and we were both 'like ‘Okay, it’s time for us to step this up three or four notches.’ I hooked the beat up and once he [Common] heard the ”Resurrection” scratch he immediately started writing.

“Before that I was just a house music DJ, so when I was working on Can I Borrow A Dollar?, it was more of me digging out of my house crates trying to find samples in there. But after we finished that album, and began work on Resurrection, I’d met the Beatnuts and they taught me how to dig for samples. This guy V.I.C. that was down with them, Buckwild and Ju Ju (of the Beatnuts)—they were the reason I knew how to dig and make that specific style of hip-hop.

“We recorded the whole album on Long Island at Erick Sermon’s studio. Since our budget was so small, we didn’t work on songs in the studio. We’d work on the songs at home [in Chicago], and we’d just record them at the studio.

“We didn’t actually sit in the studio to listen and write to tracks, it was more like ‘Okay, we’re done writing, now lets go record all the songs at once—then we’ll mix them.’ We’d go to the east coast because they had all the engineers and equipment. They were already prepped in hip-hop. In Chicago at that time there was no real hip-hop studios. The engineers in Chicago were all House music engineers or did jingles or R&B.