Common f/ Lauryn Hill “Retrospect For Life” (1997)

Album: One Day It’ll All Make Sense

Label: Relativity

No I.D.: “The funniest thing is, the song was a true story. It was weird because when the girl (who it was about) heard it, she spazzed out about it.

“My man James Poyser played the keys on it. There was actually another version without James, but we had him come in on the train to fix it up. Lauryn actually met James for the first time during this session, and he later went on to work with her on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill—so that record has a lot of musical significance. There’s a lot of stories about it.

“I always felt like Erykah [Badu] should’ve been on that one, and Lauryn should’ve been on the Roots record [One Day It’ll All Make Sense’s “All Night Long”]. But it worked out great.

“Common and Lauryn had a real cool relationship—she loved him as a rapper. She recorded this before Miseducation dropped so it was as big of a ‘deal’ to get her [Laughs.] The video was also Common’s first acting role. How ironic, right?”