Rolling Stone - 1/4/01, p.106
Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2000.
Rolling Stone - 4/13/00, pp.127-83.5 stars out of 5
- "...The dance jams...bump like acne....Common has a need to kick something that means something....A hip-hop MC willing to actually examine himself through his art? There's nothing Common about about that."
Spin - 5/00, p.1558 out of 10
- "...His most aggressive and powerful record yet....[His] genius is that he's never more pop and playful than when he's worried, and vice versa....KRS-One's podium is open; maybe Common oughta step up."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/29/00, p.138Ranked #6
in EW's Top 10 Albums of 2000 - "...One helluva free-flowing album..."
Q - 5/00, pp.106-73 stars out of 5
- "...Decidedly arthouse....This is wholemeal hip hop: chewy and a wee bit bland but nutritious all the same."
Alternative Press - 5/00, p.823 out of 5
- "...A good introduction to Common....complex and versatile....[he] serves up bite-size tastes of each of his various skills..."
The Wire - 3/00, p.64
"...[His] fourth and best album..."
CMJ - 3/27/00, p.30
"...his most eclectic joint to date....fusing his gritty rap edge with bohemian, jazzy soul..."
The Source - 5/00, pp.211-24 mics out of 5
- "...Reflects a more worldly Common....creating full-fledged jazz, funk and soul songs....this LP unfolds in 2 acts. Act I stretching the boundaries of traditional hip-hop....Act II finds [him] on an emotional roller coaster..."
Rap Pages - 6/00, p.46
"...The most intelligent and organic album since OutKast's AQUEMINI....a masterful blend of soul/funk music and [his] lyrics of hope and mental and spiritual well-being."
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/00, p.105
"...May be the most user-friendly contribution so far to the wave of 'conscious' rap....an intriguing balance [of]...paying tribute to inspirational figures like Fela Kuti and Black Panther heroine Assata, while letting the sheer pleasure of word-play bubble through..."
NME (Magazine) - 4/8/00, p.368 out of 10
- "...Equal parts philosopher and documentarian....Common deftly illustrates the big picture. Like all great storytellers."
Personnel: Common (vocals); D'Angelo (vocals, keyboards, claves); Jay Dee (vocals, scratches); Lonnie "Pops" Lynn, MC Lyte, T3, Baatin, Vinia Mojica, Femi Kuti, James Yancey, Mos Def (vocals); Jeff Lee Johnson (guitar); Antonio Hart (flute); James Poyser (oboe, Fender Rhodes piano, harpsichord, organ, keyboards); Roy Hargrove, Dwight Adams (trumpet); John Paxton (trombone); Stephon Harris (vibraphone); ?estlove (bass, drums); Pino, Richie Goods (bass); Melena (congas); DJ Premier, Mista Sinista (turntables); Black Thought, Cee-Lo, Rahzel "The Godfather Of Noyze", Bilal, Monie Love, Jill Scott (background vocals).
Producers include: DJ Premier, Jay Dee, The Roots, James Poyser, Karriem Riggins.
Engineers include: Joe Pirrera, Todd Fairah, Kenyatta Saunders.
"The Light" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Composer: Larry Gold.
Personnel: T3 (vocals, hand claps); Femi Kuti, Vinia Mojica (vocals); Jef Lee Johnson (guitar); Antonio Hart (flute); Roy Hargrove (trumpet); D'Angelo (piano, keyboards, claves); James Poyser (organ, keyboards); ?uestlove (drums); Baatin (hand claps); DJ Premier, Jay Dee, Mista Sinista (scratches); Rahzel Brown, Bilal Oliver, Jill Scott, Monie Love, Black Thought (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Steve Mandel; ?uestlove; Russell Elevado; Bob Power.
Recording information: DAR; Electric Lady Studio, NY; Patchwerk Studio, Atlanta, GA; Studio A, Dearborn Heights, MI; Touch Of Jazz Studio, Phiadelph.
Photographer: Christian Lantry.
Considered by critics to be one of hip-hop's most skilled lyricists, Common has yet to receive the mainstream attention he deserves. But LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, his fourth album, is likely to change that. While positive lyrics and musical uniqueness have always been Common's forte, this MCA Records' debut presented feel-good hip-hop at a time when the genre's most successful artists were concerned with materialism and party-friendly production. Most of the beats on LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE are provided by Jaydee of the Ummah, a producer who helped shape the latter sound of A Tribe Called Quest. And while Common's strongest track, "The 6th Sense," was actually produced by DJ Premier, his TCQ-inspired sound on this album sheds new light on the prolific rapper.