Hip-hop Media training

Jay-Z ‘Used To Love H.E.R.’ Too

Hip-Hop Media Training

It's been a good minute since a rap song sent the massesabuzz. So props to Jay-Z for setting this one off with "Death Of Auto-Tune."


People can't stop talking about the track released last weekthat slams the computer enhanced hip-hop vocals currently dominating thecharts. We've all been complaining, saying that the genre full of copy catemcees is lacking originality. Auto-Tune forerunner T-Pain even dissed unnamedand unauthorized adopters of his style on last year's comedic "Karaoke."

Jay-Z rhymes that people are "T-Pain'ing" too much and addsthat he has had enough of hip-hop's ringtone obsessed era.

Apparently, T-Pain doesn't take offense to Jigga's brashcriticism that portrays Auto-Tune as the downfall of hip-hop. Jay-Z received anunannounced visit from Pain during his own surprise visit to Hot 97's SummerJam concert Sunday in New York.In the midst of performing his instant classic, Pain walked onto the stage andstood alongside Jay as he rapped.

While I'm glad to know T-Pain's reaction, I'm way moreinterested in Common's opinion about the song.

"Death Of Auto-Tune" feels a lot in spirit like Common's "IUsed To Love H.E.R." In 1994, Common wasn't infuriated with Teddy Riley and hisall encompassing synthesized New Jack movement, but he did have a strongopinion about gangsta rap and the influence it was having on the art form.

Much like Jay-Z blames Auto-Tune for ruining hip-hop on"Death Of Auto-Tune," Common took the contributions from hardcore thug rhymesto task. Common cleverly wrote "I Used To Love H.E.R." as if he were referringto an ex-girlfriend, though h.e.r. was actually a metaphor for hip-hop. H.e.r.was an acronym for hip-hop in its essence is real.

In the song Common made sure to include the line "I wasn'tsalty she was with the boys from the hood," hoping to avoid any conflicts withWest Coast artists like Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube, whose controversialsound had taken over mainstream rap. But Ice Cube, W.C., and Mack 10 under theWestside Connection moniker took offense and ignited a lyrical beef with Commonjust as the East Coast verses West Coast feud ensued.

So far, Jay-Z's backlash will be tame compared to whatCommon experienced. Twitter complaints from Jim Jones and Webstar haven'tsparked too much talk.

I just wonder if Jay has cited Common's "I Used To LoveH.E.R." as an inspiration.

There's no way Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R." was not amotivator for "Death Of Auto-Tune."

"I Used To Love H.E.R." and "Death Of Auto-Tune" were even bothproduced by Chicagobeat maker No I.D.


You can't tell me that the "I Used To Love H.E.R." topic didnot come up during the making of the track.

It's like Jay-Z had another Black Album "Moment Of Clarity."

I had to rewind it the first time I heard Jay rhyme it:

If skills sold, truth be told
I'd probably be lyrically, Talib Kweli
Truthfully, I want to rhyme like Common Sense
But I did five mil', I ain't been rhymin' like Common since

I guess we have Auto-Tune to thank.

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