With The Video Breakdown Of “The Light” For Hip-Hop 50, Common Travels Down Memory Lane

With The Video Breakdown Of "The Light" For Hip-Hop 50, Common Travels Down Memory Lane

Common has spoken candidly about the creation of his well-known song “The Light” and its accompanying music video, describing it as “one of the greatest” things he’s ever been a part of.

As part of a unique selection of films honoring the 50th anniversary of hip hop, the Chicago MC is the most recent artist to be included in the ongoing VEVO Footnotes series. Common’s thoughts are displayed as on-screen notes in the 2000 music video, which also features the rapper’s then-girlfriend Erykah Badu, giving the series its name.

He begins by stating that the song originated with J. Dilla’s vision from a purely musical perspective.

“Sonically, I give all the respect, honor and credit to J Dilla because he produced the music,” the Footnotes read. “It was a sample from a beautiful Bobby Caldwell song called ‘Open Your Eyes.’ Dilla played me the beat he made for it, and I was like ‘Yo, this is incredible.’”

The roots of the song’s iconic final phrase, which many fans have pondered over the years, are revealed by Common as his notes continue to flash over the screen.

“I hadn’t finished the song yet, and I was laying the vocals,” he writes, “and that’s why I ended up saying ‘Digga-da, digga-da, digga-da, digga-digga-da-da, Yo’ I tell you the rest when I see you.’ Later I came up with a line for that part, but I tried to re-record it at least 20 times and it was never better than that take.”

The conclusion of the song has been discussed over the years, but Common claimed that the reaction he’s received regarding a different part of the Like Water For Chocolate song has made him feel the most proud.

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