Resurrection Common.jpeg
Studio album by Common Sense


October 4, 1994


July 1993 - March 1994


Mirror Image Studios
(Long Island, New York)
Battery Studios
(Chicago, Illinois)


Hip hop, Jazz rap, Hardcore hip hop, Alternative hip hop




Relativity Records


Peter Kang (exec.), No I.D., The Late Show's Ynot Never the Less

Common Sense chronology


Can I Borrow a Dollar? (1992)


One Day It'll All Make Sense (1997)

Resurrection is the second studio album by American rapper Common (then known as Common Sense). It was released on October 4, 1994, on Relativity Records. Recording sessions were mostly taken place at Mirror Image Studios in New York City and Battery Studios in Chicago from July 1993 to March 1994. After the critically and commercially unsuccessful performance of his debut, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Common adopted a new rhyming style, which he admits was heavily influenced by Nas' on Illmatic. Production of the album was handled entirely by No I.D. and Ynot, with both producers also making the only guest appearances.

Resurrection sold 2,000 copies in its first week and debuted at #179 on the Billboard 200.[1] Upon release, the album received critical acclaim, but not a significant amount of mainstream attention. The record was originally rated 3.5 mics in The Source, but it was later selected by the magazine as one of the 100 Best Albums. It was his last album released under the name Common Sense after a reggae band from California using the same name filed a legal case against him, forcing him to change his stage name to simply Common.

Background[edit | edit source]

Common was amongst the first Chicago artists to release a hip hop album. In the early 1990s, the only two hip hop scenes that were of prominence were the East Coast and West Coast, although Southern hip hop was beginning to make a name for itself. However, the Midwest (e.g. Detroit and Chicago) were almost completely ignored by the mainstream. Although his debut Can I Borrow a Dollar? spawned three popular singles that garnered significant airplay on BET and MTV, the album failed to make a commercial impact, selling only 2,000 copies.

"When you release your first album, you think, 'Man, I'm dope,' because all your friends telling you you dope," said Common in a 2011 interview. "Then, once the world gets to it and you don't see them going out to buy it, you're not the talk of hip-hop, your album is not the album that everybody's playing. Then you're like, 'I thought I had that!' Then you realize... it's like a wake-up call.'

While working on Resurrection, Common and No I.D. were heavily influenced by Nas' 1994 album Illmatic. No I.D. stated, "We'd felt the pressure of Illmatic coming out, and we were both like, 'Okay, it's time for us to step this up three or four notches'." Common was also inspired by the albums Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest and Buhloone Mindstate by De La Soul.

Recording and production[edit | edit source]

Resurrection was recorded at Mirror Image in Dix Hills, New York, and Battery Studios in Chicago. Eleven of the album's songs were produced by No I.D., and two were produced by Ynot. No I.D. believes that his heavier input on the album was due to his willingness to adjust his production to Common's preferences, whereas Ynot would be forceful with which songs should be used.

Most songs were created when No I.D. made a beat and Common wrote something to go with it. No I.D. was taught how to go crate-digging by The Beatnuts and Buckwild, and began experimenting with jazz records, instead of the predominantly house music records he had used on Can I Borrow a Dollar?.

Music and lyrics[edit | edit source]

The album is divided into two sections: the "east side of Stony" (tracks 1-7) and "west side of Stony" (tracks 8-15). Stony Island Avenue is a street that runs through the South Side of Chicago, where Common was raised.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

All songs written by L. Lynn.

No. Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Resurrection" Common No I.D. 3:47
2. "I Used to Love H.E.R." Common No I.D. 4:39
3. "Watermelon" Common No I.D. 2:39
4. "Book of Life" Common No I.D. 5:06
5. "In My Own World (Check the Method) Common, No I.D. No I.D. 3:32
6. "Another Wasted Nite With..." Common - 1:02
7. "Nuthin' to Do" Common No I.D. 5:20
8. "Communism" Common No I.D. 0:34
9. "WMOE" - No I.D. 0:34
10. "Thisisme" Common No I.D. 4:54
11. "Orange Pineapple Juice" Common No I.D. 3:28
12. "Chapter 13 (Rich Man Vs. Poor Man)" Common, The Late Show's Ynot Never the Less The Late Show's Ynot Never the Less 5:23
13. "Maintaining" Common No I.D. 3:49
14. "Sum Shit I Wrote" Common The Late Show's Ynot Never the Less 4:31
15. "Pop's Rap" Lonnie "Pops" Lynn No I.D. 3:22


Samples[edit | edit source]


I Used to Love H.E.R.

  • "The Changing World" by George Benson
  • "I'm Gonna Do You" by Jungle Brothers


Book of Life

  • "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" by Roy Ayers Ubiquity
  • "Stoop Rap" by Double Trouble

In My Own World (Check the Method)

  • "Las Vegas Tango" by Gary Burton
  • "But Not for Me" by Modern Jazz Quartet
  • "The Mixed Up Cup" by Clyde McPhatter
  • "Keep It Rollin'" by A Tribe Called Quest feat. Large Professor
  • "Get Off the Bandwagon (Remix)" by EPMD

Nuthin' to Do


  • "The Surest Things Can Change" by Freddie Hubbard
  • "Knocking 'Round the Zoo (1971 Version)" by James Taylor and The Flying Machine


  • "Capricorn" by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
  • "Get Out of My Life, Woman" by Wilmer and the Dukes


  • "The Power of Love" by Alton McClain & Destiny
  • "Momma Miss America" by Paul McCartney
  • "Build and Destroy" by Boogie Down Productions

​Orange Pineapple Juice

​Chapter 13 (Rich Man vs. Poor Man)


Sum Shit I Wrote

​Pop's Rap

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Engineer: Troy Hightower (track 1, 3, 5, 7, 9-14)
  • Engineer (recording): Stephen Georgiafandis (track 2, 4, 8)
  • Engineer (mixing): Troy Hightower (track 2, 4, 8)
  • Engineer (assistant): Mike Koch (track 1-5, 7-14), Chris Brickley (track 2, 4, 8)
  • Mastered by: Michael Sarsfield
  • Art Direction: David Bett
  • Photography: Chris Anda
  • Sleeve: allan wai
  • Project Coordination: Robin Frank
  • Clothing provided by: Tony's Sports (Chicago)

References[edit | edit source]

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