Common’s “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” Bangs On 20 Years Later

I travel in a couple of Hip Hop circles with varied taste when it comes to the music. Every time Common drops a new album, we tend to debate where his latest falls the pecking order of his best to worst. 

Sometimes Im left stunned at the fact that not a lot of people have ever heard One Day Itll All Make Sense in its entirety. Some havent heard the album at all! Thats acid to my ears because I this classic is now celebrating 20 years of dopeness.

Commons third album, in my opinion, is still the best in his catalog. Thats high praise and absolutely debatable, but this was a turning point in a career that found the Chicago emcee maturing on a number of levels. 

Most might say the Kanye West assisted Be is his best because of the comeback story it represented, coming off the disappointing Electric Circus. Dropping the Sense from his name and providing an introspective retrospect for his life, laced with dope beats and bars, earned him a certified classic in my eyes. 

“One Day Itll All Make Sense” was released on September 30th 1997. I personally had zero anticipation for the album at the time. I wasnt the biggest Common fan back then. His flow always sounded off beat to me, like a Spoken Word artist rambling over a beat. No hate, dont come for me Spoken Word stans. Seriously, I just didnt dig his style enough to invest in a entire album.

I liked his classic single I Used To Love H.E.R, but that was the past. But his new single, Reminding Me (Of Sef) peaked my interest. 

Common – Reminding Me (Of Sef) [Explicit]

From 1997 Album: “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”….. Common’s Myspace: Get Common’s Music: & Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. (born March 13, 1972), better known by his stage name Common (previously Common Sense), is an American actor and rapper. Common debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar?

Produced by Ynot, the lead single samples Patrice Rushens R&B classic Remind Me. Thats a record that Ive always loved and Commons lyrics and flow were perfect over that track.

I want to open my mental window, hoping youll climb in. Common, Introspective

I was attending Morgan State University back in 200. I used to have this routine of buying a new album that I wasnt checking for but wanted to give it a listen on my bus trips from NYC back to Baltimore. It was my way of supporting the culture and giving something different a try. This time it was Common. 

And I was locked in immediately. Introspective found him preparing the listener for a journey through his thoughts, or mental window as he put it. It was the perfect introduction for the albums content, and weary listeners like me.

The first song Invocation was boom bap for the heads, a.k.a. the real hip-hop fans. 

Common – Invocation

One day itll all make sense 09 – 30 – 1997

Common flows with a grace over that track. He didnt sound off beat to me anymore. His flow felt more like poetry in motion. Though that track was dope, it was something that I expected to hear from him.  It would only take a track or two later before the unexpected happened.

Retrospect for Life is one of Commons greatest songs in my opinion. It features Lauryn Hill singing the hook, which is borrowed from Stevie Wonders tune Never Dreamed Youd Leave In Summer. Its not the feature or the production that makes the record special, its the fact that this man is speaking directly to his aborted baby. Its beyond powerful.

Common feat. Lauryn Hill – Retrospect for Life

Music Video

Another example of this albums dopeness is the three-part story Stolen Moments. Its a tale of Common coming home from tour and finding that his place had been broken into. The story is laid out over three separate tracks with parts one and two playing back to back, and part three serving as the final song on the album. Its a hood mystery and, without spoiling the ending, it plays out like any classic misdirection and is truly a dope story.

One Common theme on his albums was that hed have his father record a skit called Popss Rap. The first time I heard his father say, Im feeling like I wanna kick Jesse Jacksons ass, I busted out laughing on the bus. Besides jokes, Pops always had old school game that he gave us listeners via his poetry. Commons father has passed away since then but I consider him an important part of Hip Hop lore. Rest In Peace Lonnie Pops Lynn. 

Common – All Night Long


With numerous guest appearances from Erykah Badu, to De La Soul, to a prime Canibus, as well as a variety of producers, “One Day Itll All Make Sense” is still my favorite Common album. 

If for nothing else, its the moment in which this Hip Hop game made perfect sense to a growing emcee. This album showed his range and lyrical diversity. 

If you consider yourself a fan of the genre, this album is required listening. Word!

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