Like Water for Chocolate is the fourth studio album by American hip hop rapper Common, released March 28, 2000 on MCA Records. It was a considerable critical and commercial breakthrough for Common, receiving generally favorable reviews from major magazine publications and selling 70,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified Gold on August 11, 2000 by the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 748,000 copies by March 2005. The video for "The Light" was frequently shown on MTV, adding to Common's exposure. The album also formally marked the formation of the Soulquarians, a collective composed of ?uestlove (of The Roots), Jay Dee (formerly of Slum Village), keyboardist James Poyser, soul artist D'Angelo and bassist Pino Palladino, among numerous other collaborators. This group of musicians would also be featured on Common's next album, Electric Circus.
The album's cover photo, 1956 Alabama by Gordon Parks, is a photo of a young black woman in Alabama, dressed for church, and drinking from a "Colored Only" drinking fountain.
The title Like Water for Chocolate comes from the 1989 Laura Esquivel novel Like Water for Chocolate, which was adapted into a movie in 1992. The phrase "Like water for chocolate" is of Spanish origin (translated, como agua para chocolate). In many Latin American countries, hot chocolate is made with water rather than milk. The phrase refers to someone who has reached their boiling point, like water ready to be used to make chocolate. In an interview with Combustible the Poet, Common compared the main character, Tita de la Garza's passion for food with his passion for music:
"Actually the album is named after a movie of the same title. In the movie the main character was a really good cook. She would always be cooking for people. Whenever she would cook, she would really put a lot of emotion into it. So when people would eat her cooking, they were able to feel the same emotions she felt while cooking it. You feel me? So this is the same thing. I put all my heart, my mind and my rawness into these tracks. So I hope that people can feel that when they listen to the album."
Another popular interpretation of the album title ties in the phrase with the image on the cover of the album. Using the word 'chocolate' to symbolise people of dark skin color and the words 'like water' to describe the racially provocative concept of providing drinking water of the exact same likeness for two different races alludes to the famous image and the themes of race that are found within the lyrical content of the album.
Album descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.