Way back in 2000, Common was interviewed by Kink FM. In the interview, Common talks about being called "Underground" and why he named his fourth studio album after the film "Like Water for Chocolate".
"In this movie, this young lady cooked these meals and she would make people feel her emotions through these meals she cooked. I felt that was symbolic to the way I create songs because I want people to feel the emotions of the songs."
Did you know "Nag Champa" from "Like Water for Chocolate" is one of a few rare occurrences in which Common's frequent collaborator, producer J Dilla takes on the role of singer?
In a 2006 interview with Fader, almost a year after J Dilla’s death, Common said:
"When I was working on Like Water for Chocolate I would go to Detroit like two to three times a month. When we would go to Jay Dee's basement we would always burn nag champa incense, that's where I got that title from. I was listening to Slum Village a lot, so I was influenced by them.
With 'Nag Champa' which was either the first or the second song for Like Water for Chocolate, we had it for a long time with no chorus. We kept trying but there wasn't nothing good coming out. I took T3 and them to the studio to work with me on the chorus; T3 started chanting something, he didn't finish, but he had a little idea. Jay Dee heard and started really singing it and got it together.
Jay had an incredible voice-he actually was going to do a singing album. We used to talk about that when he would stay in LA."