Celebrating its 16th anniversary today is Like Water For Chocolate, the fourth album from acclaimed Chicago emcee Common (formerly known as Common Sense), who turned 44 earlier this month. This is one of the best albums in the man's catalog, and the first of three to achieve gold status. LWFC is soaked and dripping with soul, produced beautifully by members of the Soulquarians, a neo-soul/hip hop production collective including D'Angelo, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (The Roots), keyboardist James Poyser, and (perhaps most notably) the late, great J Dilla, among others. "The 6th Sense" (the album's lead single), however, is a banger laced by the one and only DJ Premier, and one of my personal all-time favorite productions from the man. "The Light" (the album's second single) is simply one of the greatest hip hop love songs of all time (and also one of the most memorable sample flips ever; the original source is Bobby Caldwell's equally smooth blue-eyed soul ballad "Open Your Eyes"), while Common continues to flex his storytelling skills on "Payback Is A Grandmother" (recalling the "Stolen Moments" tracks from his previous album, 1997's One Day It'll All Make Sense), pays tribute to former Black Panther Assata Shakur (who has resided in Cuba under political asylum since 1984) on the Cee-Lo-assisted "A Song For Assata" and offers some trademark introspection and self-reflection on "Nag Champa (Afrodisiac For The World)" (featuring some rare and lovely singing vocals from none other than J Dilla himself). Mos Def duets with Common on "The Questions", while legendary femcee MC Lyte spits game back and forth with the Chicagoan on the metaphorical "A Film Called (Pimp)". Additionally, the original pressing of this album includes the buttery "Geto Heaven Part Two" (featuring D'Angelo), while later versions replace the song with a remix featuring Macy Gray; the latter would be released as the album's third single. Slum Village, Bilal, Jill Scott, and others also lend their talents to this wonderfully soulful project alongside Common's unique voice and super lyrical abilities, ultimately resulting in a consistent, hearty and healthy plate of food for your soul (and ears!).