I dislike 97% of all love songs. In fact, if I ever get married, I already have a LONG sheet of songs that are banned from my wedding playlist. Miss me with all that Whitney and Celine shit. Nothing says “love” like some boom bap coming from your speakers. Peep 5 of my favourite hip hop love songs below:
Moment of silence, everyone. I’d like to take this time to thank Queen Erykah Badu for strong-arming Common with the Power U back in the day. Without Ms. Badu and her voodoo drawers, we might never have had this song.
With stirring words over a soulful, feel-good beat by none other than J. Dilla, “The Light” has all the makings of a classic love song. Set up as a love letter, Common spills his heart to his true love in rhyme. So many quotables in this track. Fellas everywhere should take note:
“You know I ain’t the type to walk around with matching shirts/if relationship is effort I will match your work”.
“I never call you my bitch, or even my boo/there’s so much in a name and so much more to you”.
Or my very favourite:
“if heaven had a height, you would be that tall”.
Game for days! No wonder we love Common so much!
This song is a definite panty soaker. While most songs are about smackin’ it, flippin’ it and rubbin’ it down, “Mind Sex” focuses on all of the good stuff that comes before that. This sultry track is all about stimulating the mind and basking in the feverish anticipation that precedes sex. It’s about intimacy and connecting with your lover on a level that soars way beyond the physical. *Sigh*. They just don’t make love songs like this any more!
“Making love is just as much mental/I like to know what I’m getting into”
This song was a gem on an otherwise crappy album. Here, Jay-Z explores love’s many forms. In verse one, we meet a young couple who love each other but, in a Romeo and Juliet type of scenario, can’t be together. Due to family politics, and the differences in their respective worlds, our narrator tries to convince his beloved to let him go and find someone better. Nothing says love more than wanting someone to be happy, even if it’s with someone else. In verse two, Jay-Z examines the breakdown of a relationship when parenthood is thrown into the mix too soon. Rather than focusing on the happy, mushy side of relationships, Jay-Z breaks down what a relationship is like when the love is there, but reality starts throwing curveballs at it. Brilliant!
Verse three talks about love and regret between a mother and son. While Jay-Z covers this well, there is a song that captures this relationship more eloquently. Check out number 2…
2) 2Pac “Dear Mama”
There is nothing quite like the bond between a parent and child. Even in the worst of times, despite the most evil of deeds, the love between parent and child is often unshakeable. With simple, honest lyrics, 2Pac’s “Dear Mama” is about a grown man looking at his mother with reverent eyes. As children, oftentimes we look at our parents with a simple and selfish perspective: “aw, mom dukes took away the ps3? Worst mom ever”.
But as we grow and become adults, we understand the method to our parent’s madness:
“I finally understand, for a woman it ain’t easy trying to raise a man”
“and even though I act crazy/I gotta thank the Lord that you made me”
“and I appreciate how you raised me/and all the extra love that you gave me”
“Dear Mama” is by far one of the most sincere and touching love songs ever written.
Thug. Love. Classic.
The beat on both the original and RZA’s “Razor Sharp” remix are hard, sweet and slightly eerie, capturing exactly what it feels like to be in love for the long haul. Sonically, both beats describe the beautiful ugliness of love that mushy power ballads don’t talk about. While not nearly as hard-hitting as, say, “Me and my Bitch”; this song is still an edgy, sober look at relationships:
“you don’t need a ring to be my wife/just be there for me”
“Valentine cards and birthday wishes? Please. We’re on another level of planning; of understanding”
“we’re above all that romance crap…just show your love”
This song is all about stripping away the superficial nonsense and proving your love with your actions. Roughing it out. Risking life and limb to get your woman some “girly thang-thangs”. (Haha). How refreshing. With all the songs out there focusing on fluffy, hollow symbols of love, Meth and Mary chose a different route and kept things really real.
So there you have it, folks. When a hip hop head falls in love, there are other ways to express it besides crying about it somewhere in Marvin’s Room. Dig around your music collection and see for yourself!