In no particular order, I present to you my choices for hip-hop’s love songs for Valentines Day.
Common – The Light
Dear Erykah Badu,
I just want to thank you for having a positive effect on this fine specimen that God took time to create, Common. Whatever you did to him during the course of your relationship, Like Water for Chocolate, generated a beautiful love letter with the beat done by the late J. Dilla. Although you may know all of this, daps and hugs to you mama.
Granted we known each other for some time
It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine
Solid track. No more needs to be said. Next.
Pharoahe Monch – The Light
Off his, Internal Affairs album, Pharoahe Monch writes about the light which could be interpreted as “love” or being the woman he had just seen. He automatically thinks of ways he can approach her, and starts to daydream about what they could be doing together. From describing her physical beauty to “undressing in the back of a cab”. The simplicity of this track got to me, especially the chorus:
.. and I know you can see the light
Baby, once you, understand what
What you mean to me girl what you do no doubt check it out now
Now I know you can see the light
A fun fact: The Queens native, Pharoahe Monch went to high school with Havoc and Prodigy from Mobb Deep. Oh, and he ghostwrote for Diddy on Press Play.
Eric B. & Rakim – Mahogany
Taking the sample from Al Green’s, I’m Glad Your Mine, Mahogany is hip-hop lovers rock. Eric B. is one of the dopest producers and partnering with one of the greatest lyricist of all time, Rakim, they created a VERY dynamic duo.
Rakim takes us through his first date making it a cool track with sexy undertones. Reactions may vary but I know mine was “damn” and “yes please!” :
Caress your thoughts til we was thinking the same
Calm your nerves, massage your brain
Each moment’s a mineral, poetry’s protein
Verse is a vitamin, affects like codeine
If this track doesn’t break your hip-hop virginity on Valentine’s Day, then I don’t know what else will.
Talib Kweli ft Bilal – Talk to You
A sample taken from Eddie Kendricks, Can I, “Talk to You”, by Talib Kweli ft Bilal makes you want to be with your honey slow dancing. Or if you’re single, preparing a glass of wine and dreaming of that perfect partner. Na, but for real. This is the kind of song/poetry that gets through your brain and makes you want to snap your fingers if in a public setting. Bilal was the perfect voice to end up on the chorus.
When people try to rip us apart we got to work to stay together
Go through the seasons of love and never change with the weather
This is my wish list, what I want not what I need there’s a difference
These days I’m learning that words got power so I’mma be specific
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Lots of Lovin’
Word. I guarantee you, you will be dropping panties and boxers to this song if played on your Valentine’s Day song list.
You want to be treated like a queen, stroked like a kitten
Every night you’re the mitten I’m fittin’
Tease your lips with the tip of my tongue
And there’s no doubt about it, lady, I’m strung
I MEAN HELLO! CL Smooth didn’t get his nickname for no reason. He was/is articulate with his lyrics showing the sincere love between a man and a woman.
If I was around 21 back in 1992 I would let CL write a love letter to me. No doubt about that.
and out of all the girls, you’re the first on my list/ the only one now, and truly for life/
And out of all the girls, you’re the first on my list
The only one now, and truly for life
My fiance and future wife
Now you realize, you’re the one I’m thinking of
With lots of love
A Tribe Called Quest- Electric Relaxation
Q-Tip and Phife Dawg came off RAW on Electric Relaxation. I mean, “Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s (semens) furniture.” This may not be your typical lovey dovey, roses and chocolate Valentine’s Day track, but when a man wants a female, and wants her sexually? He’ll be blunt with it and get what he wants.
Honey, check it out, you got me mesmerized
With your black hair and fat-ass thighs
Street poetry is my everyday
But yo, I gotta stop when you trot my way
Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige – You’re All I Need (remix)
This remix right here?! Tical gave us one of hip-hops top collabos. Who wouldn’t want a woman to stay by their side when things are rough? Method Man keeps his thug persona but compliments it with sweet talk in the “You’re All I Need” remix. If you’re staying home with your significant other on Valentine’s Day make sure this joint is on your play list.
Back when I was nothin
You made a brother feel like he was somethin
That’s why I’m with you to this day boo no frontin
Even when the skies were gray
You would rub me on my back and say “Baby it’ll be okay”
Girl, who said thugs couldn’t get romantic for their honey? Off of his album, All Eyez On Me: Book 2, the late Tupac Shakur creates, “Heaven Ain’t Hard 2 Find”. His lyrics talk about meeting an attractive woman and reassures her that despite what she’s been hearing in the streets about him, he’s far from that “player”.
Are you afraid of a thug?
And have you ever made love?
With candles and bubbles sipping in your tub?
Touch me and let me activate your blood pressure
This thug passion
Dead Prez – Mind Sex
Mind Sex, off the album, Let’s Get Free, decides to get into the ladies mental core before the panties drop. I mean, not too many men do that. Having sex is now a handshake. No one dates. No one wants to know who you are first.
See, I ain’t got to get in your blouse
It’s your eye contact that be getting me aroused
When you show me your mind, it make me wanna show you mines
That verse deserves a tambourine shake and a black power fist. On the other hand, I would like to put in my order for a male around 6’5, brown complected, carries the qualities in “Mind Sex” with…okay, let me stop. This isn’t lavalife.com, BUT, they surely don’t make songs like this anymore.
Black Star- Brown Skin Lady
Mos Def and Talib Kweli made this song as if it were an anthem for brown skinned women. Recognizing women from the West Indies and the continent of Africa, telling them to be confident in who you are. I took a mental image when Talib rapped:
We’re not dealin with the European standard of beauty tonight
Turn off the TV and put the magazine away
In the mirror tell me what you see
See the evidence of divine presence
Nothing is sexier then when a real man appreciates your natural beauty. This song is definitely a break from my gender being called out as bitches and hoes. Instead, I’m reassured that wearing make-up doesn’t make me beautiful. The way I was born into this world is what’s beautiful to these two emcees. Thank you Black Star.