What I actually mean is .zip file because no one really makes mixtapes these days but that wouldn’t have sounded romantic and today, Valentine’s Day, we’re all about love and romance. Sure, it’s not an actual holiday – I mean, we don’t get the day off work nor do we get statutory pay. It’s just some commercialized, random holiday with just enough kitsch and camp to keep Instagram and Tumblr flowing with Valentine’s themed posts.
Today you’re either giddy and in love or questioning your entire existence because you’re not boo’d up. There are also people who are completely apathetic to this but I’m guessing they’re probably like that all year. Regardless of what your situation may be – as righteous and The Secret-esque this might sound – you are loved. And you have people to love. Your significant other, your friends, your family, your pets, your records and your gaming consoles. Whatever. Oh and the whole Bad Perm team loves in the way that an emotionally unavailable parent would because you read our work and validate our existence.
Peep some tracks that definitely need to make it onto a Valentine’s Day mixtape, regardless of who you’re giving it to. Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.
20) Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Latch
With lyrics like “Now I got you in my space/I won’t let go of you/ Got you shackled in my embrace/ I’m latching on to you,” who said Brits have a hard time expressing their emotions?
19) Carmen Ejogo, Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter – Hooked On Your Love
From the 2012 remake of Sparkle, this ultra sultry song got a really nice facelift.
18) Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
There’s something incredibly hypnotic and influential about Lana. Coupled with stunning visuals, don’t we all wish we could be beautiful and reckless? This one goes out to those who only know how to function in a dysfunctional relationship.
17) Erykah Badu – Honey
“So tell me Slim, what you tryin’ to do/ I’m trynna get me an interview/ Look for you all over town/ But you gave me the run around,” because if you’re not leaving me starved for attention, I probably don’t want you.
16) Isley Brothers – Between The Sheets
Biggie went on to sample the beat for Big Poppa which forever immortalized this track in hip hop, but I’m partial to the original. Somewhere in the world, a baby was just born.
15) 2pac – Keep Ya Head Up
Even though this Thug Angel has been known to drop a “bitch” or “hoe” or two, feminists everywhere can easily forgive that upon hearing this track which is uplifting for all the women out there.
14) LL Cool J – Doin’ It
Ok so this song is more about nasty sex than it is romantic love, sometimes you can have both and sometimes you only need one.
13) Aaliyah – One In A Million
Man, this song is just so flawless. It puts me in the mood and when it doesn’t it still leaves me with a sense of peace and serenity.
12) Ginuwine – Differences
Whenever they used to play this at my junior high dances, I’d always be the girl posted up on the wall since no boy asked me to dance. I still tear up to this day.
11) Sade – By Your Side
So sweet and soothing, only Sade can incite those feelings in the hearts of lovers everywhere.
10) Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
Whether it was your girlfriend or your mama, we’ve all shed tears for that special lady in our life.
9) The Roots ft. Erykah Badu – You Got Me
Erykah’s second appearance on this list, this track is the perfect combination of song and rhyme.
8) Outkast – SpottieOttieDopaliscious
An anthology of how Andre 3000 and Big Boi met their loves, this track is too real, exploring true love when the gloss of the raging hormones wears off.
7) Goodie Mob – Beautiful Skin
Southern Hospitality, love from some Southern gentlemen.
6) 112 ft. Biggie and Ma$e – Only You
Now this is a song you can really get down to in the clubs. Anything Big Poppa touches turns to gold.
5) J Dilla ft. Common and D’Angelo – So Far To Go
The instrumentals coupled with the lyrics are so beautiful and tender. I find this track to often be a hidden gem.
4) Dead Prez – Mind Sex
Speaking all kinds of truth, if you can’t connect mentally and spiritually, the physical is just an illusion.
3) The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By
No unrequited love, no inspiration.
2) Common – The Light
“If Heaven had a height you would be that tall” – we all want someone to see our GodLight like that.
1) Method Man and Mary J. Blige – All I Need
Probably the most eponymous love song in hip hop, the lyrics and the video are so real.