I’ve always been a huge fan of love. I tweet about it all the time. The idea of a man and woman being destined for each other is beautiful. The idea of someone choosing to be with one person for the rest of their lives and no longer trying to keep multiple women (or men) is dope.
I just love, love.
Love inspires. It inspires people to write, to sing, to be the best they can be because they are no longer trying to just better their life. They want to be able to better the life of the ones they love. They want a future with them.
As I mentioned one of my favorite things about love is its ability to inspire creativity. Especially in one of my favorite genre’s of music hip hop. If hip hop love songs was a genre it would be my favorite. Growing up my brothers would play music all the time but I always found myself falling in love with rappers who spoke on love (this explains my very unexplainable crush on Method Man).
So in honor of love, my family, and everything good about hip hop love songs here’s my top 12 (because everything’s 12) list of hip hop love songs. Also this list is in no order so don’t mind the numbers or order.
1. Song Cry by Jay-Z
My oldest brother has always been a fan of Jay-Z and I’m pretty sure this was the first song I heard of his. I still can’t listen to this song without getting a little emotional. It was written about Jay-Z’s ex girlfriend of 5 years who he couldn’t stay faithful to. It’s a rather heartbreaking song but it’s still about love. So it makes it to the list.
They say you can’t turn a bad girl good
But once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever..
I’ll mourn forever, shit
2. White Dress by Kanye West
I actually just discovered this song recently. How I’ve managed to miss out on this is beyond me but it easily makes it on my list. The subtleness of the background vocals and the instrumentals are just amazing! I’m pretty sure this is being played sometime on my wedding day.
And told her even though I met you in a club in a tight dress
At first sight I can picture you in a white dress
30 foot train, diamond from Lorraine
Just to make up for all the years and the pain
3. Come Close by Common ft Mary J. Blige
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like this song. If you can find me a reason why it shouldn’t be on this list please let me know! Not only is this song amazing but the video is just as perfect. Maybe I’m just emotional but I actually tear up when Common asks her to marry him at the end. How can you not tear up? Like I said this song is obnoxiously perfect.
You help me to discover me
I just want you to put trust in me
I kind of laugh when you cuss at me
The aftermath is you touching me
4. I’ll Be There For You/ You’re all I need to get by Method Man ft Mary J. Blige
I should I explain this or should we all just agree that this is a classic? That this might be the best hip hop love song of all time? Better yet one of the best love songs of all time? Ok, the last might be a bit of an exaggeration. You get what I’m saying though. Method Man and Mary J. Blige were a match made in heaven on this track. Need I say more?
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
5. 21 Questions by 50 cent ft Nate Dogg
I’m pretty sure this was the first hip hop song I memorized all the words to. I used to giggle like a little kid because I felt like 50 cent was singing to me. 50 cent is pure gold and this song is perfect for the list. Not to mention Nate Dogg is on the track and I absolutely adore basically anything with Nate Dogg.
If I was with some other chick and someone happened to see?
And when you asked me about it I said it wasn’t me
Would you believe me? Or up and leave me?
6. You Got Me by The Roots ft Erykah Badu
I feel like I keep repeating myself because I have said multiple times how perfect the songs on this list are but they all really are. Any song with the queen on it is going to be amazing. Plus when have The Roots ever made a bad song? One of my favorite things about this track is that I could turn it on right now and instantly get happy. That’s the effect you want music to have on you. You want to be able to smile when you hear a track. You want to be able to reminisce or think about a particular person/moment. This song does that for me. It brings me back to my childhood when life was easy and music was smooth.
She said she know this ball player and he think I’m pretty
Psych, I’m playin boo, you know it’s just wit you I’m stayin boo
And when cats be poppin game I don’t hear what they sayin boo
When you out there in the world, I’m still your girl
7. The Book of Soul by Ab-Soul
THE SADDEST SONG I’VE EVER HEARD. The listener can feel Ab-Soul’s pain throughout the whole song. It hurts. He loved her and we know it. We know it from beginning to end. That’s all anyone could ever want someone to love them. Of course the way the song plays out isn’t exactly the happiest. So if you haven’t heard it I’m not going to spoil it for you. Just prepare to grab some tissues if you’re as sensitive as me.
We eventually got cool
But I was nobody
You was the hottest hottie in the school
But the world to me
Not saying that cause I’m your dude
I’m glad I got to watch the woman that you blossomed too
8. The Break Up Song by Wale
I fell in love with Wale because of this song and music video. One the video is based off of 500 Days of Summer one of my favorite films ever. I relate to Summer. I am Summer. I first heard it in 2011 when I spent most of the Summer traveling the East Coast visiting family. I’ve been listening to Wale since Nike Boots I just fell in love with him because of this song that I was super late to getting hip to. It’s a song about love and heartbreak and letting go.
Heard that you alright though
My nigga for life though
It’s funny how this life go
We love for a while then a light goes
9. Never Been In Love by Talib Kweli ft Just Blaze
Despite Talib being notorious for rapping off beat I still think he is one of the best MC’s alive. The Beautiful Struggle is one of my favorite albums so of course I had to include my favorite track off of it. The old school vibe from the video also solidifies its spot on my list. If any and I mean ANY guy started rapping to me like this when trying to pick me up I’d probably get weak in the knees and marry him on spot.
Now baby tell what’s it gonna take to prove that I love you
When I’m gone you be missing me too
It let me know that my prayers is the music God be listening to
10. Eye Know by De La Soul
I don’t think I should have to justify De La Soul being on my list. Just listen to the song. I can’t even put into words why this song is so important for hip hop, love and everything else.
My destiny of love is brought to an apex
Sex is a mere molecule
In this world of love that I have for you
11. Paris, Tokyo by Lupe Fiasco
I couldn’t convince myself not to have this song on the list Paris, Tokyo is my second favorite track on the album. Only second to Little Weapon because of it’s message. Paris, Tokyo is a track that you could cruize around town listening to while your girlfriend eats a McFlurry in the passenger seat.
I really missed you, each and every night I kissed ya
In my dreams fore I went to sleep to lala land to count them sheep
12. Pullin Me Back by Chingy Feat. Tyrese
Last but not least this song by Chingy. Yes…Chingy because this song is a classic and you can’t tell me otherwise. As if this wasn’t every on and off again relationships anthem. This song single handedly made me feel that all my middle school crushes were supposed to be my future husband. Obviously they weren’t and I never dated any of them but still this song made me think otherwise when I was 11. The combination of Tyrese’s smooth vocals on the hook are just perfect. I’m pretty sure a guy could cheat on me show up to my door playing this song and I’d take him back (not really but you get where I’m going with this).
Even though I’m on the road doing shows,
I make time for me and her, relationship to grow
They tell me don’t trust a woman in this industry
But she not any woman, more like a sacred friend to me
Honorable Mentions (Basically just more songs because I wanted to stick with a top 12)
The Longest Text Message by Donald Glover
I love him so he couldn’t actually get on the list. It would have been entirely too biased. However, he can get an honorable mention because this song is dope beyond words.
You know I’m fine with getting fucked by girls who are my friends.
You fucked me in that different way. I guess it all depends.
Texting on my day off. “Hey babe, what’s going on?
Sorry I can’t make it out.” Sad face, emoticon.
First Time by Jaden Smith
Actually Jaden Smith has a couple of really cute love songs. I think he’s extremely underrated as an MC and should probably be taken a bit more serious. Yes, he sounds like a kid on the track but honestly it’s not bad. I’m sure eventually he’ll come out with something I can put an actual list but until then he can settle for an honorable mention.
Girl this love hurts
And you were my first
And deep down inside I hope you’re my last one
I just hope that we’re ok when all of this cash comes
I could go in on each one of these songs. Like how White Dress helped me through a rough night recently, how The Break Up song is one of my favorite songs of all time (mainly because of the reference to 500 days of Summer) or how for some odd reason Chingy managed to make it to this list. Listen and see if you agree with my list of classics and personal favorites.