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Hip-Hop Love Songs

by Ben Garfinkel

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the radio is drowned by sappy love songs. If that’s not really your style, here are some love songs that you probably won’t hear on the radio. Some rappers think they’re too hard to make a love song, but there are real Gs on this list like The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z who make such songs.

 Jay-Z & Beyonce, ’03 Bonnie and Clyde

beyonce

Produced by Kanye West, “’03 Bonnie and Clyde” samples the beat from Tupac’s “Me and My Girlfriend,” a song in which Tupac personifies his gun as a good girlfriend. In Jay-Z and Beyonce’s take on it, the song becomes romantic, taking on an “us against the world” mentality.

Chance the Rapper, “Everybody’s Something”

In this song, Chance explains that everybody is loved because everybody is somebody special to another person. In the chorus, Chance sings, “Everybody’s somebody’s everything.

1. Cole, “Power Trip”

This song is one extended metaphor. Throughout, J. Cole describes how he tried meekly to get the attention of the woman he was in love with, but was never successful. The metaphor is that the woman could be represent the hip hop game. Cole has said that hip-hop is his number one love in life.

 Kanye West, “Bound 2”

In this epic ballad, Kanye professes his love to Kim Kardashian. In the now iconic music video, the two can be seen intertwined on Yeezy’s dirt bike. The song’s chorus features the soulful vocals of R&B legend Charlie Wilson, who adds airiness to the song.

 The Roots and Erykah Badu, “You Got Me”

The Roots and Erykah Badu are both legends in hip hop and R&B, and their collaboration “You Got Me” won them a Grammy award. The song discusses the difficulties faced by a couple in a long distance relationship. In the chorus, Badu sings that it doesn’t matter who she spends time with or where she goes, at the end of the day she is loyal.

Drake, “Best I Ever Had”

One of the rapper’s breakout singles, this track features a combination of singing and rapping from the Toronto native. Drake laments a lost love in this song and dedicates the track to this unnamed woman in the song’s intro, saying, “This one’s for you.”

 Outkast and UGK, “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)”

Andre 3000 is preparing for his wedding and reflects on all the reasons he is ready to make the transition to monogamy. He describes how he had to text the girls he used to fool around with to tell them that he was choosing to be with one woman.

 Common, “The Light”

In this poignant track, Common explains why respecting women, and specifically the woman he loves, is so important. Common says he calls her his Queen and tries to avoid using derogatory terms like “bitch” and “boo” to describe his woman. Common acknowledges that sometimes it is difficult to be in a relationship, but that at the end of the day, it is worth it because of love.

The Notorious B.I.G., “Me and My Bitch”

Biggie reminisces about how he made it from the bottom to the top with the help of his girl, saying that she loved him the same when he was broke and when he was rich. Later, Biggie says that a reason he loves his woman is that if she catches him deceiving her, they’ll “lie together, cry together.” True love.

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