So, unfortunately I was listening to the local radio the other day while getting ready to hit the streets when I overheard an interesting topic about rap music. This particular radio station doesn’t play rap music at all, so why they chose to discuss the state of rap music boggles my mind. Basically, the radio hosts and guest speakers were ripping rap music a new one by saying stuff like “it’s damaging to the urban community” and “there’s too much negativity in the music today!” There main concern was about how much this music influences the kids of today and why there isn’t a balance. It’s fake, misogynistic, blah, blah, and blah. You’ve all heard this discussion before, right? Out of all the negative things that were stated throughout this conversation, the one that got me the most was the statement that “rappers never talk about love” in their lyrics. That statement got me to thinking about some of my favorite rap romance joints from back in the day. Even though I didn’t particularly care for the song personally, LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” shook up the rap world back in the 1980s. I don’t know if it was the first love rap song recorded, but I know it was the biggest as far as impact! That song put Ladies Love on the map with the ladies for sure, and was the true launching of his career. With that song LL made it cool for hardcore rap katz to have softer side.
Who says rap music doesn’t have any love dammit? Over the years of rap history there have been three albums that have in my opinion captured the essence of what romancing a woman rap style should sound like. First up is the almost BDK looking Father MC. The album "Father's Day" made folks pay attention. No matter what you thought about Father MC as a rapper, this dude made some pretty solid joints overall. Hell…with them boys from Jodeci providing most of his hooks I guess it wasn’t that difficult to achieve success. That joint “Treat Them Like They Want Be Treated” featuring Jodeci was Father’s biggest hit and it got heavy rotation on the radio and video stations. He had a few other bangers on that album like “I’ll Do For You” ~ “Tell Me Something Good” ~ “Dance 4 Me”…so if you missed this album for whatever reason, check it out and hear what you think.
Second on my list is Prince Markie Dee’s “Free” album! This was the joint that reinvented the Prince. He was no longer the Fat Boy from that lame “Disorderlies” movie smearing pizza sauce on his face for a laugh or the emcee that flowed easily over Buff’s original beat box rhythms standing next to Kool Rock Ski. PMD was now the smoothed out brother rapping about love, life and relationships. When I first saw this album back in the day, I was very skeptical of what it would sound like. I kopped it anyway on the strength of my love for the Fat Boys and I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard. The album definitely has a strong R&Bish type flavor that puts me in the mind of Big Bub/New Jack Swing vibe that was popular in the 1990s. Markie did his thing, but it was the hooks and background vocals that made this album flow to me. I still throw this joint on from time to time when the mood is right, and no matter when I play it atleast one person asks who’s that? Same goes for this joint if you missed it. Check it out if you and when you get the chance.
Last, but definitely not least is in my opinion the master of the catchy love raps Mr. Heavy D! This kat is one of the main reasons why rap music was fun and free back in the day. Heavy D has a strong catalog of hit tracks from his years in the business that have made him a household name amongst rap’s elite. His flow was major and with tracks like “Mr. Big Stuff” ~ “Now That We’ve Found Love” ~ “Is It Good To You” ~ “Got Me Waiting”…how could he be denied? He made those kinds of rap records that your mother liked, so he was cool all the way around. Definitely one of my favorite Heavy D albums to date is “Waterbed Hev” and that’s because it’s so soulful. Great old school samples and catchy hooks made this joint a classic in my CD book! If you are trying to get a party started put on that “Big Daddy” track and watch everyone’s head start bobbing back and forth. That beat is hypnotic like so many others present on this album. If you missed this joint shame on you, but it’s never too late to redeem yourself.
To bring this post to life, I am going to post this mixx I did a minute ago full of the tracks that shows hip-hop has and still talks about love. I call this one the “Hip-Hop Luv Mixtape (Side A).” Paying homage to those old 60/90 minutes cassette tapes from back in the day I have divided this mixx into two sides. I am posting SIDE A today and in the near future I will post SIDE B, which is the other half.
- Kay ft. Mint Condition - Walked On By
- Rakim - What's On Your Mind
- De La Soul - With Me
- ED O.G. - Let Me Tickle Your Fancy
- Little Brother ft. Lil' Wayne - Breakin' My Heart
- NORE ft. Chico DeBarge - The Way We Live
- Maspyke - Lightly Anxious
- DJ Quik - Thinkin' Bout U
- Bahamadia - I Confess
- Common - Star 69
- Chinah Blac - Touch Me With Ur Handz
- 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg - 21 Questions
- Little Shawn - I Made Love
- A Tribe Called Quest - Find A Way
- Encore ft. Ladybug Mecca - Real Talk
- Pancea - Katana
- Heavy D - Big Daddy
- Jean Grae - Love Song
- Mos Def - Beauty In The Dark