Tuesday, April 04, 2006

When Rappers get all mushy and shit.. Hip Hop Love Songs

Through the course of my 32 years on this planet I have learned some valuable lessons from Hip Hop that will stay with me forever. Q-Tip advised me of what Industry Rule "#4080" was, Kool G Rap vividly exposed me to the age old tradition of wiping ones bodily fluids on a woman's drapery, Biggie informed me to "stay low and keep firing" in case I was ever in the midst of a gun battle, and the hardest MC's showed me that it is OK to express yourself openly when it comes to love. I'm not talking about that "I'm in love with a stripper" shit either, where the crappy singer in question battles his affection for erotic dancers while dealing with stripper stench and glitter that comes along with a love of that magnitude. I'm talking about legitimate rhymesayers, men so secure with themselves that they have no problem discussing the various ways to detach your skull from your body on Side A, and their affection for the opposite sex on Side B. Here are a few of my favorites.

Slick Rick: "Teenage Love": Whenever I hear this song immediately I am zapped back to Kempsville High School "Quantum Leap" style during that 1988/89 year, where a day in the life of Humanity F Critic involved Hip Hop, an obsession with women, and chronic masturbation brought on by women that I lusted after who wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire.(Wow, how little things change) In Slick Rick's song "Teenage Love", he tackles what seems to be the the common motif in Hip Hop songs about issues of the heart, a once blooming relationship turning from sugar to shit. But this London born rapper goes deeper, really striking a cord with me with lines like "get back on your feet with a hop and a skip/ but no you'd rather go with this dead relationship", based on the many times I tried to beat a dead horse when I knew that the relationship I was in actually ended a long time ago.

Unfortunately, this song brings back some bad memories as well. Like the time that my best friend at the time named Ron, myself, and a chick that I had openly lusted over the whole year named Gloria went to Ron's house after a half day of exam taking. We had a great time, got high, watched cartoons, laughed about the monotony and minutia of high school life, a great time was had by all. Especially Ron and Gloria, who somehow made their way to Ron's bedroom where he knocked those boots from "here to Albuquerque", loudly I might add, with a girl who I had drawn pictures of in the English notebook because of the extreme crush that I had on her. I would have left, because her screams of pleasure melted my heart with each moan, but Ron lived far away, so laziness truped heartbreak that day. On the way home Ron and Gloria were silent, knowing that I was pissed because the guy who I told about my feelings for Gloria just penetrated her, and I don't mean mentally. To add insult to injury, "Teenage Love" came on Ron's car radio as he dropped me off, causing me to scream "You have got to be fucking kidding me!!!" in my driveway.(Video/)

**Extras: Notice how tight Slick Rick's mink coat is in the video..

Eric B and Rakim: "Mahogany": This is where I might need help from some of you real Hip Hop fans out there, because I'm not sure if this tune qualifies as a "love song" or a "lust song". Like I said before, regardless of how many tribute albums that Biggie and Tupac come out with, this man is the greatest MC of all time. That being said, when I first heard him go into detail describing his rendezvous with a woman who was either a one night stand or his future wife, he signalled to me that it was OK for a man to break down his innermost feelings. That booming Bass drum that wears you down like water torture, the crisp high hat that reminds you of a ticking clock, or the beautiful horn samples, it takes you to the "Palladium" where Rakim met the lady in question who he intended on getting "soft and warm" with. This might go over the heads of your garden variety "Laffy Taffy" enthusiast, or any miserable soul who has ever purchased a "Dem Franchize Boyz" album, but when Rakim says to the woman "Each moment's a mineral, poetry's protein/ Verse is a vitamin - Affects like Codeine" you knew that those pantie's were coming off that night.

But on a personal note, whenever I'm out on the town and having a deep conversation with a woman I just met, one who isn't after free drinks or has a primal need to tell me how much my "blog sucks", I tend to have this song playing in my head.(Audio)

*Quick Tip: Playing this song is the best way to figure out if your stereo system is worth a shit or not.

Gang Starr: "Love Sick": I love this song, not only because you can't do wrong with a DJ Premiere produced track, but because I can relate to the words Guru speaks in this song so much. As he describes a beautiful relationship running its course, due to his insensitivity and her jealousy, it is like the Gang Starr member was reading my personal diary. He also shows how heartbroken he is, knowing the relationship is ending and how he has to end it based on her antics, but he still loves her with all his heart.

For some reason, I don't know why, but this song reminds me of how I am the last meaningful boyfriend of all my ex's that are currently married. I swear, if I am thanked one more time for showing my ex's "what a true asshole is" or teaching them "what love is about", I think I'll go on a fucking killing spree.(Audio)

*Also check out "Ex to the Next"

LL Cool J: "I need Love": Full disclosure here: For the longest time, even until a few years ago, I thought that this was the corniest Hip Hop record ever to grace a DJ's turntables. But now that I'm older I feel that this was a rather ballsy choice for the man with the name James Todd Smith on his birth certificate. I have changed my position on this tune so much in fact that I plan to have this song be my wedding song when me and my wife walk down the aisle, with the lookers-on all wearing Kangol hats in the best B-Boy stance.

Not to hate on LL or anything, but unlike the other love songs that seem to be more of a purging of one's soul on wax, "I Need Love" seems like something he concocted just to get even more ass on those lonely nights when his tour bus stopped in some Podunk town in the late 80's. But I can't knock him though, as a guy who hasn't had steady ass since the Clinton administration, I am about to open up my heart in the name of Hip Hop as well. But the song is very useful when testing a woman that I am having feelings for, because if I quote LL by simply saying "Girl, listen to me .When I be sittin in my room all alone, staring at the wall fantasies, they go through my mind and..." and she doesn't get the reference, it's time to show her ass the fucking door.(Video)

*Notice the uber cheesiness of the video?
*Why can I hear the "I'm Bad" chorus scratching during the "I need love" chorus in my head.
* This is unrelated, but did it ever bother anyone that in the song "I'm Bad" the police dispatcher describes LL as a "Tall light-skinned brother with dimples"?? That has got to be the gayest dispatcher ever..


Pete Rock and C.L Smooth: "Lots of Lovin":(suggested by koranteng) When you hear this song, you immediately think that CL Smooth's lyrics totally embody what the ideal relationship would be. His admiration for his mate, the way he talks about looking at her in the morning, the various ways he wanted to express his love for her, and other romantic sentiments that could fill up a box of Hall mark cards, it sounds like a relationship that good could only be fiction.(Or that "good phase" of every relationship) But for a guy who has unsatisfied more women than a possible Mary J Blige Polka album, this song takes me to an imaginary place where I'm not such a fucking social leper.(Video/Audio)

A Tribe Called Quest: "Bonita Applebum":(suggested by Brother Omi) Probably one of the purest, most brutally honest declarations of a man's love for a woman ever put on wax. Ladies, for all the guys out there who claim they want to get to know you but is hiding behind the guise of being the "sincere guy", you can't beat a guy telling you that he digs your mind, your style, and that he admires your body to the point that he hopes to have you counting ceiling tiles later. Men beware though, even though I've seen this song get women all nostalgic to the point that clothes might be removed later, you really have to be careful what kind of women you are playing this for. Case in point, one night I had taken my date out for a very romantic night, eating fried chicken in a bad part of town, and power drinking until we drunkenly told each other what we would do with each other sexually.(Yep, I'm a romantic) Later on at the crib, I popped in "Bonita Applebum" to get her in the mood. When she said, "What in the fuck is that?? Put in some Avant!!" I knew I had to get rid of her ass. I mean, after I put in her Avant Cd and clumsily thrusted on top of her, THEN she had to go.(Audio)


August said...

Love this post, but I especially love your unrelated chatter at the end. It does bother me how totally uncool the dispatcher is. But in a similarly uncool fashion, LL shouts "YO GIMMIE DAT WALKIE TALKIE!" How hard can you be saying "Walkie Talkie"?

Miss your blog whenever I'm away.

Koranteng said...

You omitted Pete Rock and C.L Smooth's Lots of Lovin' but I'll let you off this time...

Oh well... back to lurking mode

GG said...

^Damn, how could I forget that one, Koranteng!!!

That was my jawn! That was the best love rap ever!

The Humanity Critic said...

Damn koranteng, you're right. That was a dope joint..

Brother OMi said...

dope post...
you forgot Bonita Applebum, even though much of it is about sex... i find that it is inspiring and makes me think of all the RBG sisters i dealt with (including my wife)

i agree with my man Koranteng with Lots of Lovin'

more recent, you forgot "brown skin lady" by Black Star.

also "black woman" by Jungle Brothers (which is really an ode to the sisters) and "Shakiyla" remix by Poor Righteous Teachers...

Anonymous said...

Humanity, I'm feeling this post.

@koranteng - Thanks for mentioning "Lot's of Lovin". I adore that song! "...a sweet serenade sippin lemonade..."

What about "All Night Long" by Scarface off of the original My Homies CD? I don't know if this song qualifies as a "love song" but I like it anyway...it's so sexy!!!

Oliviasmommi said...

I know that no one will know this reference, but this post reminds me of this horrible song that one of my ex's had on an album he made when he was in a group in High School. The group was called HCT (Hard Core Trinity) and most of the album was what you would expect from a group with such a name...except for the track entitled "Message in the Moonlight". I wish I could remember the lyrics because this song was hilarious. The only thing I can remember is a part about "laying you down on the bear skin rug..." priceless!

divine oasis said...

thanks for taking me back down memory lane. ah...the good ole days.

mahogany is a mixture of love and lust. she wanted agony agony agony in her body. who wouldn't love that? lol. i put that song in the same boat with "freaks of the industry" - digital underground.

Miz JJ said...

I love that LL song. It was cheesy, but good. And that dispatcher wasn't gay he could just appreciate a fine brother! Lol.

Ironman said...

Mahogany was incredible, but on the topic off Eric B. & Rakim, what do you feel about "What's On Your Mind?" That song I feel was very passionate.

I really do like the selection I probably would have said:

Eric B. & Rakim- What's On Your Mind
Gang Starr- Love Sick
Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Lots of Lovin'
BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously someone please appreciate me saying this. The ultimate love song by a rapper DEFIANTLY has got to be, and I doubt anyone will mention it, is:

Big Daddy Kane- The Day You're Mine

HC I know you look at these comments and I know that Long Live the Kane was one of your first albums that you got. So you defiantly should go back to that song and see what I'm talking about. Probably the best love poem turned into a song by a rapper, ever. I'll debate it too. What a song... what a post.

Anonymous said...

Hip Hop -- Love Song?

Undoubtedly an oxymoron -- lol.

(but ya know I'm kinda partial to ll's "i need love" ... sigh)

Amadeo said...

For my money the best at this genre was Black Thought...He took me through various phases, Silent Treatment, The Hypnotic (which is rumored to be about a girl I know...met through my peoples by the Baltimore Harbor), You Got Me, Break You Off...the brothers good.

GG said...

How could I have completely forgotten The Roots???

Good lookin' out, Amadeo!

Jdid said...

I can get with mohagony but "Whats on your mind" was the rakim love song that always moved me.

oh yea the shakilya remix that omi mentioned was the ish too

Terence said...

Ah... "I Need Love." I once made a CD for a female I was trying to woo w/ that track on there. In the liner notes I made for the CD I mentioned someting about how cheesy the lyrics are but even as bad as they are they're an accurate description of what I was feeling.

Yep. I hooked her. And after the breakup, haven't been able to get rid of her. Damn you LL, you're a little too good.

And bro, I've gotta agree w/ you, te dispatcher on "I'm Bad" is pretty queer.