Love can make us higher than Snoop Dogg on 4/20 and lower than Master Splinter living in the sewer; however, its outcome is an inescapable experience, and Hip Hop is no exception. There is no place on this planet where love cannot exist, from the walk-in-the-park spring love to the love of a favorite pizza. Below are the songs that gave us the soundtrack in rhyme and music through the journeys of love:
- (15) Lost Boyz. – Renee
Textbook rhyme storytelling of a love lost and how the streets don’t have love for nobody.
- (14) Brandy – I Wanna Be Down – remix
An underrated posse cut where the lady MCs are shooting their shot, making Brandy a guest on her song.
- (13) Drake – Best I Ever Had
Drake’s official Hello to the world, where he went from underground buzz to superstar. The repetitive “You the f**kin Best” praises make corny sound good, proving we all need side cheerleaders.
- (12) Kendrick Lamar Ft. Rihanna – Loyalty
Kendrick was the first MC at the time to have Rihanna sing more than just a hook. The twist sex appeal between KDot’s flow and RiRi’s harmonies blend so smoothly that their on-mic chemistry felt real. And who doesn’t respect loyalty?!!
- (11) Lil Kim – Crush on You
If you think crushes aren’t love, then it’s clear that you’ve always received coal in your stocking.
- (10) Wale Ft. Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb
One thing Wale does above most is making a great love song: it’s when he’s most focused rhyme-wise. His flow approach is as poetic and gentle as the flower in the song, while Miguel’s singing makes one want to hold hands with somebody quickly.
- (9) Erykah Badu ft. Common – Love of My Life
Erykah reminds us how the culture shaped our lives through the decades and how song captures the stages we grow through.
- (8) Biz Markie – Just a friend
Only the legendary The Clown Prince of Hip Hop can make a heartbreak story funny and relatable with a universal win-some-lose-some lesson.
- (7) The Fugees – Killing Me Softly
The classic breakbeat with L Boogie’s vocals made a timeless record that surpasses the original.
- (6) The Roots Ft Erykah Badu – You Got Me
The second Questlove’s drum hits and Erykah sings, one can’t help being emotionally drawn to every rhyme Black Thought delivers as he smoothly yet softly describes the struggles of long-distance love.
- (5) Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland – Dilemma
When Kelly sings “Nelly…I Love You,” we believe her.
- (4) The Pharcyde – Passin Me By
If having a crush is a borderline obsession, then a song by four MCs expressing their feelings for the girl next door may be a good example.
- (3) 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg – 21 Questions
50 Cent convinced everyone that Ja-Rule was garbage because he made too many love songs, then turned around and made one of the best Hip Hop long songs of all time. RIP Nate Dogg.
- (2) Method Man & Mary J Blige – All I Need
The original hood fairytale track that never gets old. Method Man’s star power shined outside Wu-tang, and Mary J Blige solidified herself as Hip Hop queen.
- (1) LL Cool J – I Need Love
This entire list could be LL tracks. Besides Love being in his actual name, I Need Love is the first Hip Hop ballad. The song went against what artists were making in that era, showing a vulnerable side to rap music and creating a blueprint for generations to follow.
Check the Hip Hop Love Songs playlist HERE for these songs and more.