Valentine’s Day: Romantic Rap Songs You Need To Hear

Valentine’s Day: Romantic Rap Songs You Need To Hear

Contrary to popular belief, hip-hop isn’t all guns, money, flow and fat beats. It has a softer side that many outsiders (and those in the game) fail to recognise through the macho bravado that is so familiar to some. Trying to express how you really feel about the woman you love isn’t just for R&B and it’s a point many have proven over time. February is not just Black History Month but the month of love too (shoot me now), so I’ve put together a short list of the most romantic rap songs to help your awaken your inner Casanova. F.Y.I. thats not the name of a rapper kids.

  • DISCLAIMER: The following is list compiled by me, for you, based SOLELY ON MY OPINION. I know there are millions upon millions of songs out there and you may have a song or two that you feel qualify to be on this list, so I encourage you to mention them in the comments below. Just don’t be a hater.

LL Cool J – I Need Love (1987)

Artist: LL Cool J

Song: I Need Love

Album: Bigger and Deffer (1987)

The 80’s is still considered by many to be The Golden Age of hip-hop and I completely agree. What a time it was. The genre seemed to evolve faster than the commercial media could anticipate. Rap music had a rough edge and the rise of gangsta rap only enforced the hardcore image, which is why I Need Love was such an iconic rap song. LL Cool J broke out as a pioneer of pop rap with this tune that allowed even the most thuggish to express how they felt about that special someone.

Because…

LL talks about how he has come to the realisation that true love is missing in his life and he needs to change his playa ways to find the girl that he can share a life with. Yeah, that may seem pretty cheesy these days, plus a hundred and one songs like that have appeared throughout the years but back then you needed help from Mr. Smith to tell your lady how you really feel without being a sensitive R&B guy. The airy keyboard and simplistic, original Roland 808s make it an absolute classic as far hip-hop ballads go. Available on iTunes.

Favourite Line: “…You can scratch my back, we’ll get cozy and huddle/ I’ll lay down my jacket so you can walk over a puddle/…”

By Daniel Mayer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Roots ft. Erykah Badu – You Got Me (1999)

Artist: The Roots & Erykah Badu

Song: You Got Me

Album: Things Fall Apart

Before they became the house band for Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show (…something I still have mixed feelings about) The Roots were the iconic hip-hop band of the late 90s. This song helped their fourth studio album, Things Fall Apart, to catapult them to the mainstream and into the favour of critics, even going as far as winning them, and Erykah, the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Because…

In the song, Black Thought (lead vocalist/rapper) tells a story about meeting a girl while on tour and the complications that occur when trying to make a relationship like that work while being a working musician. What adds to the story is the female perspective provided by female rap icon, Eve, who was fairly unknown at the time and, unfortunately, does not make an appearance in the video or get any commercial credit. This was a surprise hit for the band, who believed the song catered to more of a ‘conscious’ audience but the chilled vibe complimented Erykah’s vocals so well that you couldn’t help but get lost in this songs soulfulness. Available on iTunes.

Favourite Line: “…So when you sweatin’ on stage think of me when you rhyme/ And don’t be listenin’ to your homies they be leavin you blind/…”

Black thought | How To Make Hip-Hop.com
By Scruffz at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0

50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg – 21 Questions (2003)


Artist: 50 Cent & Nate Dogg

Song: 21 Questions

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

I may not have been able to appreciate this song completely when it came out (I mean, I was only 12) but years later it’s still a great song, even more so with a hook sung by the late great Nate Dogg. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was the album that put the name ’50 Cent’ in every conversation about rap, from Montana to Mumbai! His impressive story of survival helped to paint the picture of life in the less favourable parts of New York City.

Because…

The video illustrates the song’s story perfectly. It begins with 50 Cent relaxed in his house (countin’ dat money!) when suddenly, the house is raided by SWAT and he is carted off to jail. On his way there, and while on the inside, he ponders the relationship he has with his girlfriend, played by (the absolutely stunning) Meagan Good, and whether or not she’ll be down to ride through all the trials that life has to offer. Having someone that’s there for you through thick and thin is a universal want and a feeling that we all hope to share. Available on iTunes.

Favourite Line: “…If I got locked up and sentenced to a quarter century/ Could I count on you to be there to support me mentally?/…”

50 Cent | How To Make Hip-Hop.com
By Alex Const – originally posted to Flickr as 50 cent, CC BY 2.0

Soulja Boy ft Sammie – Kiss Me Thru The Phone (2008)

Artist: Soulja Boy & Sammie

Song: Kiss Me Thru The Phone

Album: iSouljaBoyTellem

Now this one is definitely my personal favourite. Seriously, I don’t care what anybody else says, this my JAM! (use your best Shakespeare voice when you read) ‘Twas the last year or so of high school for me and bot does it make me think back to my lovestruck days of teenager-dom. You see, we didn’t have emojis back then and we actually had to make phone calls to our girls, so you best believe this was how we did it. Soulja Boy burst onto the scene with his 2007 smash, Crank Dat, and many didn’t see him lasting another year (including me) but after this track came out, I was singing a different tune.

Because…

In the video we see couple after couple pouting their lips and blowing kisses to each other over the phone (like the song says…of course). Even Soulja Boy appears in scenes making videos for his honey as he is unable to to be with her because of…rap stuff. In today’s world we’ve got things like Skype and FaceTime, so it may just be cheesy to some but for me it remains a classic of pop rap. If you need any more convincing, it eventually peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Available on iTunes.

Favourite Line: “…All that, everyday I need ya/ And everytime I see ya/ My feelings get deeper/…”

Soulja Boy | How To Make Hip-Hop.com
By Marshall Lee – http://www.flickr.com/photos/100099282@N04/9482810052/, CC BY 2.0

   Tory Lanez – Say it (2016)

Artist: Tory Lanez

Song: Say it

Album: I Told You

Even when I was doing research for this article, people that I spoke to didn’t agree with this last choice but really, I couldn’t leave it out (I’m listening to it as we speak). Tory Lanez got all of the industry’s attention with his 2014 mixtape, Lost Cause, and dominated R&B charts with this single. The Canadian born rapper proved that he’s not just a talented writer and rapper, but also a singer that can do more than just hold a note. It’s no wonder that he stands out with this ballad that features a sample of the song If You Love Me by Brownstone.

Because…

Tory talks about the honesty that’s required in relationships and being able to see peoples true intentions after he gets rejected by a girl that would later change her mind once she sees the foreign car that he drives. He speaks about being real from the start and never underestimating the love people will show towards you because they think you have money. That’s a fact that is emphasised in the video when the girl eventually leaves him at the end for someone ‘with more money’. R&B rappers aren’t as rare a deal as they used to be but Mr. Lanez is just something else altogether. Available on iTunes.

Favourite Line: “…Gots to break it down for you/ To let you know you notice things you know I’m down for/…”

Tory Lanez - How To Make Hip-Hip.com
By The Come Up Show, CC BY 2.0

Conclusion

Don’t feel stuck this Valentine’s Day. These songs are sure to come in handy so make sure you have them on your playlist. If you’ve got any songs you think would be great on this list then drop us a thought in the comments section below.

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18 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day: Romantic Rap Songs You Need To Hear

  1. Christian

    You know, hip hop is not much my cup of tea, but I find such an artistic and poetic expression in hip hop and R&B. Thanks for pointing these songs out. It’s nice to get a fresh musical perspective. A lot of these songs have a nostalgic affect on me because they were popular when I was in high school. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ryan

      Not a problem Christian.
      A lot of people don’t see through the hard exterior of rap but I think this month is the perfect time to shed some light on this.
      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  2. Matt's Mom

    I listened to all the songs, and I am stuck on the first song, I Need Love. I really like the words and the rhythm to it. What a way to a girl’s heart, playing one of these for her! This is a fantastic idea guys, you need to use a song like one of these 🙂 It would definitely make me happy! Great post, and great idea. I would really have never thought to find such a good song, and for it to be a rap song!

    1. Ryan

      I know right!

      That’s the thing, people only tend to see the hardcore nature of rap when there’s a softer side that still draws respect. There are many out there for people to discover.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  3. David

    Rap is not often associated with romance, so it’s a good idea to mix the two together! Concerning your song selection, I particularly like LL Cool J, one of the best rappers of all time to me (though I must say I’m far from being a rap specialist) and The Roots (moreover I love Erykah Badu!).

    1. Ryan

      Whadup David.

      That’s exactly why I wanted to write this article, especially now that it’s February. Right time to shed some light on the situation.

      Thanks for leaving your comment

  4. Hugo

    Great Valentine’s day romantic songs!!!
    For me The Roots are amazing making music and telling stories, the song “You got me” is a great song to listen to and dance with your soulmate!
    I also like Tory Lanez since 2014, he is a great singer with some very good songs!
    Thanks for this list of songs they are really romantic stuff!

    Hugo

    1. Ryan

      You’re right Hugo.

      That chilled vibe makes it a favourite of mine to listen to still to this day. I;m not a fan of a lot of new stuff so finding Tory Lanez was great for me too.

      It was a pleasure making his list, thanks for leaving your comment.

  5. Farhan

    This is a great post. I think the stereotype for hip-hop is that it’s all about sex, drugs and violence. Never would I have associated the word “romantic” with rap or hip-hop.

    This is new territory for me, and I’m glad you have made my journey into rap music that much easier. I’ll definitely listen to some of these music when I have the time.

    Great article!

    1. Ryan

      Nice to see you again Farhan.

      That’s exactly why I wanted to write this article, to show that hip-hop is like any genre and shares a balance between tender songs and the harder beats and rhymes.

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  6. Marley Dawkins

    There’s some real classics here Ryan great list of Valentines days love songs – When i first heard the Roots ft. Erykah Badu – You Got Me i was instantly into The Roots and started listening to more of their stuff.

    Personally i would have had Tupac Do for Love in my list, and my partner just said she would have had Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule Im real – i cant stand Ja Rule though lol.

    Anyway great post bro, keep the amazing work your doing!

    1. Ryan

      Bro! I swear I was so close to putting put a Ja Rule track but I also wasn’t too sure.

      If you’ve got anymore suggestions then please let me know. I may just put together another list soon.

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  7. Mitsu Fisher

    Great post. Well written and making a great point. Romantic hip hop songs for Valentines day. Thanks for curating the songs and listing them out so they are easy to see and play. And thanks for beating back a stereotype. Too many people think of hip hop music as being associated with violence. Much success to you.

    1. Ryan

      Hi, Mitsu.

      It’s a common misconception that I’m happy to break. I should definitely make another list soon.

      Thanks for leaving your comment

  8. Tony

    Hi Ryan,

    Wow! That is all I can say about your page. What a very creative idea! I love the song snippets. I would even try this if I new my wife liked hip hop (she’s more into country and pop).

    Keep up the great work. I think more aspiring artists and fans should would appreciate this post. Good luck!

    1. Ryan

      Whadup Tony.

      Hey, you never know what she might think until you play it for her. Its is, after all, that time of the year.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  9. Brandon

    Really good what you are doing here, bringing light to what is true rap isn’t always about guns, drugs and money. There is a soft side to it also, for instance take “j.cole’s folding cloths ” its a romantic song about him helping his pregnant wife and its in the rap genre. Awesome job by the way i love rap music and i only listen to the type with substance and truth like these.

    1. Ryan

      Whadup Brandon.

      That song is going to go down as an absolute classic and is definitely worthy of a mention. Anything I can do to contribute to the culture.

      Thanks for the comment.

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