Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Decadent Divas

"Ambition is priceless, It's something that's in your veins, And I put that on my name," Wale couldn't have said it better. Joyce and Belinda could testify to that.

With ambition plus the hustling bug flowing through their veins, between their day jobs, the two female hustlers co-own Decadent Divas; a up and coming fashion label that makes custom clothing for women (sorry gents). The company also specializes in Marketing and PR of Events.

Belinda works for a marketing communications company while Joyce wakes up to a 9-5 in the IT industry for an IT company called Pathways and lecture in an IT programme called Sharepoint and doubling up as their sales & marketing lady. That's not all, she co-host a radio show called the The Ryde Reloaded on Rhythm100 internet radio - (eat your hearts out haters/slackers).

Under Decadent Divas - the two hustlers helped organize Trey Day and partnered on hosting the Glen 21 Entertainments Birthday party. The beautiful ladies are the brand ambassador for a club called club Icon.

With every passing day, Decadent Divas is growing each every day.

Indeed hustling is in their veins.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

25 Heart Felt Tracks

From the cradle to the grave, one thing that is sure taught to a mankind by society is that tears aren't his friend at all and expressing his emotions becomes a bitter pill to swallow. Some are free and some have found ways to communicate their sadness - like poets. Musicians as well have been pouring out their hearts for years and years - not just in heartbreaks but almost every topic at hand. But only a few musicians have penned some great teary tracks or mastered the art of telling their pain and painting a picture, making one sit down and go damn I'm going through the same thing. 

We at Hustle On Your Grind have compiled the 25 best tracks that when the beat blast out in the booth like a runaway slave - emotions poured out like freedom, salvation. A sigh‚ a glad to get that off my chest sort of moment.  

#25 M.I - Money

The Naija wordsmith highlights an issue that affects us all - money. Straying from the debate if it buys happiness or not - that fact is - its a key asset in today's life and if you worked hard but do not see the results‚ the below has crossed your mind.

Qoute: Money slow to Enter/Money Quick to Go

#24 H20 - Sheleng (Cent)

Another track expressing the sadness of being broke - this time from a South African rap duo H20.

Quote in translation: I'm trying to hustle some cents/you know how it is/I know I'm annoying/I Know you don't work cos of me/but help me out when I'm good/I'll look after you.

#23 D12 - Good Die Young

D12 is not new to tragedy, before Big Proof - the Eminem led group lost a member of their crew, Bugz. The Detroit rappers take turns expressing their feelings over the loss - sad.

Quote: I came back on that tragic day, my phone rung/And Bizarres voice telling me, Bugz was gone home/It was like a knife piercing my chest and I couldn't breath
I didn't wanna accept it, didn't wanna believe it/I swear with this weight dawg, I cried so hard.

#22 Beanie Sigel - Remember Them Days

Quote: Ever since that day I met Jay, man, I knew my pain was over/They let me in this game it's over/Mom, I know I put you through hell, but now I'm gonna order you heaven.

#21 Richie Rich - Do G's Get To Go To Heaven

The comes a time when one does wrong and wonders if that will have an impact on entering the pearly gates. Can we take it all back…sure if it was possible but such if life we live with the consequences.

Quote: And If I Took A Life Are Perhaps Sold Some Dope Would You Discriminate/On My Arrival To Tha Gate? I Need To Know My Fate, Now My Life Ain't /Str8 But Look At Were I Live Its So So Crooked, I Didn't Shot That Man/But I Watched Him Die And Saw Tha Pain And Struggle In His Eye, And Didn't Cry So/When I Hear Tha Thunder Are You Takin Me Under? Are Is My Seeing As Bad/As Tha Gooder

#19 HHP - Darfur

Touched by the tragedy in Darfur - Hip Hip Pantsula's heart filled with pain, bledding out with sadness and pours out his feelings on pen and pad before the booth.

Quote: Your situation is pain to us all/we will not back down and allow the fueling of the war/we will fight like before/for the freedom of Darfur

#18 Eve - Love Is Blind

Domestic violence, damn it's nasty. Before Hollywood Eve, the Ruff Ryder's former first lady opened our eyes to the dangers of physical abuse.

Quote: She told me she would leave you, I admit it she did/But came back, made up a lie about you missing your kids/Sweet kisses, baby ain't even know she was your mistress/Had to deal with fist fights and phone calls from your bitches/Floss like you possess her.

#17 Wale - Shades

Born from Nigerians parents Wale struggled to fit inn and worse being dark made him feel even less of himself.

Quote: I felt the lighter they was the better that they life is/So I resented them and they resented me/Cheated on light-skinned Dominique when we was seventeen/I figured I'd hurt her, she'd evidently hurt me, and all women who had light features.

#16 Dr Dre - The Message

One of the father's of gangster rap has a heart too. The tragedy death of his brother forced the Compton born produce/rapper to open the pain flood gates and let us know he was human too - that the loss hurt him.

Quote: I done been through all emotions, from in shock, to keepin a poker face/to straight breakin down and showin all emotions/I'm anxious to believe in real G's don't cry/If that's the truth, then I'm realizin I ain't no gangsta/It's just not me, but you know I'ma always ride wit you/I miss you, sometimes I wish I just died wit you

#15 Ja Rule - Daddy's Little Girl

We are living in a wonder of a world but at times it can be cruel. We wish we could shield those we love from all the nasty things - like I said, we wish.

Quote: Daddy's little baby, must learn this world is shady/And the color of your skin don't make you less of a lady/Degrade yourself, never cuz I'm teaching you better

#14 Ice Prince - Find You

There's no sadness like losing a parent but when it's both of them…tragedy.

Quote: I feel lost in this world/since you left me in this place with your girls/and i heard you are in a better place/no hurts, no pains/just diamonds and pearls.

#13 T.I - Live In The Sky

We are born to die - it's simple as that but when a loved one departs, feels like we lose part of us.

Quote: If niggas only knew the kind of time I was facing/I tried to keep to myself but/Sometime I couldn't take it/Got 4 kids with smiles on they faces/Mean more to me than my crown and my bracelet/Take that away from me and my life is butt naked.

#12 Common - Retrospect For Life

Right or wrong what does one do in a situation when bills are pilling up, life's hard beyond saying and there's an unplanned pregnancy? Tough decision to make and like said right or wrong - who are we to judge. The Chicago born MC couldn't bring a child into this world and asked his girlfriend at the time to abort.

Quote: I'm sorry for takin your first breath, first step, and first cry/But I wasn't prepared mentally nor financially/Havin a child shouldn't have to bring out the man in me/Plus I wanted you to be raised within a family.

#11 Rick Ross

I wont say much…i think Rozah says it all.

Quote: I Did Some Things In The Past If I Cud Lord I Will Help you Bring 'Em Back Please Lord I Feel Pain Man/It Ain't 'Cause I can't Speak That's why I Get So Many Songs I can't Sleep On It/Tattoos for/forgiveness/I Might Not Get But forgive Me/I'm Here

#10 Eminem - Rock Bottom

Bills, bills, bills - pilling up and your peanuts paying job ain't helping.

Quote: Minimum wage got my adrenaline caged/Full of venom and rage/Especially when I'm engaged/And my daughter's down to her last diaper/That's got my ass hyper/I pray that god answers, maybe I'll ask nicer

#9 Plies

If you from the hood, you will wonder - why wasn't I a child of a doctor, a lawyer or scientist?

Quote: I asked God why he didn't bless me with a silver spoon/Cause if he did I'd never have to be a goon/If he gon' change my family, I hope he change it soon/I'm tired of answerin' my phone hearin' bad news

#8 Jay Z - Moment Of Clarity

A case of a father walking out on his seed.

Quote: When Pop died/Didn't cry/Didn't know him that well/Between him doing Heroine/And me doing Crack sales/With that in the egg shell/Standing at the tabernacle/Rather the church/Pretending to be hurt/Wouldn't work/So a smirk was all on my face/Like damn that mans face was just like my face/So pop I forgive you.

#7 Ace Hood - Stressin

Bills, bloody bills… sigh! Yeah damn bills

Quote: Dear lord if hear my prayer...I'm stressed n i can't go on/it's like i'm all out of blessings lord/I'm alone n nobody to call I got bills but da money cant solve/mama cryin' but her tears jest fall.

#6 J Cole - Breakdown

Another man leaves his child behind - If your father walked out on you, in the mist of anger - do you ever think why did he leave? Jermaine broke down.

Quote: I feel like you barely know me/And that's a shame cause our last name is the same/That blood type flowing through our veins is the same/My mama left you and it may be that anger's to blame/But that's no excuse, only you and God know the truth/And why you only call monthly, barely ever saw me.

#5 DMX - Slippin

A father walks out, a mother becomes abusive and an alcoholic, don't we know someone like that? Dark Man X expresses the hardship of being a man when he wasn't even ready.

Quote: They put me in a situation forcin' me to be a man? When I was just learnin' to stand without a helpin' hand?/Damn, was it my fault, somethin' I did/To make a father leave his first kid at 7 doin' my first bid?

#4 Game - Start From Scratch

Not to speak for everyone but I'm pretty sure there's a situations or incident - even a moment in life that we would bring back in a blink of an eye.

Quote: I'd give my own life if I could change God's mind/Bring baby luny back at the drop of a dime/He let off a whole k/Got shot 1 time/That was a cool nigga I wish he had 9 lives/My brother devon died coz he chased the cat/This a dog eat dog world Jesus please holla back/I got a confession to make its called payback/If y'all don't wanna listen show me where pastor Mase at.

#3 K'naan - People Like Me

What's more to say about the struggles of Africa? - not looking for pity or turning all political but when it rains hardcore issues genocides, civil wars, starvation, water crisis and not to mention the continuing reign of racism - damn even you will see why the Canadian based African rapper wonders if heaven can provide salvation?

Quote: Heaven, is there a chance that you could come down and open doors to hurting people like me

#2 Tupac - So Many Tears

If I had visions of my death - honestly I'd be scared but can't begin to imagine how Pac felt.

Quote: I'm havin visions/of leavin here in a hearse, God can you feel me?/Take me away from all the pressure, and all the pain/Show me some happiness again, I'm goin blind/I spend my time in this cell, ain't livin well/I know my destiny is Hell, where did I fail?

#1 Ghostface - All that I got is you

There's pain that some people just suppress and lock away for ages but that's not the case with the Wu veteran on this track. He touches on a situation in his life that many would have wanted to remain in that dark room and never see the light, a situation that sadly even today many are still going through.

Quote: Sugar water was our thing, every meal was no thrill/ In the summer, free lunch held us down like steel/And there was days I had to go to Tex house with a note/Stating "Gloria can I borrow some food I'm dead broke"/So embarrasin I couldn't stand to knock on they door/My friends might be laughin, I spent stamps in stores/ Mommy where's the toilet paper, use the newspaper.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Looks Like Dre's Taking A Break

Detox this, Detox that - is the album ever coming out - well judging from what Dr Dre has just announced...don't hold your breath.

After almost three decades of non-stop contributions to music, producer/rapper Dr. Dre says he’s finally ready for a break from music. Dr. Dre revealed the news during an interview with The Fader.

Dr. Dre explained that when he’s done working with Kendrick Lamar and Slim Da Mobster he’ll be ready for a break which will consist of spending more time with his family.

“These are the next two artists I’m working on, Slim Da Mobster and Kendrick Lamar. I think that’s when I’m gonna just wrap it up for a minute because I’ve been working on music for 27 years now and the longest I’ve ever been out of the studio in 27 years has been two weeks,” Dr. Dre explained. “So yea I feel like I’m gonna take a little bit of a break. I’m never gonna stop music, it’s like air to me. So I’mma take a little bit of a break. Enjoy some time with the family til I get that itch to get back in.”

Aside from working on music Dr. Dre has contributed heavily to the Beats By Dre line of headphones and says they won’t stop until they’ve become second only to Apple.

“I’m shocked myself as to how well they’re doing. We’re gonna keep new and exciting product coming. We’re trying to eventually be second to Apple. And I don’t think that’s a bad position,” said Dr. Dre. “We’re really trying to take over everything with a speaker. And also microphones. We’re gonna get involved in that also.”

There were no mentions of a Detox release during Dr. Dre’s interview with The Fader.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hip-Hop Stars Who Died Too Soon

When you born, one thing is promised - no its not poverty or the riches, not heartbreak or joy… but death. We are introduced to the world and little things start to matter, people start having effects on us and with - some, we grow attached and create some sort of bond. We grow to like popular figures be it because of their movies or music - then one fateful day on the radio, internet or television - reports that so and so died. With shock you can't believe that s/he is gone - you feel like you knew that person, that s/he's gone to soon. Here's some artists that left the land of the living to soon but left a huge impact.



Left Eye

Lisa Lopez' career was cut short by a car accident in Honduras on April 22, 2002. She was the only fatality of eight people involved in the car crash. Left Eye had traveled to Honduras to document a 30-day spiritual retreat with friends and family. She was 30-years old when she died.


Eazy E

As a member of the NWA and later ruthless' CEO, Eazy paved the way for the west coast gangster rap. He died on March 26, 1995 of AIDS related diseases. He was 31 when he passed.



Nate Dogg

After years of deteriorating health, the LBC native passed away at the age of 41 on March 16, 2011 due to complications from multiple strokes. He will best remembered for the hooks to the chart-topping hits like Warren G's "Regulate," Dre and Snoop's "The Next Episode," and Ludacris' "Area Codes".



Big L
On February 15 , 1999 Big L was shot seven times in the head and chest and killed, he was 24 years old.


Ol' Dirty Bastard

ODB was no stranger to the wild side. The Wu-Tang Clan co-founder died unexpectedly on Nov. 13, 2004 two days shy of his 36th birthday. Toxicology tests showed that he died of an accidental drug overdose from a fatal cocktail of cocaine and prescription painkillers.


Proof

Better Known as Eminem's best friend and member of the Detroit rap outfit D12, Proof was shot to death in the early morning hours of April 11, 2006, on his hometown's infamous Eight Mile Road. He was 32 years when he died.


Big Pun

Struggling with weight problems during his lifetime, Pun died on February 7, 2000 after a fatal heart attack, he was 28.


The Notorious B.I.G

Born Christopher Wallace, the Brooklyn born MCleft an enormous influence on the music scene after his murder at the age of 24. Biggie had just one album under his belt at the time of his death eerily titled Ready to Die.


Tupac Shakur

The Cali adopted son was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 7, 1996 at the age of 25.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

2011 Channel O Music Video Awards Frozen Moments

Ghana’s Dancehall artist Samini
Liquid Deep
Theo
Naeto C
Banky W
Ice Prince
Lira
Zakes Bantwini

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Hip-Hop Loses An Icon

Emcee-turned-actor Heavy D born Dwight Myers has been reported dead at 44 years of age. TMZ.com reports that Heavy D was found unconscious near the entrance to his Beverly Hills, California home and rushed to the hospital. Details are still emerging regarding the longtime Uptown Records rapper's cause of death, however peers and loved ones including rapper-turned-deejay/photographer D-Nice and author/activist dream hampton have publicly mourned the rapper's loss just moments ago.

The Jamaican-born emcee was leader of Heavy D & The Boyz, a late 1980s Hip Hop group which released five albums, all on the Uptown label. The group included G-Whiz, DJ Eddie F., and the late "Trouble" T. Roy, who helped inspire Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)." Between 1987 and 1994, Heavy D & The Boyz worked with the likes of Notorious B.I.G., DJ Premier, Marley Marl and longtime affiliate and fellow Mount Vernon native Pete Rock.

As a solo artist, Heavy D remained close with Uptown Records executive Sean "Diddy" Combs and the mogul's Bad Boy Records imprint, despite never releasing a Bad Boy album. Recently, Heavy D released Grammy-nominated Reggae album Vibes on the Stride label in 2008. Previously, D had released Waterbed Hev in 1997 and a self-titled 1999 album.

The group performed the title track to FOX's In Living Color show, and appeared on the program. As an actor, Heavy D would appear in films such as Life.

At the time of his death, Heavy D was at work on an album called Love Opus, set to feature Anthony Hamilton and Carl Thomas.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Ladies & Gentleman - ICU

The game needed saving so ICU stepped inn and encourages you to become part of the Intensive Care Experience.

Founded in 2009 ICU is truly one of a kind. Complied of five dynamic young men all hailing from the continent of Africa. These up and comers have a lot on their plate; busy writing, producing, singing, rapping, performing, and dancing, all while maintaining their grades at the University of Johannesburg. Group members Marc, Edgar, Guy, Ken and Keith, are between the ages of 18 and 22.

Although a fresh face, ICU. is not your typical Hip-Hop/R & B group, their music stretches across all genre‟s and borders. In their up and coming debut Mixtape "Last Friday" dropped in October 2011, no two tracks are alike, as their motto is "Without experimentation redundancy will always prosper.”

The sound of ICU. both unique and rich in diversity is guaranteed to capture the international masses. Showcasing not only their lyrical rapping skills, you will find this group mesmerizing you with their sultry R & B vocals, rhythmic House tunes, and mind blowing Hip-Hop beats. These guys are born entertainers, full of energy, charm, and undoubtedly raw talent. ICU is a breath of fresh air to music generated in South Africa and in just a matter of time will reach legendary status as musicians.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Drake track listing



Take Care Tracklist:

1. “Over My Dead Body”
2. “Shot for Me”
3. “Headlines”
4. “Crew Love” feat. The Weekend
5. “Take Care” feat. Rihanna
6. “Marvin’s Room” / “Buried Alive Interlude”
7. “Under Ground Kings”
8. “We’ll Be Fine”
9. “Make Me Proud” feat. Nicki Minaj
10. “Lord Knows” feat. Rick Ross
11. “Cameras” / “Good Ones Go Interlude”
12. “Doing It Wrong”
13. “The Real Her” feat. Lil Wayne & AndrĂ© 3000
14. “HYFR (Hell Ya Fu**in’ Right)” feat. Lil Wayne
15. “Look What You’ve Done”
16. “Practice”
17. “The Ride”
Bonus
18. “Hate Sleeping Alone”
19. “Untitled” feat. Lil Wayne

Friday, 21 October 2011

The 25 Greatest Hip-Hop Love Songs

When you mention hip-hop - love never comes up unless it's the love for the genre but rap music has penned some great love james that a hustler might bang in his ride and not seem soft.

Since LL Cool J hit pop radio with "I Need Love" 23 years ago, a steady stream of MCs have tried their hand at the ellusive "love song." And from thug-love anthems to sensitive bohemian odes, a handful have actually done it well. Thanks to Complex for bring this to our attention and countdown of our favorite love-themed raps.


#25: Fabolous f/ Ne-Yo "Make Me Better"

Verse: "You plus me, it equal better math/Your boy a good look, but she my better half/I'm already bossin, already flossin/But why have the cake if it ain't got that sweet frosting?"

Comment: Loso's had a string of decent R&B-fused love songs, but his 2007 duet stands out as a favorite with both genders. Fab gives credit to his better half over a moody Raekwon sample while Ne-Yo almost makes us think he's not corny. Almost.


#24: LL Cool J f/Boyz II Men "Hey Lover"

Verse: "I wonder one day could it be, simple dreams turnin into reality/Our love would come down so naturally/we would walk down the isle of destiny"

Comment: Nothing like listening to this jam when you want a girl of your dreams and she's with a dude you don't even like.


#23: Ma$e f/ Total "What You Want"

Verse: "In a year or two, girl, I could see you with my kids/Girl, you make a thug want to get a legal gig/It's only right we spend our lonely nights/Gettin' crazy biz till we awake the kids."

Comment: Released as the second single from his debut Harlem World, this is the Good Pastor's ode to the that special lady he's taking out the hood. Whatever you need girlfriend, he's got the whole enchilada!


#22: Black Star "Brown Skin Lady"

 Verse: "Your skin's the inspiration for cocoa butter/You provoke a brother, we should get to know one another." -Talib Kweli

Comment: Oooh! Mos and Talib combined forces to form Black Star and create this easy-going tribute to women coming from the continent. As everyone knows, the ladies can't resist Mos Def's faux-tois.


#21: De La Soul "Eye Know"

Verse: "It's I again and the song that I send/Is taking steps to reach your heart/Any moment you feel alone/I can fill up your empty part"

Comment: The trio from LI dealt with flower power, getting high, and even the joy of love on their 3 Feet High and Rising debut.


#20: Slick Rick "Teenage Love"


Verse: "Ya mighty proud while your holdin their hand/Boys, yea that's my woman, and girls, yeah that's my man"

Comment: Slick Rick's classic warns the young guns about the dangers of your first love and drops knowledge about protecting your heart. Best part of this record? Seeing the Ruler perform this live and hearing the wayyyyy past teenage crowd reminisce.


#19: Drake "Best I Ever Had"

Verse: "Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin' with no make-up on/That's when you're the prettiest, I hope that you don't take it wrong."

Comment: This single off So Far Gone helped Drizzy Drake smash the airwaves and assured he'd have no problem "smashin' em allllll" if he wanted.


18: Pete Rock & CL Smooth f/ Vinia Mojica "Searching"

Verse: "You're everything that I dream about, talk about/Walk around and brag about, cause I don't give a damn about/What they say, what he say, or she say/I'm addicted like drugs to your loving, but hey/You got me strung like I'm young and it's crazy"

Comment: How could a girl record from a dude with the last name Smooth not be on point? CL spits about admiring a woman from afar then begins to spit game at her over an Roy Ayers sample and some trademark Pete Rock breaks. The duo released a number of love songs—including the singles "Lots of Lovin'" and "I Got A Love"—but this lesser-known track stands the test of time best.


#17: DMX "How's It's Goin' Down"
Verse: "Kill for me, you still with me/'Cuz we get down like what/Told you from the start, it ain't all about a nutt/I'm gon' be fair, try to be there."

Comment: Earl gets sentimental on this track off It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, showcasing a more sensitive side that surely gave Def Jam executives a boner. He didn't get all Ralph Tresvant "Sensitivity" on us—he does mention sending her up the block with his work and murking homegirl's baby's father. But hey, it's the Dark Man—this is as close as he's gonna get.


#16: Goodie Mob "Beautiful Skin"

Verse: "You sparks my interest/No m'aam I don't know you/Just offerin the common respect I feel I owe you/Also, some conversation, companionship/Common ground and common sense"

Comment: When not talking about conspiracy theories and receiving cell therapy the Goodie Mob boys were into some good ol' fashioned TLC like the rest of us. This heartfelt tribute to their "sister, lover, and friend" was definitely a highlight of their second album Still Standing.


#15: Ja Rule f/ Vita "Put It On Me"

Verse: "Since we met it's been you and I/A tear for a tear, baby eye for an eye/And you know that my heart goin cry/If you leave me lonely/Cause you're not just my love, you're my homie."

Comment: It's easy to hate on Ja, but if there's one thing he does well, it's writing a fuckin' love song. His thug love formula produced a string of huge hits, but none were better than this quintessential early '00s banger. Every thug needs a ladaaaaaaaay!


#14: Boogiemonsters "Honey Dips in Gotham"


Verse: "Ebony rose from the Earth getting darker in the sun/Cocoa-mocha complexion brown sugar with the smile"

Comment: Over a sunny-day Isley Brothers sample, this forgotten mid-'90s rap group dropped this memorable song dedicated to all the Asiatic dragon-flies swarming around NYC. This is the ultimate summer-love-in-the-city anthem.


#13: Talib Kweli f/Les Nubians "Love Language"


Verse: "If you with me then you love how I do it/If my heart you're livin' in your ocean I'm swimmin' in/Never drowning got me floatin' watching you in slow motion/Love potion overdosin approachin/The explosion of my senses everyday without your heart/is like a sentence in jail/Trust I'll always be mentally free"

Comment: Talib at his prime with his first solo album riding with DJ Hi-Tek - need I say more.


#12: Snoop Dogg f/ Pharrell "Beautiful"
Verse: "Keep groovin', that's what we doin'/And we gon' be together until your moms move in... "

Comment: This 2003 hit proved even the big boss dogg can go soft from time-to-time. Of course, the video featuring Brazilian beauties had everyone hard. A classic Neptunes beat, Pharrell and Charlie Wilson made this something "really speciallllll."


#11: Eric B. & Rakim "Mahogany"

 Verse: "You got the look, I wanna get to know ya better/I had to let her know, but yo, I didn't sweat her"

Comment: The God gets romantic on this surprisingly smoothed-out song from Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em that tells the story of courting a special chick who "almost looked Korean...but European?"


#10: Common "The Light"

Verse: "It's important, we communicate/and tune the fate of this union, to the right pitch/I never call you my bitch or even my boo/There's so much in a name and so much more in you"

Comment: Of course he loves H.E.R., but Common has made his fair share of notable love songs since he's been in the game. From the warm-but-chilled-out J Dilla production to lines about communication, "The Light" is what every lady wants to hear. He must be doing something right if he bagged Serena.


#9: Lil Wayne "Receipt"

 Verse: "I'm at home or in the coupe or in the office/Or the streets or in the booth, thinkin bout you/And, most of the girls that come by are cute/And they try to holla but they all on mute"

Comment: Weezy let go off his M.O.B. mantra and got sentimental on this standout from Tha Carter II. Clever lines and a Isley Brothers sample wailing "I've got to hold on to my receipt" made this tribute to then-girlfriend Trina an unexpectedly honest moment for the Martian MC.


#8: 50 Cent f/ Nate Dogg "21 Questions"

Verse: "I love you like a fat kid loves cake"

Comment: This is an instant classic off the quotable alone. 50 wonders if his girl would be down if he went from classy back to ashy. Oh, and he takes the time to bang Meagan Good when she comes to visit him in prison in the video. That's real class right there.


#7: The Notorious B.I.G "Me & My Bitch"

Verse:  "And then we lie together, cry together/I swear to God I hope we fuckin die together"

Comment: Classic sentimental storytelling from the best of the best...as long as you can overlook the pause-worthy hyperbole "You look so good/ I suck on your daddy's dick". No chick is that bad!

#6: The Roots f/ Jill Scott "You Got Me"

Verse: "Startin buildin' with her constantly round the clock/Now she in my world like hip-hop."

Comment: The Legendary Roots crew linked with Jill Scott for this track, but got cut for Erykah Badu for the video version. If you're ever at a party/show/function and don't bag the neo-soul style chick in the room while this is playing—consider yourself a lame.


#5: LL Cool J "I Need Love"

Verse: "You can scratch my back, we'll get cozy and huddle/I'll lay down my jacket so you can walk over a puddle/I'll give you a rose, pull out your chair before we eat/kiss you on the cheek and say ooh girl you're so sweet"

Comment: A young LL showed us where he got his name from, creating what's considered the OG of all rap ballads. After keeping it true school with his first album Radio, this single of his second LP explored a more sensual sound which helped him throw more platinum plaques on walls, posters on girls' walls, and probably get in between some more walls too. Cheesy? Yes. But this wildly-influential track forever altered the direction of rap.


#4: Lost Boyz "Renee" 

Verse: "And now we been together for weeks/Candlelight dinner with my shorty, crack a 40 with my naughty freaks/Ah man, I never been in love/But everytime I'm burstin' in and outta state, it's shorty that I'm thinking of"

Comment: Ghetto love is the law that Mr. Cheeks lives by in this tragic story of love lost. Follow Cheeks through his brief (but intense) relationship with a weed-smoking dime who wants to be a lawyer (in other words, shorty studies law).


#3: A Tribe Called Quest "Bonita Applebum"

Verse: "I like to tell you things some brothas don't/If only you can see through your elaborate eyes/Only you and me hon, the love never dies"

Comment: This influential cut coming from ATCQ's debut People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the perfect marriage between beats, rhymes, and lazy Q-Tip flows. Not bad for your first time.


#2: The Pharcyde "Passin' Me By"

Verse: "And if I was your man then I would be true/The only lying I would do is in the bed with you"

Comment: This track from Cali's free-spirts reinforced everything we already know—The Pharcyde make classic records, indie rappers don't get girls, and students in CA have the hots for their teachers. The boys might not have gotten any play from the ladies, but they did from the radio, scoring them their biggest hit and providing the ultimate soundtrack to unrequited love.


#1: Method Man f/ Mary J. Blige "All I Need/I'll Be There For You"

Verse: "Back when I was nothin/You made a brother feel like he was somethin/That's why I'm with you to this day boo no frontin"

Comment: The hit remix to the single from Meth's debut Tical is arguably one the best rap/sung tandem ever created, finding the perfect sweet spot between romantic sentiments and hardcore attitude.