Though hip-hop is widely recognized for its rebellious nature, it isn’t all gangsta anthems, club-hopping and trap rap. Through the years, our favorite rappers have proved that they could be just as loving as their R&B, pop, rock and country counterparts. So a few weeks back, with Valentine’s Day coming up quick, MTV News’ hip-hop beat team took a quick left turn and started asking MCs for their picks for Greatest Hip-Hop Love Song of All Time.
If you ask most rap fans, LL Cool J will forever be hip-hop’s ladies’ man, with more heartfelt jams than just about anyone in the biz. But by no means does rap’s love jones stop with just one man, so read on to find out who made your favorite rapper’s list. And if you hit us with your favorite rap love song on Twitter, using the hashtag #HipHopLoveSongs, we might RT you @MTVRapFix. So we want to hear from in the next 24 hours.
If you ask Fabolous, though, there’s only one answer. “Number one has to be LL, ‘I Need Love’ — that’s first and foremost,” he told MTV News. “That was one of the first heartfelt rap songs and he captured it.”
50 Cent agreed that LL is the G.O.A.T. when it comes to rap love songs, but he couldn’t quite narrow down the pick. “I think his career is what it is based on that. The entire career, ‘Ladies Love Cool James,’ you gotta give him that,” Fif said before wondering out loud, “How many records he made with [that] phrase in it?”
Juelz Santana definitely gave Uncle L his props, but according to the Dipset rapper, the honor goes to Method Man and Mary J. Blige for their 1995 Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell-sampling “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need to Get By.” “It captured everything. It captured the love, but it captured the ‘hood,” Juelz reasoned.
Another longtime favorite is the Notorious B.I.G.’s “One More Chance” remix. The catchy player ode is a favorite of Future, but if you ask the Astronaut Kid’s producer Mike Will Made It, he thinks Future tops the conversation with his 2012 hit “Turn on the Lights.”
“It’s not about what happened then, it’s about what’s goin’ on now,” Mike Will argued with conviction.
The hitmaker would probably have a hard time convincing Pusha T, though. The G.O.O.D. Music MC could have easily picked a selection from Kanye West’s 808 & Heartbreaks LP or even his and Yeezy’s “Runaway,” from West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but Push dug deeper in the crates and went back to Main Source’s 1991 single “Looking at the Front Door.” As a matter of fact, the Large Professor breakup track isn’t just Pusha’s favorite hip-hop love song — it’s his favorite song ever.
“That record is unstoppable. That record is everything and it’s been everything forever,” Push said, fully aware of how unpopular his choice might be. “That particular record, top to bottom, is probably the best record ever made.”
How you love that?
What’s the Greatest Hip-Hop Love Song of All Time? Hit us with your picks on Twitter using the hashtag #HipHopLoveSongs to weigh in!