Verses Vol. 2 - What's Love Got To Do With It? by @ACaseOnline
"When I'm alone in my room
Sometimes I stare at the wall
And in the back of my mind
I hear my conscience call
Telling me I need a girl who's as sweet as a dove
For the first time in my life, I see I need love" - LL Cool J
This was love in hip hop, pardon my play on words but what I'm about to pen has nothing to do with a popular ratchet show on VH1 called Love & Hip Hop. It was 1987 when the young emcee from Queens decided to bring a different flavor to the main stage and the whole world had no choice but to listen. Hip Hop was either two things at one point, ruff and rugged or a playful bravado of mic skills and braggadocio filler and LL embodied both. This track in particular set the stage for what was about to be a common practice in our favorite genre for years to come, to quote Ja Rule, "every thug needs a lady"
Hip Hop is constantly a target for it's instrumental part in misogyny in America but to be quite frank one could always point out the tons of great music by several artist penning their affections for their queens, old earths, and down ass bitch.
Hip Hop is a gritty, passionate art form that tackles all sorts of subject matter so we shouldn't be surprised by the amount of love songs male and female artists have created because in fact, even though we often deny it, artists are human too. Artists took many routes to showcase this from, jazzy sweet samples, smooth coherent lyrics, masterful collaborations, and just simply leaving it all on the page.
When Hip Hop artist started to collaborate with popular R&B artists we got instant classics like Method Man and Mary J. Blige's rendition of "You're All I Need To Get By" a popular song originally made by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
Nuthin' make a man feel better than a woman
Queen with a crown that be down for whatever" - Method Man "You're All I Need To Get By"
A wildly popular song which was turned into an even more popular hip hop rendition in 1995 the two paired to reach heights on the Billboard Top 100 and even brought home a Grammy. Love in Hip Hop continued to soar year after year from Biggie, to Nas, to Jay Z, to Ja Rule, 50 Cent and so on and so forth. Some were masters of their class when it came down to it and each year would drop that classic love in Hip Hop feel which was highly anticipated.
So why does hip-hop receive such a bad rap when it comes to the treatment of women? Well, for every one or two tracks an artist may drop per album professing his or her love for their significant other, there are so many more derogatory tracks about money chasing, promiscuous hoes, baby mothers, and etc. The genre of Hip Hop will still take it on the chin for the mistreatment and over sexual undertones of women in America even though America is still doing a helluva job without it.
"I love you like a fat kid loves cake" - 50 Cent "21 Questions"
Hip Hop can be many things, I for one won't be the person to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water, and just point out the negative. One things for sure Hip Hop has never had a problem expressing itself and love has always been a topic of discussion. So before we question whether or not Hip Hop is capable of love I'll leave you with this:
"I want a girl with extensions in her hair
Bamboo earrings, at least two pair
A Fendi bag and a bad attitude
That's all I need to get me in a good mood
She can walk with her switch and talk with street slang
I love when I woman ain't afraid to do her thang
Standin' at the bus stop, suckin' on a lollipop
When she gets pumpin', it's hard to make the hotty stop
She likes to dance to the rap jam
She's sweet as brown sugar with candied yams
Let's hear it for the girl
She's from around the way" - LL Cool J "Around The Way Girl"