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25 Best Rap Love Songs


Let's talk love songs. Yes, hip-hop has them—lots of them, actually. If you've never heard any, I've compiled 25 of the greatest rap love songs for your enjoyment.

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25. Diddy - "I Need a Girl"

© Bad Boy
After her split from Jennifer Lopez, Diddy made the song cry on 2002's "I Need a Girl": "I had a girl that would've died for me/Didn't 'preciate her so I made her cry for me/Every night she had tears in her eyes for me/Caught a case, shorty took the whole ride for me." Moguls need love, too.

24. Ja Rule Ft. Vita - "Put It on Me"

© Murder Inc. / Def Jam
C'mon, now. No lovey-dovey playlist is complete without the prince of love rap songs himself Ja Rule. The Vita-assisted "Put It on Me" was a ubiquitous hit during Ja's 2000s reign.

23. Big Daddy Kane - "Smooth Operator"

© Cold Chillin' / Warner Bros.
After two verses of self-congratulatory rhymes, Kane "takes a few minutes to mellow out" and salute the ladies. "You're best scooped like ice cream," he cheers. "Smooth Operator" is the closest we'll ever get to a Big Daddy Kane love song.

22. Future - "Turn on the Lights"

© Epic
Rap's sad robot adorably is head over heels in love with his dream girl. The problem? He hasn't met her. "I wanna tell the world about you just so they could get jealous/And if you see her before I do tell her I wish that I met her," Future raps.

21. Ma$e Ft. Total - "What You Want"

© Bad Boy
Forget dinner and a date, M-A-Dollar-Sign-E is giving you the key to his pad: "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."

20. DMX - "How It's Goin' Down"

© Ruff Ryders
Bet you didn't think Earl had a soft side, huh? But "How It's Goin' Down" isn't all mushy business — X ends up stealing another man's girl and there's a murder in the story. But, hey, it's DMX. *Shrug*

19. Nicki Minaj - "Your Love"

© Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown
Her royal Barbieness flexed some hip-pop flexibility on this Annie Lennox-inspired smash. It marked a rare moment of vulnerability for Minaj. "You're like a candy store and I'm a toddler/You got me wantin' more."

18. Whodini - "One Love"

© Jive
"One love, one love, you're lucky just to have one loooove." Yes, those are the actual lyrics. You're more likely to find Big Foot than find a mainstream rap song with a similar message today. Still, this song has survived over the years, thanks to Nas' 1994 version of the same name. As further proof of the song's lasting power, the phrase "one love" is now considered hip-hop lingo. True classic.

17. OutKast Ft. Cee-Lo Green - "Slum Beautiful"

© LaFace
Big Boi and Andre 3000 came up in a misogynistic rap climate, but they had no problem expressing affection for women, or saying sorry. Stankonia standout "Miss Jackson," for instance, found them apologizing to a baby mama's mama. The same album spawned "Slum Beautiful," a sleeper tune that dotes on the ghetto fabulous.

16. Drake - "Best I Ever Had"

© Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown
Drizzy used this summer smash to describe his ideal woman: "Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin' with no make up on." This song caught fire and sent Drake to the top of the charts. And that was before he even signed a major deal.
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