Yes. It’s true. Men can have their heart broken, too. Even in the world of hip-hop. The new #woke wave of the genre informs us there’s more to the genre than fucking lots of women, getting lit and forgetting that real life has consequences. And to show for this, here are five freshly handpicked tracks that will make you feel some type of way, because you can tell the artist was really feeling some type of way whilst writing them:
1. “Let ‘Em Know,” Bryson Tiller
Bryson Tiller’s “Let ‘Em Know” from his most recent album Trapsoul. Bryson admits that this girl he loves is special and important, pleads that she still loves him the way that he now recognizes he does. This is in no way a stripped back record. It still fits in with the albums deep hard-hitting vibes.
Spent a lot of time on the waiting list
Roll up the doja then blaze that shit
Who gonna give you loving the same as this
A-game girl, I bring that shit
2. “Blind Man,” SPZRKT
Second up on the list is SPZRKT’s “Blind Man.” This song is a cool girl’s goal of a love song. Xavier talks about loving a woman from the inside out, her dreams, her ambitions, her mind and her heart (we got the awhssss). His main hook is “You’re so beautiful a blind man could love you” and isn’t that what we all want? Someone to love us for who we really are and what we want, not what we look like? What a nice change from rap that objectifies women, and tells us we are only worthy for our appearance. (And what a contrast from 2013’s horrific, chart-topping “Blurred Lines”!)
A blind man could love you just for who you are
Got 20/20 vision and i still don’t see ya flaws
I said you make me feel good, and you ain’t even touch me
My baby A1, I ain’t ‘gon trade you in for nothing
3. “Come and See Me,” PARTYNEXTDOOR
PND is one of the OGs to talk about his feels in his music. Arguably PND’s most popular song is “Come and See Me.” PND recognizes that women really want to be cared for, a real relationship, and for men to give back to them as much as they are putting in. Not only does PND see this, and see where men are sometimes at fault in not doing this for women, he writes a whole song about it! Men realizing they should treat women with as much care and respect (aka equality)! What a time, what a time to be alive!!!
Lately you keep questioning what you get out the deal
Doing things to make me feel the way I make you feel
How hard is it to let you know when I’m coming home
That way you can be prepared, maybe take a couple sick days and not miss pay
4. “Best I Ever Had,” Drake
This shit wouldn’t be complete without a little Drake. While Views has quite a few lovey dovey tracks, for me, “Best I Ever Had” is one I couldn’t leave off this list. Drake talks about a forever kind of love, for a girl he cares about when she is totally stripped down. No makeup, no dress…just her. She’s somebody special, and Drake proves that you can make a fucking hit in hip-hop and be dedicated to one woman and her happiness. It’s possible.
And I say the same thing every single time
I say, you the fucking best, you the fucking best
You the fucking best, you the fucking best
You the best I ever had, best I ever had
Best I ever had, best I ever had
5. “V. 3005,” Childish Gambino
Like Drake, Childish has some fantastic music about love, especially on his later releases. But let’s take it back to 2013 for a second. While I wish this song was a little less popular, it’s a fucking hit. Gambino professes his love to a girl, says he will be “right by her side till 3005.” That’s a long, long time. He doesn’t just want this girl for the night, but for more like 1,000 years. Talk about commitment to women in hip-hop changing.
No matter what you say or what you do
When I’m alone, I’d rather be with you
Fuck these other niggas, I’ll be right by your side
Till 3005, hold up
Men are recognizing that women want to hear music that doesn’t just view them as a piece of ass, but sees them as real people (wow, how revolutionary!!). And while this doesn’t totally eradicate gender inequality in hip-hop, these songs are taking a step towards bridging the disconnect between hip-hop and positive feelings towards women. Discussing real emotions, talking about love, in itself, is a little win for acceptance. It’s a reminder that women deserve respect, not only as the subject of songs but also as listeners. That even the best of us–the riches, the most successful, still get our hearts broken: though we still fuck up, get too hopped up on guap and Cristal, we still deserve some good ass lovin’. And, well, it’s pretty easy on the ears.