Highsnobiety / Josh Sobel

Before we even start, let me inform you all that I’m a woman. I’m a woman and I love rap songs. A lot. My entire aptly-titled “Bump & Grind” playlist consists of hyper-sexualized tunes with lyrics so vulgar that they would even cause Lil Wayne to blush.

But setting vulgarity aside, being a female fan of hip-hop is hard at times due to the sole fact that it’s a genre notorious for its frequent and over-the-top misogyny. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read pieces highlighting how un-feminist the genre is, or how reductive it is for respectable, self-loving women to actively enjoy music with such disregard for our own gender.

However, this doesn’t mean that all rap tracks are trash or built on messages that are morally questionable. Calling the genre beautiful and crafted with the intention to offend no one would be a blatant lie, but it definitely does not mean that there’s a lack of rap songs about love, romance, and softer sentiments. In fact, a slew of the best booty jams out there disguise their true intentions: they’re actually full of rappers pouring their hearts out in hip hop love songs for the ages.

This isn’t going to be the same traditional list of ’90s/early ‘00s gangstuh luv tracks you might be expecting (take a seat “What’s Love” and “21 Questions”). You’re about to be hit with rap lyrics about love and serious emotion disguised with mumbling, swearing, and a heavy dose of “oh shit Mom’s coming turn it down” vibes.

These are our picks for 10 hip hop love songs that are surprisingly romantic AF. Seriously.

A.CHAL – “000000”

Straight outta Peru, A.CHAL is bound to win your heart through your headphones (or AirPods if you’re one of those people now). You just can’t resist an artist with a voice sweeter than syrup, and this guy’s got it. And I dare you not to tap your toes and/or practice a little belly dancing to that melody.

Notable Lovey Dovey Lyrics: 

I could never be mad at you
Pussy remedy like a Tylenol
Remember being broke, I was eyein’ you
Now I have you

Future – “Testify”

Whoever has wandered into Future’s life and filled up the Ciara-sized hole in his heart needs a serious shout-out because dang girl – you are doing some good work. HNDRXX as a whole is basically Future unwillingly tossing us all onto a beautifully tragic emotional rollercoaster—a rap love song with a sensual mix of retrospective apologies to his baby mama and heartstring-pulling affection towards his new flame. This track sticks out thanks to the tireless line “commit to me and I’ll commit.”

Notable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

So you wanna fall for the bad guy?
So you wanna fall and get mad high?
Confess your love for me, testify
Anytime I’m with you, gotta testify
Can you be the one who love me all the time?

I wanna be confident when I say you my lady
I wanna be arrogant when I say you my lady
I know I embarrass you, I simply violate it

Gucci Mane – “We Ride” ft. Monica

Put me on nachos and call me cheesy but Gucci Mane’s “We Ride” featuring none other than Monica has got me swooning like there’s no tomorrow. Rap lyrics about love and actually being monogamous instead of going on about one of the numerous asses they’ve tapped is a pretty serious turn on – having a guy completely scrap that lifestyle for one special gal is as good as it gets.

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

Built a house for 10 mil on your own land
And showed your best friend how to build her own brand
Have you ever seen a street nigga slow dance
In a white tux with a live band playing?

J Hus – “Sweet Cheeks”

If you haven’t yet heard of J Hus, chances are you probably live on the opposite side of the Atlantic from the London MC. The man “so ugly that he’s sexy” is one of the UK’s most invigorating artists right now and is doing his own unique Brit ting with every track he drops. His debut album Common Sense is pure gold (and a fave here at HS Music), and “Sweet Cheeks” is a highlight. It’s also a great way to hear some distinctly British rap songs about love complete with a crash course in UK slang (bunda = booty, FYI).

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

I’m her main squeeze, that’s my sweet cheeks
Bunda so big it can’t fit in the selfie
She loud and boujee, won’t shut her mouth until I fuck up the coochie
Most of pretty gyaldem are mouthy
All up in my business she’s nosy

MANILA GREY – “Lava Walk”

Yet another option from an international artist – thank me later for broadening your horizons – MANILA GREY are from Vancouver but have Filipino roots, and their vibe is one that anyone, anywhere can appreciate. If you love rap songs but need to spice up your regular rotation of rappers, this duo will definitely do it for you.

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

You know I love it rare you flawless
Gleaming like diamonds, stare wild’n
Burn through drama in your dress like lava
God bless every curve, I love all your angles

Tory Lanez – “S.w.I.n.G.” ft. PnB Rock & Trey Songz

Each of these artists on their own are whiny-romantic enough, but put them all together and you have a huge sappy stew of gushy lovey goodness. Their voices are all completely different, which means that you’re very unlikely to get bored at any point during this track. And you’ll be able to replay… and replay… and replay…

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

Don’t be so motherfuckin’ shy-y-y
Won’t waste your motherfuckin’ ti-i-ime
Love your body, but I’m fucking with your mind, oh yeah
Pretty pussy, I can suck it all the time, oh yeah

Travis Scott – “COFFEE BEAN”

Travis is usually all about the autotune (IT’S LIT, anyone?) but when he’s not busy falling into Drake’s stages, he’s out there being an undercover romantic. He hid this gem of a track right at the end of Astroworld, but it’s not to be missed – it’s a beautiful but brutally raw insight into his relationship with less-famous-than-egg Kylie. It’s also a huge switch-up from the Travis we know—no autotune and no extras. Just a slow beat and honest bars worthy of entrance into the pantheon of rap love songs.

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

How would you feel if I had you?
Trust me, you’d be mad too
But shawty, we can be mad cool
Just hit me if anything past due

Ty Dolla $ign – “Or Nah” ft. The Weeknd & Wiz Khalifa

Admittedly, this one is a little iffy on the romance front considering it’s a pure sex track, but sometimes pure sex is the most romantic thing somebody can get. Inviting your partner to utilize your head like a motorcycle is pretty damn affectionate.

Notable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

Do you like the way I flick my tongue or nah?
You can ride my face until you dripping cum
Can you lick the tip then throat the dick or nah?
Can you let me stretch that pussy out or nah?

YG – “Down Bitch”

Ah, good ol’ YG… He never fails to express himself through excessive swearing. This one’s for those of you out there who prefer your affection delivered with the roughest rap love songs possible; a bit of lyrical BDSM if you will.

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

I need me a down bitch, a fuck up stick around bitch,
I need me a proud bitch, a proud to be around bitch
This ain’t every day, she knows it’s a blessing bein’ around this
She with it long as I come with this dick
I remind her of her oath, now she reminisces
She chocolate like Hershey, Hershey’s kisses
I’m the ride or die type
I put your life before my life

Young Thug – “Take Care”

I can’t seem to come to a solid conclusion about how I feel about this Thugger fellow. While he often tries to show off his most manly persona with rough beats and even rougher lyrics (“Old English” anyone?), the man also has a far softer side that would fit seamlessly next to Usher and Ne-Yo in a “Hip Hop Love Songs” playlist. Despite rapping about sex more often than not, he revealed in an interview with his fiancée Jerrika Karlae that he doesn’t actually “care for sex that much.” Quite hard to believe, but at least he’s devoted.

Noteable Lovey Dovey Lyrics:

You got me stopping at the green light
I’ll set you good, I’m off a bean right
And I know you want a savage to give you a ring right 
Sexin’ on drugs, 
Leave a little money on the counter
You remind me of Erykah Badu
Thinkin’ ’bout masturbating to your nudes

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American based in Berlin, aspiring to be Drake's champagne mami.

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