Before There Was Drake, There Were Thug Ballads

Fri, May, 27 by Much Staff


Have you been thuggin’? Do you need some lovin’? Or do you just want a unique way to tell your bae that you’re not all about Air Force 1s and poppin’ champagne?

Before there was Drake and J. Cole, emotional rappers were a very rare breed. To be a part of the hip-hop world, you had to be tough, from the streets and have a story to tell. The majority of rap and hip-hop songs in the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, were about drugs, sex and violence.

On rare occasion, a rapper would emerge with a song that was a little different than their usual, we call these “thug ballads.” These tracks were basically the old school equivalent to Drake’s “Marvin’s Room.” Thug ballads allowed these hard rappers to show their emotional sides to their fans. These songs were about hurt and real love, instead of those that found them in the club, sippin’ on bub.

Grab a blank CD and make a mixtape for bae with all the thug ballads you need to show your emotional side.

“I Need Love” – LL Cool J

Best lyric: “I’ll lay down my jacket so you can walk over a puddle. I’ll give you a rose, pull out your chair before we eat. Kiss you on the cheek and say ‘ooh girl you’re so sweet'”

LL Cool J didn’t get his name for no reason. He knew how to make the girls swoon with his songs about needing a lover who could provide him comfort as he toured the world. We volunteer as tribute.

“How to Love” – Lil’ Wayne

Best lyric:“When you was just a youngin’ your looks were so precious, but now you’re grown up. So fly it’s like a blessing, but you can’t have a man look at you for five seconds without you being insecure”

From singing about lollipops to teaching you how to love, Lil Wayne proves he can make listeners feel a wide range of emotions.

“Dance” – Nas

Best lyirc: “The galaxy is so enchanting beyond Galileo’s understanding, past the milky way and all the planets. There’s something out there greater”

We’re just surprised he knows who Galileo is.

“Song Cry” – Jay Z

Best lyric:“We was together on the block since free lunch. We shoulda been together havin Four Seasons brunch. We used to use umbrellas to face the bad weather, so now we travel first class to change the forecast”

Losing a lover is bad, but being rich and losing a lover? Sounds like a recipe for a thug ballad.

“21 Questions” – 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg

Best lyric:“We only human girl, we make mistakes. To make it up I do whatever it take. I love you like a fat kid love cake. You know my style, I say anything to make you smile”

Even 50 Cent knows cake is the answer to all of life’s problems.

“I Miss You” – DMX featuring Faith Evans

Best lyric: “You told me that I would get it, you said it! And boy did I get it! But after you spanked me, you hugged me, kissed me on my forehead, and told me that you loved me and I saw that it hurt you more than it hurt me. I thought, ‘how bad could this hurt be?'”

DMX teaches the world that crossing your grandmother will turn into a massive ass whoppin’.

“Mesmerize” – Ja Rule featuring Ashanti

Best lyric:“Between me and you, we can find each other. Flyin’ abroad in my private G-2. I ain’t tryin’ to G you, ma I’m tryin’ to see you”

This video is hip hop’s answer to the movie Grease.

“’03 Bonnie & Clyde” – Jay Z featuring Beyonce

Best lyric:“Cause mami’s a rider, and I’m a roller, put us together, how they gon’ stop both us? What ever she lacks, I’m right over her shoulder. When I’m off track, mami is keepin’ me focused”

Before On The Run, there was Bonnie and Clyde.

“Dear Mama” – 2Pac

Best lyric:“I can always depend on my mama and when it seems that I’m hopeless, you say the words that can get me back in focus”

If you ever need a Mother’s Day present, write these lyrics out in a card and tell your mom it’s an original poem.

“S.E.X.” – Lyfe Jennings featuring LaLa Brown

Best lyric:“You say that you’re not ready for sex, but you’re in love. He says if you really loved him, you would give it up. Mamma says that’s just a line guys use to get yo’ stuff. Which one will you trust?”

Trust your mama, girl.

“Runaway Love” – Ludacris featuring Mary J. Blige

Best lyric:“Lisa is stuck up in the world on her own. Forced to think that hell is a place called home. Nothing else to do but get some clothes and pack. She says she’s ’bout to run away and never come back”

This tune is much different than the Ludacris we’re used to. We truly don’t know him like that.

“All I Need” – Method Man

Best lyric:“Even when the skies were grey you would rub me on my back and say, ‘Baby, it’ll be okay.’ Now that’s real to a brother like me, baby”

A back rub is all Method Man needs to feel loved and wanted.

“Int’l Players Anthem” – UGK ft. OutKast

Best lyric:“Now hurry hurry go on to the altar. I know you ain’t a pimp, but pimp remember what I taught ya: Keep your heart, Three Stacks, keep your heart”

This video proves wearing fur coats and colourful suits at a wedding will always be fashionable.

“Teenage Love” – Slick Rick

Best lyric:“This person brings a certain warmth to ya heart and everything seems so great at the start, for she loves him, and he also loves her and it’s hard to turn back to who the person you were”

“Teenage Love” transformed Slick Rick so much he had to rap about it in his giant fur coat.

By Andi Crawford and Brianne James