Chris Rock once said that women don't pay attention to rap lyrics. Truth be told, most casual hip-hop fans - male and female - rarely pay attention to lyrics. As long as the beat is catchy, they'll drop down and get their eagle on all night. They might even do the doughie if the music is bangin'.
But there are those bell hooks types among us who stop listening as soon as they encounter misogynistic and patriarchal lyrics. The good news is that rap, much like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, comes in many different flavors.
What follows is a list of songs that pay tribute to all the beautiful ladies in the world.
10. A Tribe Called Quest, "Find A Way":
Fellas, take note: Tip and Phife always catch the ladies' attention with an air of old-fashion gentility. This one is a classic boy-meets-girl story that culminates with Tip asking his love interest to help him find his way.
9. Snoop Dogg - "I Love My Momma":
Who knew that the man who said "bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks" had a soft spot for his mother? As it turns out, Snoop D-O-Double-G does indeed "love momma" despite having a slight difference in opinion. While Snoop once ran the streets with Crips, Mama Dogg, an ordained evangelist, famously campaigned against gang life.
8. The Roots, "You Got Me":
There are so many things going on in "You Got Me:" Black Thought's words point to paranoia; Badu strokes his confidence. For once, a couple resolves its trust issues without anyone getting Chris Brown'd. And while the inspired pairing of Erykah Badu and The Roots cast a musical shadow over Eve's uncredited guest verse, all those fragments combine to make this one sweet gem. Grammy voters agree.
7. Kanye West, "Hey Mama":
When it comes to heartfelt rap, it gets no better than Mr. West. 'Ye celebrates his mother's wisdom, strength, and chicken noodle soup on this cheery number off Late Registration.
6. Canibus, "I Honor U":
Boy meets girl. Boy flirts with girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Nine months later, girl gives birth to a boy so thoughtful he swears to protect his mother before he's even capable of forming his own thoughts.
5. Common, "The Light":
Common put his emotions on display here, while pledging to never call his woman "a bitch or a hoe."
4. OutKast (Andre 3000), "Prototype":
From its heart-on-sleeve sentiments to its emphasis on feminist vision (Dre refers to God in the feminine for chrissakes), The Love Below wouldn't have been a success without Andre's respect for the ladies. "Prototype" is an absolutely blissful song about falling for the woman of your heart.
3. Reflection Eternal, "For Women":
Nina Simone's beautiful art survives on this sprawling epic from Reflection Eternal's debut. Kweli's version of "For Women" attacks the social pain that afflicts black women everywhere.
2. LL Cool J, "I Need Love":
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Now here's one rapper who made an entire career off female-friendly songs, including this sentimental masterpiece. LL later learned that he doesn't have to spit a rhyme to impress the ladies -- simply taking off his shirt to reveal ginormous pectoral muscles is enough to get make them swoon.
1. 2Pac, "Dear Mama":
No woman could resist the passion of Tupac Shakur. How could you, when he's making stunningly beautiful songs like "Brenda's Got A Baby" and "Dear Mama"? By baptizing hip-hop with sentiments about the struggle of single women in a man's world, Pac showed that rap can be effective as a vehicle for uplift.