Hip hop music and songs for a romantic night
Hip hop may have its origins in toasting, a combination of talking and rhythmic chants recorded and then used by Jamaican DJs, but it first came to prominence on the streets of the Bronx, the popular New York neighbourhood north of Manhattan. Predominantly practiced by African American youths, hip hop quickly gathered momentum, developing from the musical soundtrack to raucous house parties into a global phenomenon.
As well as the urban beats and the toasting-inspired rapping that is its instantly recognisable aspect, hip hop has become an entire sub-culture, taking in music, dancing, fashion and graffiti art. Hip hop might invoke suitably “urban” images, of youths hanging around tough neighbourhoods with the beat boxes playing aggressively loud music, peppered with expletives; but because hip hop is such a broad church, enjoyed by fans from all sorts of diverse backgrounds, there are also many romantic examples of the genre, ideal for any date night. Hip hop fans can discuss music and their personal preferences and find romance pretty much at any site nowadays, from Tinder to Bumblebee, sexyblackpeople to POF. In most websites users mention their preferred music in their bios – as simple as that.
Music is a universal love language
Music appreciation is surely the most subjective of all art forms. Everybody has their own taste, hip hop mostly builds on an intoxicating rhythm. This appeals to music lovers from all across the globe, regardless of language or lyirical content.
The positive influence of hip hop music
Because hip hop gained prominence as a vehicle for disenfranchised or marginalised urban communities to express themselves, it was often seen in the context of protest music. For people from housing areas riddled with societal problems of drugs and crime, directly resulting from poverty and lack of opportunity, hip hop became a voice of hope. In areas beset with gangs, it provided a unifying force, a platform for bringing people together to celebrate common experiences, and aspirations.
Five hip hop love songs that are surprisingly romantic
If you’re looking for examples of the way hip hop has not only proved to be inspirational for its politics and advocacy for change, cultural improvement, and social harmony, look no further than hip hop love songs. Just as hip hop underlined African American identity with a sense of pride and self-belief, it has been the musical backdrop to so many other areas of black culture, such as Spike Lee films. Here are five of the most potent in this respect.
Stormzy – Own It ft Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy
Stormzy is a hugely popular rapper from London, who came to prominence through his free-spirited vocal technique, over grime rhythms (grime being a London-centric form of Hip Hop, featuring rapid delivery over 140 beats-per-minute). In collaboration with the multi-award-winning Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy, one of Africa’s most successful rappers, this catchy single is all about being loved up: “Girl, you just own it, Cause your body’s on fire, show me how to control it, And go hit your spliff and get higher, Girl I love how you roll it, I put my hand there, hold it.”
Manila Grey – Lava Walk
R&B duo Manila Grey received the prestigious Canadian Juno Award in 2021 – awarded to best breakthrough act. This catchy number equates the thrill and excitement of falling for someone special with the danger of walking across hot coals. “Turn around show me that walk, Slow and dangerous, Flames are jealous of you, They can’t get enough, No, no.”
Ty Dolla $ign – Or Nah ft The Weeknd & Wiz Khalifa
Los Angeles-born singer/songwriter Ty Dolla $ign embarked on his glittering career back in 2007 and has gone on to work with the likes of Rihanna, Chris Brown, and Post Malone. This song is an excellent example of his laid-back delivery, showcasing his smooth freestyling vocals, over an insistent, and repetitive but captivating beat. This would be an ideal track to form the emotional soundtrack to your date night.
Kendrick Lamar – Love ft Zacari
Although Lamar only made his debut in 2012, with the platinum-selling Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, he has gone on to become one of the most influential rap artists of his generation. Now the proud holder of 13 Grammy Awards, he has featured in film soundtracks, including providing 14 songs for the hit Marvel movie Black Panther. This is a wonderfully romantic song, its simple sentiments summing up the joys of being in a relationship.
Snoop Dogg – Beautiful ft Pharrell Williams
An upbeat treat, with the official video featuring a sun-baked Rio, this is a perfect blend of the two vocalists’ unique styles, especially Snoop Dogg’s inimitable cheeky outlook on life: “Have a glass, lemme put you in the mood, Lil’ cutie lookin’ like a student, Long hair!”
The editorial unit