Words By Garfield Hylton
Every year around this time, relationship folk find themselves find themselves in a tizzy as they’re trying to close the deal on a good last minute gift for Valentine’s Day. While some of us are already entrenched, others are hoping to make the leap from the friend zone to end zone. For those of you who aren’t lucky, or don’t have enough energy to care, the festivities of V-day are completely lost on you. In some cases, some of you might find yourselves either recovering from lost Love or still brooding over the past.
The soundtrack to Valentine’s Day depends heavily on which group of people you count yourselves among. With that said, I thought it fitting to create some tunes to cover all the bases. No matter if you’re a part of something special, are trying to create a long-lasting connection, or fed up with this month in its entirety, this list should have you covered.
Let’s start with the lovers.
Method Man Ft. Mary J. Blige – “All I Need”
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The quintessential hip-hop love song. This stirring number is an ode to love in the best way a Wu-Tang member knows how; by telling you to have a shitload of children without the security of a wedding band. Fellas, grab your lady up, hold her close, and whisper in her ear, “I got mad love to give, you my n****.”
Clipse – “Ma I Don’t Love Her”
Relationships can be fickle. One of the most trying experiences in dealing with another person is dealing with their shortcomings. Some things can be overlooked, like never washing your own dishes. Others, such as infidelity, might be a tougher thing to breeze past. Whatever the case, should you find yourself jammed up this holiday season, make sure your lady knows “it wasn’t shit touchy feely” about your indiscretion. The outside woman is just trying to split up you two lovebirds.
Outkast Ft. UGK – “International Playas Anthem”
Ignoring the fact Bun B and Pimp C are discussing a much different version of love and Big Boi is talking about is dissolution, Andre’s verse is where you want to put your focus. Men frequently talk about “hanging the jersey in the rafters” when it’s time to settle down for marriage. Andre’s verse explains why it’s worth making the jump from bachelorhood to hel…I mean lifelong partnership. So, apologize to all them cutie pies, but be sure to keep your heart.
For those of you hoping to take your friendship with someone to the next level, pay attention to these next couple of cuts.
Andre 3000 – “Prototype”
Prototype could’ve easily gone into earlier category, but I dropped it here. Truth be told, if a woman can’t appreciate you saying you want to tip-toe into the sun and do things you know she likes she might not be the one for you, playa. Choose wisely.
Lupe Fiasco – “Sunshine”
It can be a very difficult thing to approach the object of your affection. You get prepared, cut your hair, and get yourself into the right mind frame. You usually don’t even be looking for like, like that, but hell, every man has to shoot his shot when it’s time for it. Even if she’s a metaphor that’s hard to get, you’ve studied enough English to make it happen. Don’t be good, my dude. Be great.
If you’ve managed to somehow ruin a good thing within the last few months, you can begin your vice of choice while these cuts play in the background.
P.Diddy Ft. Ginuwine, Loon and Mario Winans – “I Need A Girl (Part 2)”
Everybody’s been here before. You have a good girl, you don’t treat your good girl right, you lose your good girl. Or, maybe she was the one messing up. R n B cats typically do the begging, but Puff made this cut for those of you who still want to thug it out while getting your emotions on. You needed someone who truly understood how to treat a man. Be honest with yourself bro, she might not be what you need.
Kendrick Lamar – “Opposites Attract”
Kendrick raps from two perspectives on this joint. In the first verse, it’s for the man who explains why he treats his woman wrong and doesn’t understand why he does it. There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to face facts that the reasons why he cheated are simply excuses made for his own behavior. You’ll never progress if you don’t own up to your own mistakes.
Drake – “The Motion”
Black Thought once said, “sometimes relationships get ill, no doubt.” It can be a hard pill to swallow that even though your pride was intact, and you two agreed on “no strings attached,” even the best of us can still get tied up in “that.” For weeks, everything you write is either for her about her, and living without her doesn’t even seem feasible. In reality, that’s just the motion.
Lastly, for those of you who can’t stomach the idea of ever associating yourselves with the person of your last heartbreak, crank these tunes up as high as your media player can go.
Kanye West – “Blame Game”
All you need to do with this song, is repeatedly sing to yourself, “I can’t love you this much. I can’t love you this much.” Because even if you can, you can’t. She’s gone. Nobody knows who to blame and I know it feels like it’s pouring every time it rains. In reality, you were likely a neighborhood n***** who wasn’t supposed to be getting no p***y like that anyway.
Lloyd Banks – “Hate You More”
I’ve seen women tell men to their face, “I hate you.” If you’re one of those men, a simple “I hate you more” will likely shock her long enough to make her rethink ever speaking to you again.
Beanie Sigel – “Bread and Butter”
I don’t look at relationships as investments. Yeah, they require time and money, but if they were stocks they’d almost always be considered a poor one. If you’re pissed off at a woman that had the whole town laughing at you because you wasted your time, being angry is understandable. Beans has all the words for the situation you couldn’t even begin to put together, so rock this joint and let him say it for you.
You can find Garfield ranting away on Twitter at @Smooth_Orator or hear his thoughts on his podcast, @NWAPCast.