Entertainment Music The 25 Best Rap Love Songs Here's evidence of the softer side of hip-hop Share PINTEREST Email Print Music Rap & Hip Hop Top Picks Basics Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Classical Music Country Music Folk Music Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Henry Adaso Henry Adaso has written about hip-hop since 2005 and founded the award-winning blog The Rap Up. He has written for "Vibe," MTV, Rap Rehab, and more. our editorial process Henry Adaso Updated December 12, 2018 Hip-hop has a soft side, and you don't have to wait till Valentine's Day to wade into the waters of romance. Just pull your special someone closer and let the music lead you. Start with these 25 greatest rap love songs: 25 of 25 Future: 'Turn on the Lights' WireImage / Getty Images Rap's sad robot is adorably head over heels in love with his dream girl. The problem? He hasn't met her. "I wanna tell the world about you just so they could get jealous And if you see her before I do tell her I wish that I met her." 24 of 25 Ja Rule: 'Put It on Me' Getty Images for MTV / Getty Images No lovey-dovey playlist would be complete without the prince of love rap songs, Ja Rule. The Vita-assisted "Put It on Me" was a ubiquitous hit during Ja's 2000s reign. 23 of 25 Diddy: 'I Need a Girl' Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images After his split from Jennifer Lopez, Diddy made his 2002 "I Need a Girl" cry: "I had a girl that woulda died for me Didn't 'preciate her so I made her cry for me Every night she had tears in her eyes for me Caught a case, shorty took the whole ride for me." Moguls need love, too. 22 of 25 Big Daddy Kane: 'Smooth Operator' Redferns / Getty Images After two verses of self-congratulatory rhymes, Kane "takes a few minutes to mellow out" and salute the ladies: "You're best scooped like ice cream," he cheers. "Smooth Operator" is the closest we'll ever get to a Big Daddy Kane love song. 21 of 25 The Lost Boyz: 'Renee' "Renee" is a tragic tale of love lost, made even more tragic by the death of Lost Boyz emcee/promoter Freaky Tah in 1999. 20 of 25 OutKast Featuring Cee-Lo Green: 'Slum Beautiful' Theo Wargo / Getty Images Big Boi and Andre 3000 came up in a misogynistic rap climate, but they had no problem expressing affection for women, or saying sorry. Their standout "Miss Jackson," for instance, found them apologizing to a baby mama's mama. The same album spawned "Slum Beautiful," a sleeper tune that dotes on the ghetto fabulous. 19 of 25 Ma$e Featuring Total: 'What You Want' Michael Bezjian / Getty Images Forget dinner and a date, M-A-Dollar-Sign-E is giving you the key to his pad: "In a year or two, girl, I could see you with my kids Girl, you make a thug want to get a legal gig It's only right we spend our lonely nights Gettin' crazy biz till we awake the kids." 18 of 25 Whodini: 'One Love' David Corio / Getty Images "One love, one love, you're lucky just to have one loooove." Yes, those are the actual lyrics. You're more likely to find Big Foot than a mainstream rap song with a similar message today. Still, this song has survived over the years, thanks to Nas' 1994 version of the same name. As further proof of the song's lasting power, the phrase "one love" is now considered hip-hop lingo. It's a true classic. 17 of 25 Nicki Minaj: 'Your Love' Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images Her royal Barbieness found some hip-pop flexibility on this Annie Lennox-inspired smash. It marked a rare moment of vulnerability for Minaj: "You're like a candy store and I'm a toddler You got me wantin' more." 16 of 25 Drake: 'Best I Ever Had' Kevin Winter / Getty Images Drizzy used this summer smash to describe his ideal woman: "Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin' with no make up on." This song caught fire and sent Drake to the top of the charts. And that was before he even signed a major deal. 15 of 25 Wale Featuring Miguel: 'Lotus Flower Bomb' Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images Wale is a ladies' man. Miguel is a ladies' man. Put them on the same track and the outcome is a heartwarming collaboration. In one live performance of "Lotus Flower Bomb," Wale almost got trampled by a stampede of adoring ladies rushing toward the stage. 14 of 25 Dead Prez: 'Mind Sex' FilmMagic / Getty Images Are you into good conversation? Do you like herbal tea? Are you a fan of poetry? Then you're the girl M-1 and Stic.man had in mind when they wrote the appropriately titled "Mind Sex." 13 of 25 LL Cool J: 'Around the Way Girl' WireImage / Getty Images Long before Future told us to "Turn on the Lights," LL Cool J hit the streets in search of his own around-the-way girl: "I want a girl with extensions in her hair Bamboo earrings, at least two pair." 12 of 25 The Pharcyde: 'Passin' Me By' Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images Something about "Passin' Me By" makes a guy want to grab a Heineken and lounge in the sun. 11 of 25 De La Soul: 'Eye Know' David Corio / Getty Images Not your standard groupie love fare, De La's candy-coated "Eye Know" over lush samples (notably from Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay") made it cool to declare sweet affection for that special someone without sounding corny. 10 of 25 Black Star: 'Brown Skin Lady' Hiroyuki Ito / Getty Images Sometimes playful, sometimes treacly, "Brown Skin Lady" is always beautiful. Cocoa butter sales probably spiked after Kweli rapped, "Your skin is the inspiration for cocoa butter." Smooth. 09 of 25 50 Cent: '21 Questions' Kevin Winter / Getty Images Most love songs entail guys teasing girls with wild promises. 50 Cent turned the tables on "21 Questions," which takes the form of a relationship interview. "I'm asking questions to find out how you feel inside," he raps. And you can't question the genius of "I love you like a fat kid loves cake." After dropping that line, Fif went on to bag Vivica Fox, Ciara, and Chelsea Handler. 08 of 25 Common Featuring Mary J. Blige: 'Come Close' Getty Images for Remy Martin / Getty Images It's just a fly love song. Common spits game to his lady and vows to "do the best that I can do, cause I'm at my best when I'm with you." What girl doesn't want to be told, "I see the God in you"? The music video wasn't too shabby, either. 07 of 25 Slick Rick: 'Teenage Love' Getty Images for Mastercard / Getty Images These are golden words from the greatest storyteller in rap: "If it's not true love, you shouldn't deal wit it." The best part is that the message is always in season. 06 of 25 Eric B & Rakim: 'Mahogany' Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images You really have to see Rakim play this one live to fully understand why it's such a cult classic. There's nothing like seeing hundreds of Rakim fans—male and female—stand over a romantic tune. 05 of 25 The Roots Featuring Eve & Erykah Badu: 'You Got Me' WireImage / Getty Images The Roots struck gold with this smooth gem off "Things Fall Apart." Jill Scott wrote the R&B part but the label picked Erykah Badu to bring exposure to the record. With all respect to the wonderfully talented Scott, Badu made the suits seem like prophets. 04 of 25 A Tribe Called Quest: 'Bonita Applebum' Al Pereira / Getty Images "Bonita Applebum" was the first single off Tribe's debut album, "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm." Word has it the song was an ode to a high school shawty. Bonus points for safe sex: "I got crazy prophylactics." 03 of 25 Common: 'The Light' Paras Griffin / Getty Images There's so much going on here: J. Dilla's steady drums, James Poyser's pristine keys, that indelible Bobby Caldwell sample. And we haven't even gotten to the rhymes. Common puts it down, matching Dilla's potent production with his own poetic bagel. 02 of 25 LL Cool J: 'I Need Love' Raymond Boyd / Getty Images Hip-hop's original loverboy made this classic back when lovey-dovey rap was deemed a novelty. It's still one of the best hip-hop songs ever, love or otherwise. 01 of 25 Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige: 'You're All I Need' WireImage / Getty Images Every rap and R&B collaboration released in the 1990s owes a royalty check to Method Man and Mary J Blige. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.