Saturday, May 23, 2015
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J. Cole

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There seems to be a perception these days that the hip-hop and R&B genres are no longer putting out romantic music, or mood music specifically. And there’s something to be said for this argument. For every heart-achingly romantic “XO” by Beyoncé, something like this seems to happen. Top-of-the-world artists like Kanye West can be sensual and romantic on one track and crude and offensive on the next. It’s just how it is.

The result seems to be that not a lot of people think of hip-hop in connection to bedroom music. In fact, in a survey conducted by the folks at Adam & Eve of what people expect of music as it connects to sex and romance, only 4 percent of people claimed to listen to hip-hop in the bedroom (though 21 percent replied “other,” which could include a lot of the easier listening tracks from hip-hop or R&B artists). Furthermore, of the survey’s top-10 most common songs people have sex to, which included some weird selections such as “Let’s Get Started” by Dylan Gardner (great song, but bizarre choice for between the sheets), not a single hip-hop track was named!

I get it, in general. There’s often better music in other genres for setting a mood. But at the same time, any modern hip-hop fan can argue that there are plenty of tracks mixed in that are just fine for romantic or sexual occasions. So as a counter to the top-10 that left hip-hop out in the cold, here are 10 modern hip-hop tracks we wouldn’t mind getting busy to.

1. “Drunk In Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay Z

This has to be the first one that comes to mind, largely because it’s sung by the biggest power couple in entertainment today. Capital Xtra named the song on its “ultimate hip-hop and R&B love songs” list behind “Hey Luv (Anything)” by Mobb Deep and “21 Questions” by 50 Cent, but we’d give it the top spot.

2. “Nothin’ On You” by B.O.B. ft. Bruno Mars

This also made the list at Capital Xtra, and it’s difficult to disagree with it. The song is a little upbeat for actual love-making music, but it still sets an almost playfully romantic mood.

3. “I Don’t Mind” by Usher ft. Juicy J

Something’s a little weird about singing to a girl to tell her it’s OK if she strips for a living. Regardless, some would take it as romantic, and purely by sound this is a calming song that’s perfect for the bedroom.

4. “Interlude (That’s Love)” by Chance The Rapper

Of course, Buzzfeed has a list of hip-hop love songs, and of course it’s 69 songs long. But we have to respect the list maker for including this fun little song from Chance The Rapper. Like most of his stuff, it’s got some left-field qualities to it, but the piano background in particular works for this category.

5. “Best I Ever Had” by Drake

It’s hard to believe it’s already been six years since “Best I Ever Had” dropped, and you can make an argument that no hip-hop song since has topped it for romance.

6. “Slow Motion” by Trey Songz

One of the newest songs on this list, “Slow Motion” actually sounds like it was written and recorded intentionally as mood music.

7. “Power Trip” by J. Cole ft. Miguel

Billboard called this J. Cole’s “unexpectedly romantic” single, and really, the track did a great deal to show off the young artist’s versatility. It also definitely belongs on this list.

8. “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell

This one’s a throwback, and it’s definitely meant for a funkier bedroom experience, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a sexy quality to it. Unless Snoop’s ultra-recognizable voice is a little distracting, it’s easy enough to get carried away in the beat.

9. “Your Love” by Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj could justifiably be called one of the most versatile artists in hip-hop today, and in “Your Love” she demonstrates a subtlety that makes for a surprisingly romantic tune.

10. “Bound 2″ by Kanye West

Despite the completely absurd music video, the song itself is shockingly romantic, for Kanye.

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