6 Rappers Who Featured Their Mom on a Song
Here’s a list of our favorite mom tributes
Hip Hop has a reputation for its vulgar and explicit lyrics but over the years the art form has grown to be much more. Rappers that once sang “f*ck b*itches, get money” now take a more political and emotional tone to their music. Hip hop defines these artists but what defines them? Their moms. These artists show a more vulnerable and sensitive side by dedicating a song to their mothers. These tributes are for all the mom’s out there, we love you.
Kanye West – ‘Only one’/ ‘Hey mama’
Kanye West is known for a more tragic relationship with his mother. Mr. West lost his mother back in 2007. She passed after having multiple cosmetic surgeries but experts stated she had a heart condition that could have played a toll while under the knife. Reports say that Yeezy tends to blame himself for her death. Before his passing he wrote a song just for her, “Hey Mama”. In his song, he promises his mother Donda West, that he’ll go back to school and make her proud. Although he never went back to school it’s safe to say that he’s made her proud. In a more recent song, “Only One” he expresses his coping mechanism, dreaming. With soft melodic piano vibes the song depicts a conversation between West and his mother. He reminds us that despite her passing she remains in his thoughts and through this song she’ll be in ours as well.
Eminem– ‘Headlights’/ ‘Cleaning out my closet’
Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with our mom and Eminem describes this love/ hate relationship through two songs, “Cleaning out my Closet” and “Headlights”. Detroit rapper Eminem did not have the easiest of childhoods but has matured tremendously through his music. His beginnings consisted of very bold and hateful lyrics. In Cleaning out my closet the hook consists of an apology but the actual song has a deeper meaning. He raps, ‘ See what hurts me the most is you won’t admit you was wrong/ Bitch, do your song/Keep tellin’ yourself that you was a mom
But how dare you try to take what you didn’t help me to get/You selfish bitch, I hope you fuckin’ burn in hell for this shit/Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me?/Well guess what I am dead, dead to you as can be!” In a later song “Headlights” he says he forgives his mom for what she’s done and that he loves her regardless.
Drake– ‘Look what you’ve done’/ ‘You and the six’
The love of a mom continues further down the chain for the Canadian mogul Drake. The song “Look What You’ve Done” contains an epilogue from none other than his grandmother. The song is essentially a story taking us through rough patches in Drake’s life. From his parent’s divorce to his mother’s illness Drake explains how thankful he is for the hardships. They made him into the man he is today. His appreciation is expressed more explicitly in his song “You and the six”. The song captivates a personal conversation between mother and son. Sandi Graham catches up on Drake’s love life, fame and success. Despite the chaos of the superstar life Drake thanks her again for raising him right.
J. Cole– ‘Apparently’
It seems as though all these artists hit a point of success in their life when they reflect on their upbringing. J. Cole does so on his song “Apparently” and realizes his mom was on the sidelines rooting for him since day one. He apologizes to his mom for not realizing it sooner and not being there for her when she needed him the most. He sings, “Think back to Forest Hills, no perfect home/ But the only thing like home I’ve ever known/ Until they snatched it from my mama
And foreclosed her on the loan/ I’m so sorry that I left you there to deal with that alone/ I was up in New York City chasin’ panties gettin’ dome/ Had no clue what you was goin’ through/ How could you be so strong?” He then concludes the song with a genuine “I love you momma.”
Big Sean– ‘Inspire me’
So far all these tributes go hard but it’s time for a more innocent and sweet ‘mother love.’ Despite not picking up his mother’s phone calls Big Sean dedicates the song “Inspire Me” to his beloved mom. He tells his mom to not to feel bad for calling or trying to reach out to him and realizes he isn’t the best communicator. Much like the other guys he apologizes for possibly taking her for granted, “Look, mama, you know you inspire me./If I ever made you not feel like it, then this is my apology/ So sorry, look, dear mama you know your son shine for ya.” What sets Big Sean apart on this list is this song’s happy tune. He’s proud of being a momma’s boy and lets the world know that she’s his biggest inspiration.
Tupac– ‘Dear mama’
Of course, we saved the best for last. “Dear Mama” the tribute that set the bar and opened the door for other rappers to show vulnerability. The reminiscent slow tune takes us through Tupac’s life as a thug and his mother’s struggle to make ends meet. “‘Cause through the drama I can always depend on my mama,” he says. It was a direct letter to his mom, showing admiration and appreciation for his upbringing regardless of his “bad boy” ways. This song gave thugs and gangsters a reason to go home a give their mom a kiss, a hug, and an “I love you.”
These artists said screw the stereotypes I love my mom and you should too. Whether it’s through a song, a letter or a gesture hip hop shows love to all moms.