Mama Used to Say: Hip-Hop Songs About Mom

"Dear Mama" by 2Pac (1995, Out Da Gutta/Interscope)

If “Keep Ya Head Up” made 2Pac an ally to women, “Dear Mama” delivered

him lovingly to the ears and hearts of mothers, daughters and sons.

This brutally honest effort puts the iconic artist very close to Marvin

Gaye, for his intimate introspective verses.

“Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J (1990, Def Jam/Columbia)

Moms, those caring souls who love, nurture and keep us from harm’s way.

In this case Cool J’s late grandmother inspired him to TKO the

competition - metaphorically, of course.

"Ya Mama" by The Pharcyde (1992, Delicious Vinyl)

Entire books and TV shows have been fashioned from Ya Mama jokes but no

one codified the art in song form as well as The Pharcyde. Beatboxing

for Lou Rawls, now that’s comedy.

"Hey Mama" by Kanye West (2005, Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

If anybody can get a soft spot in Kanye’s ego crusade, it’s his mother.

Somewhere ‘Pac and Ghost, ‘Ye promises to shower his mother with gifts,

and speaks to her as tenderly as you’ll ever hear the self-proclaimed

“international a**hole.”

"Momma I'm So Sorry" by The Clipse (2006, Re-Up/Star Trak/Jive)

The Clipse showing actual contrition for their snowflake shuffling

charades? Their sincerity may be debatable, but the deft rhymes are

unquestionable from Italy’s Milan to the shores of Napali.

“If Your (Mother) Only Knew” by Rahzel (2000, Universal)

Rahzel’s stage presence was incredible. His albums however, were

forgettable. Still, this relic appears on more iPods than you’d think,

as the beatbox extraordinaire moves Aailyah’s anthem about cheating to

a mother’s shame. It’s freaky, but it’s classic.

"Payback Is a Grandmother" by Common (2000, MCA)

Chi-town savior Common never really gets enough due for his

storytelling ability. Weaving everything from a riverboat to a

barbershop to a stolen furcoat; book this cat a role in that Uptown Saturday Night remake.

"All That I Got Is You" by Ghostface Killah featuring Mary J. Blige (1996, Razor Sharp/Epic)

If you call yourself a fan of Ghost Deini then you know there is no

questioning the man’s heart. His deep passion for the rhyme is only

matched by his love for Ma Dukes, shared with the world on this Mary J.

Blige assisted ode.

“The Reminisce Over You” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1992, Elektra)

Although its title is dedicated to Trouble T-Roy, CL Smooth tells the

listener the story of his family, with a barrage of bars devoted to his

moms. Hip-Hop classic.

“Mama” by Trina featuring J.A.B.A.N and J-Shin (2000, Atlantic/Slip-N-Slide)

Not only sons love mothers. Southern diamond princess Trina devoted a

joint to the female role model in her life. Slip-N-Slide’s first lady

has much more depth than many will ever know.