Tag Archives: Mary J. Blige

Profound Hip Hop Quote #24: Rappers Need Love Too

18 Jun

“Back when I was nothin
You made a brother feel like he was somethin
That’s why I’m with you to this day boo no frontin


—Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige, “You’re All I Need”

Method ManThe Wu-Tang Clan is one of my favorite rap groups of all time.   These guys were like the “Justice League” of hip hop during the 1990s and 2000s.  Each member has a special power such as lyrical ability, producing skills or just stage presence.  I have always resonated with their grungy, diggin’ in the crates, raw, passionate sound, especially Method Man’s.

Of course, I could not help but think about my affinity for Method’s song “You’re All I Need,” featuring the talented Mary J. Blige, as a meaningful and heartfelt rap “love” song.  What initially draws listeners in is the chorus and sample from the original classic performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell–bridging the gap between past and present generations.  However, instead of selecting the memorable chorus to represent this song, I decided to go with lyrics from the song that echo the importance of being supportive towards one another unconditionally within a relationship.

Most women expect a lot from their men, and men have the right to expect a lot from their women as well.  Nevertheless, from my observation, there appears to be an imbalance.  Oftentimes, most women are willing to give their men the support they need; unfortunately, they are rarely acknowledged by their men for their unyielding encouragement.  In “You’re All I Need,” Method gives praise and appreciates his woman’s actions, “Back when I was nothin you made a brother feel like he was somethin.”

Sadly, I also have  witnessed some women tearing down and even emasculating their good, caring, hard working men.  They utter scathing phrases such as, “You ain’t nothing!” “You can’t do nothing for me” “You’re such a loser,” etc. right in front of family and friends without hesitation.    It’s much easier to be there for somebody who has everything than to be there for a person who is striving to obtain the better things in life and to accomplish concrete goals.  Would you be more indebted to a person who is only there for you when you can give them all that they want or with a person who works with you and supports you even when everything may not go as planned? “That’s why I’m with you to this day boo no frontin.”

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
It is not uncommon for rap lyrics and many types of creative writing to drop the “ing” sound on a word to demonstrate use a specific type of vernacular or common day speech because it is the voice of the writer or the persona or it has a better flow or sound because of the syllables or meter in the line. In this instance, Method Man drops the “g” from “nothin,” “somethin” and “frontin.”  Also, he uses the all too common slang word “boo”  as a synonym for his “lady.”  Keep in mind that many rappers who are well-versed and considered lyricists tend to familiarize themselves with the standard grammar rules prior to breaking the rules in their lyrics.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #23: Rappers Need Love Too

11 Jun

“I just want you to know
Your whole being is beautiful
I’ma do the best I can do
Cause I’m my best when I’m with you


—Common featuring Mary J. Blige, “Come Close”

I love hip hop music and culture! The raw passion of some of the artists, their lyrical finesse and swagger is what ultimately captivates me.  I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with rap music from the days of Pre-K to present day; however, one attribute has remained constant: the love!

CommonAs I continue my month long tribute of the best rap “love” songs, I must acknowledge that I’ve had a multitude of crushes on different artists, but one that continues to persists is my enamored feelings for Common.   I have been following his career since he appeared in The Source under “Unsigned Hype,” seen him in concert on numerous occasions and am still an avid fan.  It’s not just his urbane look or swagger that attracts me but his humbleness and sincerity that comes across in his lyrics.  Common has released many rap “love” songs over the years, but one that I really resonate with is “Come Close” featuring Mary J. Blige.

Though Common is a strong man, his song displays his gentleness and vulnerabilities as he exhibits the necessity to have a strong woman by his side.  Wow, how often does a rapper do that?  He acknowledges that this woman of interest is not a mind reader by explicitly stating, “I just want you to know your whole being is beautiful.”  Sometimes a woman needs to hear what her man is thinking and not just assume.  Such a statement also helps to make her feel wanted, that is considering that the comment is sincere.  Furthermore, Common does not simply say, “You are beautiful,” but “Your whole being is beautiful.”  When is the last time you complimented someone of were complimented on your whole being not just your looks alone?

In two months I will be starting the chapter of marriage in the book of my life.  Quite frequently people say, a relationship or marriage is a lot hard work and requires dedication and some give and take.  Common also provides some terrific advice by stating, “I’ma do the best that I can do.”  Do people really put forth their best efforts in relationships or just get comfortable…maybe too comfortable over time?

When you “Come Close” to experiencing love or are immersed in it, do you think about what makes your relationship so sacred or special?  Have you thought about what that special person has done or will do for your life?  The media often uses the term “power couple” to describe the hollywood elites, but cannot common day people be power couples.  The ideal situation is to be in a relationship where you both bring out the best in each other.  Can say to the person you’re with, “I’m my best when I’m with you?”

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Common often incorporates poetic techniques such as slant and assonance rhymes, and this song is no exception.
“I just want you to know
your whole being is beautiful…”

In this instance, Common uses the “Oh” sound as part of his rhyme.  Some people may argue that this is not a rhyme; nevertheless, this is a common practice among past and present poets and allows that writer to manipulate and play with the language.