Hip Hop Mother's Day: 11 Rap Songs Dedicated To Moms

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 28: Kanye West attends Jim Moore Book Event At Ralph Lauren Chicago on October 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren) NEW YORK - JULY 23: Rapper Tupac Shakur performs onstage at Club Amazon on July 23, 1993 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Drake attends the "Top Boy" UK Premiere at Hackney Picturehouse on September 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
From Kanye, to Tupac, to Lil B, here's a look at rap songs dedicated to moms.

As Mother's Day approaches, now is a great time to look back at some of the songs inspired by our favorite rappers' mothers. It's a topic that many rappers have dived into in order to show gratitude for everything their mothers did to help them succeed. From Tupac to Lil B, here's a look at the best 11 songs dedicated to Moms in Hip-Hop history.

11. Lil B, "Best Mom Ever" (2010)

Lil B is largely known for his "meme" style of rap that has captured the internet over the last decade. However, if you dig a bit deeper into his prolific catalog, Lil B's also shown that he can tug heartstrings with emotionally potent records. His 2010 dedication to his mother, "Best Mom Ever," is proof of that. He opens the song as though he's speaking directly to her, rapping, "It's ya boy Lil B, actually it's your son, Brandon." After this, Lil B praises his mom, rapping that she, "kept it more realer than any best friend", and "gave me strength even when I didn't have weight." Lil B closes the record as he declares, "you the best mom ever." The entire track is heartfelt and uplifting; a perfect celebration of all great mothers.

10. Rick Ross, "Smile, Mama, Smile" (2015)

"Smile, Mama, Smile" is a raw track in which Ross details everything his mother has done for him throughout his life. In the first verse, Ross speaks on the impact his mom had on him after he had seizures in 2011. However, the underlying theme is gratitude, especially as Ross details how his mother raised him and expresses hope to repay her in his adult years. Cee-Lo Green's beautiful chorus supplements Ross' verses. The song is one of Ross' most vulnerable and is a testament to his appreciation for his mother.

9. Mac Miller, "I'll Be There" (2011)

Mac Miller's tribute to his mother, "I'll Be There," came from his 2011 mixtape, Best Day Ever. On the record, Miller details how his mother instilled confidence through her loving words of encouragement throughout his childhood. However, his gratitude for her bears no limits as he thanks her for giving birth to him. Ultimately, he turns to the listener and urges them to similarly show love to their moms at any opportunity. “If you have your moms, you better treat her right/ Call her up, say ‘wassup’ before you sleep tonight/ Tell her you love her and thank her for what she did/ You may be grown now but remember being a kid when she fed you in your bed," he raps.

8. Snoop Dogg, "I Love My Momma" (1999)

Over hypnotizing West Coast production, Snoop Dogg delivered a captivating dedication to his mother in "I Love My Momma." In his single verse on the song, Snoop details how his mother took on the roles of both parents, rapping, "My momma was my homey, my daddy, and my best friend." He reflects on the musical palette that helped form his own artistry as Snoop recalls his mother played oldies in the living room. However, he perfectly summarizes their relationship towards the end of his verse. "She taught me everything, but she didn't charge a fee/ She taught me everything, except how to see a G/ For the nine months you carried, I hope you bury me/ Instead of the other way around, and I put that on Dogg Pound," he raps.

7. J. Cole, "Apparently" (2014)

The entire album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, is a grand reflection of J. Cole's childhood and upbringing. While Cole mentions his mother throughout the album, "Apparently" serves as a proper dedication. Cole reflects on his mother's dedication to ensuring he had a better future, such as struggling to pay for his college tuition. The final lines of his first verse are, in particular, the most heartfelt. In them, Cole raps, "Wish you could live forever/ So we can spend more time together/ I love you, mama."

6. Chance The Rapper, "Hey Ma" (2012)

Chance The Rapper's song "Hey Ma" is not only a tribute to his own mother but to all the mothers who helped raise him. In the song, Chance details the mistakes he made along the way and the gratitude for his mother's acceptance. "Hey ma, I know I never did behave a lot/Never got good grades a lot," he raps, reflecting on his childhood. However, he also mentions the maternal nature of his friends' moms, as well as the women throughout his neighborhood who looked after him. In his own words, Chance states the song is for "anybody who’s been a mother to a motherless child." "Hey Ma" is a tribute to the women who've cared for a child, whether or not it was their biological child.

5. Nas, "Dance" (2002)

"Dance" is an emotional tribute to his deceased mother. Perhaps the most " emotionally charged song on this list, Nas reflects on his mothers sacrifices and imagines his mother dancing in Heaven. "Jesus finally got his bride/ mommy dance with him," he raps. Throughout it all, Nas concludes that he wants one more dance with his mother. "Dance" is a tearjerker and Nas' pain vibrates throughout the track. Much like other entries on this list, "Dance" is a firm reminder to appreciate their mothers while they're still alive.

4. Drake, "Look What You've Done" (2011)

Drake's sincerity shines on "Look What You've Done," a song dedicated to his mother, grandmother and uncle. The Take Care highlight details Drake's appreciation for his mother and the hardships they faced throughout his childhood. The first verse plays out like an argument between the two before Drake details the pain that these arguments cause him. Despite these heated moments, he makes it clear that his love for her never fades. More significantly, Drake details her struggles with illnesses, explaining that his primary motivation for his extraordinary work ethic is to see his mom healthy.

3. Jay-Z, "I Made It" (2006)

Jay-Z's "I Made It" is a triumphant track that celebrates the rapper's success as well as the impact his mother had on that success. Jay-Z shares his thankfulness for her role in repairing his relationship with his father before he passed, as well as his mother's efforts to keep the lights on as he grew up. In the third verse, Jay-Z promises to give his mother everything. He raps, “now your lil’ misfit make sure every day is Christmas, write out your wish list."

2. Tupac, "Dear Mama" (1995)

"Dear Mama" may be the greatest dedication to a mother in music history. Tupac opens up about their relationship, from the struggles his mother faced to the good times they shared together. For example, Tupac shares his admiration for his mother's ability to defend herself in court while pregnant. "Dear Mama" is regarded as one of Tupac's best songs ever and for good reason. It is not only a sincere dedication to Afeni Shakur but also a universal tribute to all mothers. In the words of 'Pac: "Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place."

1. Kanye West, "Hey Mama" (2005)

Kanye West's "Hey Mama" has taken on even more emotional weight after the passing of West's mother, Donda. Kanye debuted the song on an episode of Oprah with his mother sitting on stage with him. During the third verse, Kanye danced with his mother and handed her the mic to sing along with him. Along with Tupac's "Dear Mama", "Hey Mama" has become one of the most well-known celebrations of mothers in music history. Kanye has continued to perform the song as a tribute to his mother, most notably at the 2008 Grammy Awards, in which Kanye broke down mid-performance. In its totality, "Hey Mama" is a deeply touching and powerful song, and is both a celebration and tribute to mothers around the world.

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