New Vast Aire: The Crush

Vast Aire says at the beginning of The Crush, an unreleased track that originally was scheduled to be included on his forthcoming Deuces Wild (June 24), that this “is not a love song … naaah.”

But let’s be honest: That’s just macho posturing. Because seconds later, Vast launches into a love letter of the highest order: “She got the sweet potato, I got the corn on the cob / tuck your shirt in, she don’t date no slob.” OK, so Barry White might have put it in a subtler manner, but you get the idea.

It got me thinking about my favorite hip-hop odes to love. Without a doubt, the Pharcyde’s Passin’ Me By ranks No. 1. As I look at the list, combing for common traits in the songs, I think the best of them are heartfelt without being cheesy, humorous without being juvenile.

LL Cool J’s I Need Love is the closest you’d come to an R&B jam, and, at the time (1987), it had to be a bit of a surprise – this was, after all, the days of the I’m Bad Cool J, before he sexed us up in every song/video he put out. You could argue, though, that LL made it OK to drop a verse or three about love.

Some more of my favorites (in no particular order):

A Tribe Called Quest, Electric Relaxation.
The Pharcyde, Otha Fish.
Aceyalone, Annalillia?.
The Nonce, Bus Stops.
Atban Klann (ex-Black Eyed Peas), Focus On You.
Del the Funky Homosapien, Why You Wanna Get Funky.
J-Live, Like This Anna.
Mos Def, Ms. Fat Booty.
Murs, Silly Girl.
LL Cool J, I Need Love.
The Roots, You Got Me.

I made a Muxtape out of these. Check it out. What hip-hop love songs did I miss?

  • Vast Aire | The Crush

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