Fat Joe Is Still Gangsta Enough To Make A True Hip-Hop Love Song (Audio)

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Over the decades, Hip-Hop has had a long tradition of love songs by artists who were respected as MCs and men. LL Cool J was among the first, if not the first, to do this on a wide scale, with “I Need Love,” and several followed, including Black Thought, Method Man, Common, Dead Prez, Jay Z, Black Star and 50 Cent, to name a few. Even Biggie had a dark and twisted take on the genre, with Ready To Die‘s “Me & My Bitch.” Somewhere over the last few years, however, things have gotten twisted. Instead of being saluted for celebrating love, as opposed to meaningless sex and the objectification of women, MCs who’ve rapped about romance have often been ridiculed and labeled as “soft.”

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In 2016, Fat Joe has stepped up to change that. The man also known as Joey Crack and previously known by an extended name that included “Da Gangsta” at the end, may have mellowed over the years, but few would challenge his manhood. With his red hot “All The Way Up,” with Remy Ma, still burning up the charts, Joe releases quite possibly the most sensitive song of his career.

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Joe teams with Bryson Tiller on “Love You To Pieces,” a song on which the D.I.T.C. MC makes no bones about how he feels about the woman in his life. From the start, Joe says “Soul mates are like diamonds. You never can make ’em, you gotta find ’em. And, your beauty’s quite blinding. It’s like staring at the sun on an island.” The opening sets the tone for the entire song, which is an unfiltered expression of vulnerability and affection.

While Joe undoubtedly made the song for the ladies, like many of the romance records before it, it’s a strong affirmation that even gangstas need love too.

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