NPR logo Mom Rap: 5 Rhymes For Your Favorite Girl

Mom Rap: 5 Rhymes For Your Favorite Girl

An ode to Mom from 5 Pointz in Long Island City, N.Y. kolix / flickr hide caption

toggle caption kolix / flickr

For all the accusations of misogyny that hip-hop artists face, no musical genre shows more reverence to the mother figure. Tupac's "Dear Mama" may be the most easily identifiable example — if not the pinnacle — of the mama meme, but many other great rappers have taken a few minutes to honor the women who brought them into the world. Here are five more songs for and about your mom.

Mom Rap: 5 Rhymes For Your Favorite Girl

Soul Food

Guess Who

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103894219/103874937" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Guess Who

  • from Soul Food
  • by Goodie Mob

The OutKast affiliates in Goodie Mob take a break from the steamy, lush documentary of the Dirty South lifestyle that is Soul Food to pay homage to... guess who? Their moms, who provided love and support, even if it occasionally came in the form of a switch to the back.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Soul Food
Album
Soul Food
Artist
Goodie Mob
Label
La Face
Released
1995

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Kanye

Hey Mama

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103894219/103874896" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Hey Mama

  • from Mixtape
  • by Kanye West

Built from childhood memories and promises to return to college (never happened), Kanye West's "Hey Mama" took on a more poignant tone after his mother died unexpectedly in 2007. But as moving as his subsequent Grammy performance was (he even shaved the word "Mama" into his head for the occasion), it's this early, stripped-down mixtape version that stands out to this day. The empty space adds even more weight to his words.

Thug Passion

Mama Know Love

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103894219/103874951" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Mama Know Love

  • from Thug Passion
  • by Lil Boosie

Just in time for Mother's Day, Boosie throws his hat into the Mom Rap ring on his latest mixtape, Thug Passion. The Baton Rouge underground favorite paints Mama Boosie as a stern but loving figure.

The Reason

Mom Praying

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103894219/103894989" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Mom Praying

  • from Reason
  • by Beanie Sigel

Two of hip-hop's emotional heavyweights pay tribute to not only their moms, but also their moms' moms on this multi-generational ode to mothers and grandmothers. Always the sensitive thug, Scarface offers his mother sage advice on death and dying. Beans, on the other hand, doesn't tone down his gangsta routine one bit, threatening to beat anyone who would hurt his mom "to a thirstless breath." It's a sentiment to warm the heart of any loving mother.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Reason
Album
Reason
Artist
Beanie Sigel
Label
Roc-A-Fella
Released
2001

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Chubb Rock

Momma Was a Rollin Stone

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103894219/103875118" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Momma Was a Rollin Stone

  • from Chubb Rock Featuring Hitman Howie Tee
  • by Chubb Rock

Not all Mom Raps are so somber. Here, the legendary Chubbster offers up a goofy ode to the lady who birthed him. He spends two verses reminiscing on the early days of rapping with his mother -- memories sprinkled with bizarre non-sequiturs about tuna -- before calling for mothers everywhere to "quit the damn PTA" and pursue their own rap careers. Maybe one day, moms will heed his suggestion and start rapping back.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Chubb Rock Featuring Hitman Howie Tee
Album
Chubb Rock Featuring Hitman Howie Tee
Artist
Chubb Rock
Label
Select
Released
1988

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.