In 1994, Common’s ode to hip-hop “I Used to Love H.E.R.” sparked so many emotions, even a pre-family-friendly Ice Cube caught feelings. Common yearned for the innocent days of hip-hop rather than the dissipated commercial genre it had become. Yet, “H.E.R.” didn’t only become the preeminent love letter to hip-hop; it was a stellar display at hip-hop at its finest—concept songs. It spawned a litany of concept songs dedicated to hip-hop, guns, drugs, and, yes even, online porno (thanks MF Doom). XXLMag.com presents the Top 25 Personified Concept Songs. Take a look and a listen and tell us if your favorite song made the cut. —Jesús Triviño Alarcón
It’s five-way conversation between Styles, his knife, his gun, his weed, and his money. Someone needs to lay off the pipe.
Nasir marries his money stacks. No wonder Kelis left him.
Monch reprises his "Stray Bullet" concept with an updated twist.
NaS compares insects to “niggas.” Are both pests? Discuss amongst yourselves.
This is perhaps Fiddy’s most creative song: a story of addiction and heroin.
Who can make a pop hit about diamonds? Only Jigga.
Wale and company give a new meaning to suckers for love.
Onyx's standout traces currency's trajectory through crime, wars and business.
High cholesterol. Heart disease. Obesity. Thank you, fried chicken.
Em writes a Dear John letter to his most embattled mistress — hip-hop.
Essentially, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” Part II.
Doom references every drug (marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine, crystal meth) he possibly can in less than three minutes.
Online porn has never sounded funnier…or yummier?
Ye’s love song for Chicago.
Ghost, Rae, RZA and MC Ricky D enjoy a day in the Sun.
Ace spits about his tumultuous relationship with his microphone (Jean Grae).
Monch rapes rap and rides the beat like a porn star. No Vaseline.
Pap goes undercover as the hip-hop police.
KRS is a fat blunt being passed around by De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Redman, Bill Clinton, among others.
Hav and P devote their bars to spirits while Tip pulls a bank job with designer clothing labels.
Jeru battles the inner city’s main antagonist — Ignorance.
Pac’s obsessed with his gun. How do you “finger fuck” a gun?
A stray bullet is one of the coldest killers in the inner city.
The master lyricist describes the bloody trail left by a gun.
The Chi-town legend serenades his long lost love — hip-hop.