Sunday is Mother’s Day. Hopefully by now you have secured a present for your mother. But if not, have no fear, Surviving the Golden Age has ten songs that would make a pretty good Mother’s Day mixtape if your mother would enjoy such things. If not, flowers are probably a good second option.
10. Yung Joc “Momma”
Yung Joc’s 2007 album, Hustlenomics contained the anthem to his mother, “Momma.” The song has an anecdotal feel to it with lines like “I got kicked out of school/she had to talk to my principal/Yeah she kicked my ass, but her love is unconditional” and “She could take Spam and make a first class meal.”
MP3: Yung Joc “Momma”
09. The Catalina Rhyme Mixers “Mama’s Fallin’ (Tom Petty // 2Pac)”
As someone who writes about hip hop, I know it is dangerous to say that I do not like 2pac but typically, I am not a fan. His track “Dear Mama” is generally considered one of hip hop’s best odes to mothers. I did not enjoy the song really until The Catalina Rhyme Mixers mashed it up with Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
MP3: The Catalina Rhyme Mixers “Mama’s Fallin’ (Tom Petty // 2Pac)”
08. The Lonely Island featuring Justin Timberlake “Motherlover”
Every track can not be a deadly serious, tear-jerking song about mothers because every moment with your mother is not a serious moment (hopefully). So enter Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake‘s “Motherlover,” one of the few Lonely Island track that translates without the aid of a video.
MP3: The Lonely Island featuring Justin Timberlake “Motherlover”
07. Brand Nubian “Momma”
Brand Nubian‘s “Momma” has a storytelling quality to it that I like. Lord Jamar’s opening verse sets the tone, telling the story of he and his brother’s birth and his mother’s plight during the ordeal. But the star is Sadat X’s verse that starts with “still lookin elegant/Front page, Ebony, Jet/Pam Grier threat in seventy-four/What these bitches is wearin now, she wore before.”
MP3: Brand Nubian “Momma”
06. Tracy Bonham “Mother, Mother”
In the 90s, I thought Tracy Bonham‘s “Mother, Mother” was just a bad ass song but as I grew older I understood the song better. The song is about those days when you are already in a bad mood and your mom calls, asks you a million questions, and you just want to scream “I’m losing my mind!/Everything’s fine!” but you don’t because its your mom. So instead you put those sentiments in a song.
MP3: Tracy Bonham “Mother, Mother”
05. Ghostface Killah “Momma”
Before Ghostface released his R&B-tinged Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, he released “Momma” on his Fishscale album. The track tells the plight of the single mother in some graphic detail. Ghost raps “she Lost her first child in 74/and that lead to nervous breakdowns, Bicardi dark, she downin it raw/she can’t take it, she constantly cryin, fallin down on her knees/like help me lord please I’m ready to leave.”
MP3: Ghostface Killah “Momma”
04. Paul Simon “Mother and Child Reunion”
Most people assume Paul Simon wrote “Mother and Child Reunion” after a deep and personal loss. In interviews though he dispelled this rumor by saying the song’s title was stolen from a Chinese restaurant dish comprised of chicken and eggs. Since those comments seem to trivialize the meaning of the song, I thought I would trivialize it further by posting the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes‘ version of the song.
MP3: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes “Mother and Child Reunion”
03. Eminem “Cleanin Out My Closet”
Not every mother/son relationship is perfect–look at Eminem and his mom. Although I am not the biggest Eminem fan, there is certain “angry teenage journal” quality about “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” that is so raw, angry, and uncomfortably frank that it is hard to look away from.
MP3: Eminem “Cleanin Out My Closet”
02. Boyz II Men “A Song Of Mama”
No one can belt out a ballad like Boyz II Men. So Boyz II Men opining about mothers seems like a shoo-in. “A Song of Mama” is five minutes of pure mama-melancholy. I dare you to listen of this and not get the urge to call your mother.
MP3: Boyz II Men “A Song Of Mama”
01. Kanye West “Hey Mama”
Kanye West‘s “Hey Mama” has always been one of my favorite “mom” songs. After losing his mother in 2007, he released an extra-heartbreaking edition of the song. So as to not get too sappy, I am featuring the original one here. Still I have trouble not tearing up a little listening to the track.
MP3: Kanye West “Hey Mama”