The start of each new chapter in your life will cause you to reflect on the last. In the case of rap, where people can quickly go from ashy to classy, that flashback comes in the form of lyrics, much of which contain praise and acknowledgement of the mothers who set the pace for them before the fame.
The term mother is much more spiritual than literal. In every rapper’s story, someone fills the navigating role and has to sacrifice a part of themselves. Whether that sacrifice comes in the form of compromising one's personal time, listening and lending, working to keep the lights on or scraping up money to cop some Air Force 1s, it's been rightfully written into rap history.
Tupac Shakur’s infamous “Dear Mama,” released in the mid-1990s, is all about acknowledging and appreciating the times his mother held it down for him. “And I could see you comin' home after work late/You're in the kitchen, tryin' to fix us a hot plate/You just workin' with the scraps you was given/And mama made miracles every Thanksgiving,” he rapped on the record.
Decades later in a new era of rap, artists like 21 Savage kept that same energy on his dedication deemed “Letter 2 My Momma." “You taught me how to be strong, gotta give praise/When the times got hard, you always made ways/Even though I barely got the new Js/You made sure the kid kept a temp fade,” he reminisced.
To salute Mother’s Day this weekend (May 10), we highlight 17 times rappers have come from their heart about their mom’s sacrifices. Nothing would be possible without them.
See Rappers' Most Appreciative Rhymes About Their Mothers' Sacrifices