Sharing Some Favorites: “Mahogany” by Rakim

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Now this is from the hip hop god, Rakim.  If you remotely consider yourself a connoisseur of hip hop, then you gotta know Ra.  I chose Mahogany as one of his lesser talked about songs, but “Wow,” did it hit me when I first heard it.  LL will always be given props for making what you could call the first rap love ballad, but it’s far from a top 10 for me.  I’d throw other names and songs on the list ahead of LL’s,  “I need love.”  Ra, Jada, Ghost, Black Thought to name a few other artists who’ve tackled this study.  Not all rap trades in misogynistic lyrics and Mahogany is one of those songs.  Let’s not get it twisted, he is still coming from a male perspective so it has some testosterone and male bravado flavoring it.

“So I prescribed her, something to revive her
And surprise her, she’s liver and much more wiser
Than the light I shine when my brain cells spark
Come to me so we can glow in the dark
And soon, you can represent the moon
As long as I keep ya in tune
I’ll tell ya who ya are and why ya here
Take it in stride ’cause it might take a year
It’s funny – how time flies when ya havin’ fun
We got close and it was almost one
She kissed me slow, but you know how far a kiss can go
F*ck around and miss the show
So I told her to hold that thought real tight
We can finish where we left off later on tonite
Back to the scene of the crime on time
As they introduced the ‘Fiend of the Rhyme’
She stood in the crowd with a birds-eye view of me
Thinkin’ of later on of what she would do to me
The back of the room I could see her eyes gloom
Patient, but hopin’ that the show was over soon
As the place was ripped in half, she made her way to the front row
So I said ‘let’s go’
I packed my mic as they screamed for an encore
The speakers were blown, plus my mic was sore
Besides I got places to go, ladies to see
And she could tell me how crazy she was over me
We drove off – she said she liked the way that I performed
And couldn’t wait to get ‘soft and warm’, I said
‘I’ve was watchin’ you, watchin’ me
Looks I received made it hard to MC
I can take a hint, so I knew that she
Wanted my ‘Agony Agony Ag-on-y’ in her bod-y
Showed her some sights, then I took her to the Condo
She was pipin’ hot, but I kept my calm So
She asked how come I don’t smile
I said, ‘Everything’s fine, but I’m in a New York state of mind!’
As we reached the kingdom, she said bring some
Champagne, she’ll entertain then sing some
Sentimental, songs real gentle
It hit the spot and you know where it went to
As we embraced I felt her heart pumpin’
I knew she was in the mood for somethin'”

by Eric B. and Rakim

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