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Friday Mixtape

Baby Mama Drama

by Mosi Reeves

Baby Mama Drama

About this playlist

Okay, let's be honest: This playlist started out as a joke. While working on my Three 6 Mafia post months ago, I revisited their corny 2001 hit "Baby Mama" and was inspired. Why not put together a list of all the "baby mama" rap songs? I quickly thought of OutKast's "Ms. Jackson" and, of course, B-Rock and the Bizz's novelty bass record "My Baby Daddy." These songs were all told from the "baby daddy's" perspective and were contemptuous of the women involved in the relationships. Nothing illustrates that better than Don Trip's "Letter to My Son," in which the Memphis rapper brutally excoriates the mother of their child for denying him visitation rights. After factoring in Eminem's violent rants like "Kim" ("Bleed, b*tch, bleed!"), I realized I was in danger of assembling a misogynist playlist that showed hip-hop culture at a disgusting low, which isn't very funny.

Hip-hop is a male-centered genre, for better or worse, that usually confines women to its margins. So it's nearly impossible to create a list of songs that truly convey a female point of view on birthing and raising kids outside of marriage. Nevertheless, I tried to add some balance. T.I.'s "I Still Luv U" and Little Brother's "All for You" express the sadness of couples who break up after conceiving a child without turning the mother into a target. And Ghostface Killah, of all people, illustrates two extremes, the angry father at the heart of "Never Be the Same Again," and the man anticipating a child with his girlfriend on "Baby."

With all these rappers whining about baby mamas, Ed OG & the Bulldogs' classic "Be a Father to Your Child" would be very appropriate. It's not available here, so I included an inspired homage from Zion-I & the Grouch instead.