It's hard to imagine something in hip-hop as emotional as the soundscapes of Drake, let alone what they compel us to reveal through vulnerable text messages and tweets. But Drake's discography, including his third studio album, Nothing Was the Same, isn't the first, nor most grand, emoment in hip-hop.
Moments oozing with vulnerability have been occurring in hip-hop since 1987, when LL Cool J confessed: I Need Love.
Kanye West took emo rap mainstream with the debut of 808s & Heartbreak, laced with honest rhymes of a rough breakup and loss. (Much credit to Kid Cudi, who co-authored the majority of the album.) In anticipation of the official release of Drake's Nothing Was the Same album, check out the progression of emo rap through the top 10 emoments in hip-hop (in chronological order). Grab the tissues!
10. LL Cool J's Rap Ballad, I Need Love (1987)
Rap fans' first popular taste of emotion came when LL Cool J released the genre's first ballad, I Need Love. LL went against the grain, at the time, and took five minutes to express his longing for love. (Honorable mention to Sugarhill Gang who were the first to record a rap love song, The Lover In You in 1982.)
9. Biz Markie's Friend-Zone Anthem, Just a Friend (1989)
No one likes to be friend-zoned, especially Biz Markie. The rapper takes on the subject with humor and creates an anthem for those suffering from rejection. Biz Markie, channels the hurt, and sings from the top of his lungs, even if off key. The cherry on top of Just a Friend is its single cover, which features Biz Markie drying his sad eyes out. Drake, take note.