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Still thinking on the whole subject of ballads and hip-hop yesterday, I was thinking about how hip-hop deals with the subject of romantic love. For me, the answer has always been simple--poorly. That's probably too broad. It's morning coffee, what can I say? 


But for whatever reason, the best instances of "romantic" hip-hop have generally been authored by the Roots. Black Thought is probably my favorite lyricists of all time. I've been tripping over this line for years now: 

We knew from the start, that things fall apart 
and tend to shatter
She like, 'That shit don't matter, 
when I get home get at her.'"

Incredible song. Incredible video. Now she in my world like hip-hop...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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