Valentine’s Day is guaranteed to bring on a whole heap of beautiful love. But inevitably, there’s sure to be some hurt feelings and parting of ways. So for those that either won’t be participating in the candy heart, pink & red balloon festivities or will experience the sting of the break up, here are 10 R&B tunes to loathe your former significant other to.
AALIYAH – “WE NEED A RESOLUTION” (2001): Who should be hurt? Who should be blamed? According to Baby Girl, there’s enough of both to go around. Aaliyah’s classic songbird voice deceptively gives way to lyrics of mutual distrust and scathing, accusatory honesty.
BRUNO MARS – “GRENADE” (2010): The second single from Mars’ debut album Doo Wops & Hooligans almost makes you feel sorry for him by it’s end: the sheer frustration bordering on hatred is crystal clear throughout, and the imagery of him desperately pulling a piano uphill in the video only adds fuel to the songs’ fire.
DRAKE – “MARVIN’S ROOM” (2011): Considered by many in the Hip Hop community a blasphemous move by Rap’s most sensitive emcee, October’s Very Own nonetheless made a song specifically about hating on his ex’s new man, something most men have done but probably would never admit to.
ERYKAH BADU – “TYRONE” (1998): A 90s Neo Soul masterwork of a songstress long past fed up, Badu shows her man the proverbial front door while dismissively suggesting he call on his main friend to help him get back on his feet.
KEYSHIA COLE – “I SHOULD HAVE CHEATED” (2005): Beginning a song with the lyric, “First of all let me say, you can’t accuse me of all the things you know that you are guilty of…” is a great indicator it will be one of the realest break up songs ever. Keyshia added to a long history of hurt female anthems with this jam.
LAURYN HILL – “EX FACTOR” (1998): Ms. Hill’s stellar work of art IS breaking up. It’s solemn, angry, heartbroken and bitter, but delicate weary. And it’s no wonder, with the song’s inspiration being Hill’s alleged affair with Wyclef during their time in The Fugees.
R. KELLY – “WHEN A WOMAN’S FED UP” (1998): The unofficial answer record to Badu’s “Tyrone” from the double album R, Kelly gives the point of view of the man that did his woman all kinds of wrong. A classic cautionary tale of for any man that thinks he can play the game without breaking the heart of the woman he should hold most dear.
RIHANNA – “TAKE A BOW” (2008): Known more for her sexy siren persona and fashion forwardness, Rih Rih dug into her beau on this song, sarcastically congratulating him for one hell of an acting job as a real man that wants to be in a relationship.
TONI BRAXTON – “JUST BE A MAN ABOUT IT” (2000): No one makes a break up song like Toni. This one, though somewhat underappreciated, is no less engaging as she emotionally pleads with her man to simply be real about the fact that he no longer wants the love they once shared.
USHER – “CONFESSIONS PT. II” (2004): The break up joint taken to a higher level. Usher cheats not only cheats on his girl, but also gets another woman pregnant. One of the songs that propelled the album of the same name to 10x platinum.