10 Best Breakup Songs
The best breakup songs usually help mend a listener’s heart and mind. We’ve compiled a list of tender ballads to help you get over your heartbreak and get you ready for summer love.
From Ne-Yo‘s ‘So Sick’ to Nas’s ‘Bye Bye Baby’ to Mariah Carey‘s ‘We Belong Together’ to Fabolous‘ ‘Cuffin Season,’ this list covers every type of situation that comes with being in a relationship — disappointment, reflection, heartbreak and even revenge. So without further ado, check out The Boombox’s 10 Best Breakup Songs.
‘Ex Girl to Next Girl’
Breakups are never easy. It can be hard for an ex to move on from a relationship once it’s over. On Gang Starr‘s ‘Ex Girl to Next Girl,’ Guru recalls a former girlfriend who keeps stalking him and his family after they break up. “She had much loot, liked to buy me fresh-dipped gear / Liked to have me near cause of my savoir faire / The time we shared was brief because I needed relief / From her high-class antics and all her conceit / Now she’s crying wolf and I like don’t wanna hear that / I told her the bear facts when we started out,” he raps.
Ne-Yo touched the heart and soul with his classic 2006 ballad ‘So Sick.’ On the heartbreaking song, the singer-songwriter is reminded of an ex-girlfriend every time he hears her favorite tune on the radio. He croons on the infectious chorus, “I’m so sick of love songs / So tired of tears / So done with wishing you were still here / I’m so sick of love songs, so sad and slow / Why can’t I turn off the radio?”
On the jazzy ‘Dear Whoever,’ Brooklyn rhymer Skyzoo appears to be rapping about an apparent breakup. The question here is — who is he splitting up with? Is it hip-hop or is it a former flame? Skyzoo’s excellent metaphoric rhymes detail his parting words to the one who once had his heart. “So now I’m like, dear whoever / When I put this together / I felt like severing ties, may work better / I felt like stepping aside, instead of together / Could be the best thing for the both of us, forever,” he raps on the chorus. In the end, Skyzoo is talking about his rhyme book.
Kanye West‘s ‘Blame Game’ was reportedly inspired by his past relationship with Amber Rose. During their public breakup in 2010, Rose accused West of cheating on her with Kim Kardashian, who, ironically, he married in May 2014. John Legend‘s melodic piano playing helps Yeezy paint a tumultuous picture of a relationship that had more faults than strengths.
‘Bye Bye Baby’
In 2005, Nas married R&B singer Kelis after years of courtship. Four years later, the couple filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Rather than spit vitriol at his ex-wife, Nas details why he separated from Kelis on the ballad, ‘Bye Bye Baby.’ In his accompanying video, Nas is reflective not bitter over his failed marriage as he watches old videos of them in happier times. Now that’s hip-hop on a mature level.
‘Love the Way You Lie’
Relationships are hard work. They take compromise and you want to end things before they turn ugly. On Eminem‘s 2010 song ‘Love the Way That You Lie,’ the Detroit rhymer raps about a fiery relationship that’s destined to go up in flames. Rihanna provides the heartbreaking lyrics, “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn? / That’s alright because I like the way it hurts / Just gonna stand there and hear me cry? That’s alright because I love the way you lie.” Sometimes a relationship or marriage really does need to end.
‘Stay With Me’
Sam Smith‘s gospel-esque ballad ‘Stay With Me’ deals with unrequited love — particularly after a one-night stand. Remixed by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, the song’s piano arrangement draws listeners into Smith’s honest lyrics of catching feelings after a sexual tryst. Mary J. Blige adds some bite to the song providing the female voice to the situation. It’s an emotional effort that catches your ears from the start.
What do you when your boyfriend cheats on you and doesn’t respect the relationship? Do like Beyonce, and tell him, “To the left, to the left.” Her 2006 song ‘Irreplaceable,’ is, undoubtedly, one of most the infectious breakup songs in R&B. Queen Bey sings on the acoustic-driven ballad, “You must not know about me / I can have another you in a minute / Matter of fact, he will be here in a minute.” Ouch! This perfect breakup song was penned by Ne-Yo, who also appears on this list.
‘Cuffin Season’ Remix
Cuffin season may be over but Fabolous is going to stretch it out over the summer with his ‘Cuffin Season (Remix)’ featuring 50 Cent. On the track, Fab addresses the thots looking to hold onto a dude past the winter season. “You ain’t got no man, All your pics are selfies / I be taking wealth-ies / Ballin’ in my pictures / You be fighting all the ho’s, spoiling all the bitches,” he raps. Meanwhile, Fif boasts about bagging women and dismissing them before the weather gets warm. “In Sin City, I f—ed them h-s gritty / Substitute Fiddy, I’m filling in for Biggie,” he raps.
‘We Belong Together’
Breaking up with a significant other, particularly with one you truly love, is never easy. On Mariah Carey’s 2005 song ‘We Belong Together,’ she pleads with her lover to come back and give love one more chance. “When you left I lost a part of me / It’s still so hard to believe / Come back baby please,” she yearns over a melodic piano groove. The song is simple, heartfelt and infectious at the same time. And it’s easy to hear why ‘We Belong Together’ became the “Song of the Decade.”