Some artists adore their precious mums so much that they’ve included actual, bona fide audio of the ladies speaking within their tracks. In celebration of Mother’s Day tomorrow, here are five of our favourites.
Loyle Carner, Sun of Jean
Young London rapper Loyle Carner wears his appreciation for his family on his sleeve: he’s appeared on stage with his passed father’s jersey slung across his shoulders, the cover of his debut album Yesterday’s Gone features an extended fam photo, and the voice of his beloved mum Jean pops up across a couple tracks on said album. Cute interlude Swear includes Ma referring to her boy with the pet name “schmoo”, but it’s her poetic spoken word verse in Sun of Jean which is the real tearjerker. About three and a half minutes in, she begins her monologue: “He was a scribble of a boy, all hair and mischief, the two foot tale of trouble… He was a proper Mowgli.”
NB: Our header image is Loyle and Jean, from the clip for track NO CD.
Blue October, Hate Me
Chronicling lead singer Justin Furstenfeld’s feelings around his depression and drug addiction, Hate Me was a mega-popular hit in 2006 from Texan alt-rock band Blue October. The track begins with an authentic voicemail Furstenfeld received from his mum, in which she asks him if he’s definitely OK, and if he’s keeping up with his medication. It concludes with a heartbreakingly cheery “You know I love ya!”
For the record, Furstenfeld is now happily married with three young children.
Kendrick Lamar, Sherane AKA Master Splinter’s Daughter / Real
In the opening track to Kendrick Lamar’s big label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, our protagonist is driving to meet his sweetie Sherane – he can see her, she’s waving him over, and then…? His phone starts ringing. That call brings him plummeting out of his sexual reverie and into reality: “Kendrick! Where you at?” his (IRL) mum scolds. She’s got to go get food stamps, and he was supposed to return her car 15 minutes ago. These might be vibe-killing words, but the gold comes at the close of the album’s penultimate track Real: Lamar’s mother entreats him to tell his story to the kids who look up to him, let them know he “was just like them”, and asserts that encouraging them is the best way to give back to his community.
Bloodhound Gang, Mama’s Boy
Language warning on this one, even though it’s extremely adorable. In this short interlude wedged into Bloodhound Gang’s Hooray for Boobies, vocalist Jimmy Pop phones his mum for ideas as to what rhymes with “vagina.” She makes a little snort of stoical amusement before she offers up “Lima? Like lima bean?” and then suggests he reverse-work it, and change the word he’s using for ‘vagina’. The ensuing tête-à-tête tells us she’s been merrily dealing with such cheekiness from her son for many, many years.
Frank Ocean, Be Yourself
This minute-and-a-half parenthesis on Ocean’s critically acclaimed Blonde features a commanding voicemail of advice from a mum – but she’s not, as listeners initially thought, Frank’s own mother. According to the glossy zine Ocean released to accompany the album, Boys Don’t Cry, she is Rosie Watson, the mother of Ocean’s friend Jonathan. “Listen! Stop trying to be somebody else,” she instructs. “Be yourself, and know that that’s good enough.” She warns her boy away from drugs and alcohol, and finishes with “This is mum, call me, bye.”