23. "I met this girl when I was 10 years old/And what I love most, she had so much soul." - Common
Song: "I Used to Love H.E.R." (1994)
We don't find out until the very end of the song that Com is personifying hip-hop. But at the very beginning, he started his story of a love affair at childhood, and spoke to the intensity of the love, lending it a nostalgic edge with a tinge of tragic foreshadowing. The line was pretty literal, too: Common was born in '72 and in '82 rap classics like "The Message" dropped.