In typical countdown fashion, here we go:
5) Let the Rhythm Just - The Polish Ambassador
I don't know if you could really call this a pump-up song, but this one was certainly one of the most important of the summer. I always like to have a song on deck for instances where I get overwhelmed a bit by life - frustrated by circumstances, relationships, whatever. Up until partway through the summer, that song was "Money Trees" by Kendrick Lamar, a track I still find it impossible to be unhappy to ("ya bish").
My brother Shmitty introduced me to The Polish Ambassador sometime in June and I took to him immediately. The lyrics just take you away from any sort of internal struggle...
4) The Recipe - Kendrick Lamar
You know there couldn't be an inspirational list of mine that didn't include a song from Kendrick Lamar. I liked his most recent album quite a bit but it didn't take long before I was back to listening to "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City" when I was looking for a dose of 'drick (mind the 'r'). This one stuck out to me this summer.
"How many ways am I killing emmm, shit, right around a billionnn"
3) On Top - Flume
I was introduced to this song about 3 years late, and introduced to Flume about...however late I am on Flume by discovering him this summer.
I had the pleasure of seeing Flume twice this summer - first at LIB, second at EDC. Both sets were off the chain. Its super tough to compare the two as in the first I had no expectations and was wowed by how his drops got the crowd to shake, the second I knew some things and had the pleasure of fulfilled expectations.
This song, in particular, became our anthem for EDC, as soon as the homie Patrick (yes, THE Patrick) put it on in the car on the way to Day 1. It was then played on every single car ride to and from a minimum of once, and became my go-to pump song for the rest of the WSOP.
From the start:
"All that I want in this life is the chance to do my thing"
To the hook:
I want the top
All my people right there at the back of the spot
I need the top
If you know, you don't know me to stop
I need the top
All my people there, back at the spot
Let up the shots
This song pure inspires me...you'd just have to look at the number of times Patty and I went back and forth via text simply "I want the top" -> "All my people right there at the back of the spot."
2) Fight Song - Rachel Platten
And we almost had a list that was all hip-hop and electronic, but I can get down to some pop too ;)
Honestly, it was a bit of a toss up as to whether or not I put this one first or second. In the end I went with the song that I went most ballistic to, but if there was a song that truly struck a chord with me this summer, it was this one.
This summer was perhaps the biggest rollercoaster I've ever been on. Poker is a pretty natural rollercoaster, but my relationships were the subject of the most turmoil. Through a series of unfortunate events/misunderstandings/communication problems/etc, one of my very best friends walked out of my life, along with a few mutually close friends.
It was around this time that I first heard this song, and it immediately became a source of strength to draw from.
Rachel Platten rips it from the heart on this one. To me, the chorus is everything:
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
No explanation needed imo.
1) Let's Get It - The Lox
This track just fires me the fuck up. I don't know how or where I came across it, but its been a mainstay in any sort of prep time all summer long. If I have time for just one track when I'm getting the blood pumping, this is it. Nothin' else to it.
Niggas know it's lit cause we lit it.
Dr. Dre - Compton (Full Album)
I don't even know where to start with this album. Sike, yes I do - if you like rap and you haven't listened to it yet, I don't know what the fuck you're doing. If this album was up on Youtube or Spotify you would all already know, and it would also compile most of my top 5. This is one of my favorite albums ever, rivaling Kendrick's "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City" in both production and lyrics. I like every single track on this album a LOT, but I scrapped together a top 6 (couldn't keep it to 5):
(Note on these play counts...the album came out about a month ago #addict)
1) Medicine Man (Play count: 31) - Dr. Dre feat. Eminem and Candice Pillay: Just wait for the heartbeat drop during Eminem's verse and lose your mind. Candice Pillay's cold lyrics say fuck all the haters so hard.
2) Darkside/Gone (Play count: 24) - Dr. Dre feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius, and Kendrick Lamar: This is my favorite track of the three featuring Kendrick on here. Love the shoutout to Eazy E.
These lyrics spoke specifically to my doubters:
"People been tellin me I've grown into some kind of monster, but they don't know me though, I've been this way since 17."
"They'll find out when I'm gone."
3) Talking to My Diary (Play count: 24) - Dr. Dre's soliloquy and one of the few tracks actually feature in the film.
"Sometimes when I got a lot of shit on my mind
I'm just staring at the sky, you probably think that I'm high
I'm just, I'm just, talkin' to my diary
I'm just, I'm just, talkin' to my diary"
4) All In a Day's Work (Play count: 18) - Dr. Dre feat. Anderson .Paak and Marsha Ambrosius: In my most inspired summer ever, this one constantly gets me fired to get back to work, as you'll hear in the lyrics.
5) Animals (Play count: 19) - Dr. Dre feat. Anderson .Paak: An anthem for the race struggle taking place in modern America, highlighted by the tensions in St. Louis and Baltimore. This track is a straight up call out of white media, and a damn credible one at that.
6) One Shot One Kill (Play count: 17) - Dr. Dre feat Snoop Dogg: This one just goes hard and I love it. Couple of OGs.
Candice Pillay - Go Getta: Discovered her through "Medicine Man" on the Dre album...this one gets the juices going
RL Grime - Pockets: Keep a pocketful of the do the damn thing monay
J. Cole - G.O.M.D.: Get off my dick.