Jan 25, 2011

treyslist: 10 Hip Hop Songs To Run To

6:05 PM

It turns out you can keep runnin' away - you just need the right playlist.

Here's 10 hip hop songs that keep my feet moving when I'm circling Lake Merritt. The songs have a lot in common - 9 out of 10 are rated 5 stars on my iTunes library (sorry Fab), they're all upbeat, and most make me want to punch someone in the face.

So stop being a fat-ass: Burn these to CD, insert in your discman and go.

1. 2Pac "Holler If Ya Hear Me" (1993) - 2Pac's producer, weed carrier and buddy-who-got-cameos-in-2Pac's-movies Stretch puts down a beat that sounds like it's stolen from the Bomb Squad's studio - probably because it samples liberally from "Rebel Without a Pause." At any rate, this song kicked 'Pac's album off with a bang, and it'll do the same for your run.

2. Eric B. & Rakim "Know the Ledge/Juice" (1992) - The title changes depending on whether you got the song from the duo's album or the Juice soundtrack, but the effect on your run stays the same. The bass line sets the tone while lyrics about the fast life push your pace.

3. Big Daddy Kane "Wrath of Kane" (1988) - Here's the opening couplet of the second verse: "The man at hand to rule and school and teach and reach the blind to find a way from A to Z / And be the most to boast the loudest crowd Kane'll reign your domain (Yeah Kane!)" Fast rappers = fast runs.

4. Outkast "B.O.B." (2000) - Speaking of fast rappers. "B.O.B." is probably my favorite running song. There are so many layers to this beat, and it keeps building and building until it literally explodes (hmm, could be a good sex song, too) into a chant about head-bobbing, rag tops and something about Bible music. How can you not be pumped up?

5. N.W.A. "100 Miles and Runnin'" (1990) - Dr. Dre had the whole West Coast fast rapping. Then he started smoking weed and made The Chronic. Gangsta rap would never be the same. Anyway, the BPMs and running theme make this an obvious choice. And Eazy-E's "One more mile to go / Through the dark streets" is good encouragement.

6. M.O.P. "Ante Up" (2000) - Any number of M.O.P. songs would work, but this is Lil' Fame and Billy Danze at their criminal best. Somebody find a complete list of violent felonies - if it's on the list, the Mash Out Posse probably commits it on this song.

7. Ice Cube "Wicked" (1992) - Produced by Torcha Chamba (I don't know who he is either), "Wicked" combines the "Funky Worm" gangsta squeal with a couple Public Enemy samples to make what is quite possibly the hardest beat of all time. And there's only one rapper who belongs on a beat like that.

8. Fabolous "Breathe" (2005) - Fab doesn't have the most inspirational voice, but, despite his presence, this song has a very Rocky feel to it. And the title is a helpful reminder as you push towards the end of your run.

9. Public Enemy "Welcome to the Terrordome" (1989) - This group's fingerprints are all over this mix, so they might as well get a song of their own. P.E. perfected frantic-paced rap, and Chuck D's voice commands action - he'd make a great track coach.

10. Saigon "Come On Baby (Remix)" ft. Jay-Z and Swizz Beats (2007) - Everything about this song begs you to keep pushing - especially the choirs of "Yeahhhhh," the numerous breakdowns and beat drop-outs, and the sample of a desperate man pleading, "Come on baby come on baby come on baby don't you."

10 Hip Hop Songs To Run To.zip (left-click)

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