Even the golden coast needs a pick-me-up every so often.
- MURA MASA feat. JAY PRINCE — “Low” — as described by bana hatzey
- THE NEIGHBOURHOOD — “West Coast” — as described by nicole phillips
irreverent laid back
- TYLER, THE CREATOR ft. SCHOOLBOY Q — The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (remix) — as described by taylor litchfield
an uplifting bad influence
- JONI MITCHELL– “California”– as described by katie zingheim
poignant troubador for the living
- SOMEKINDAWONDERFUL — “California Love” — as described by francesca colombo
addictive party cover
- THE MOWGLI’S — “San Francisco” — as described by tori testa
fluid adopted lightness
- THE BEACH BOYS — “California Girls” — as described by carlos valladares
- DIRTY GOLD — “California Sunrise” — as described by ansh shukla
jangling carefree afrobeat
- KANYE WEST — “RoboCop” — as described by ned hardy
to live/die/fall out of love in L.A.
- FASHAWN feat. BLU — ¨Samsonite Man¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
good karma from Fresno
- PHANTOM PLANET — “California” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab
101 roadtrip essential
MURA MASA FT. JAY PRINCE — “Low” — as described by bana hatzey
“Low” is an excellent song to listen to while in Cali traffic. It takes you on an emotional ride that can transcend the stop-and-go. The song begins with a pensive beat and jumps into Jay Prince’s fervent rapping. The chorus, “I would never think you would stoop that low,” gives the song underlying tones of bitterness but with time, Mura Masa’s dramatic production and Jay Prince’s increasingly melodic rapping takes any sour feeling and adds acceptance and superiority. The combination makes this song perfect for both brooding and jamming out to – both of which happen frequently while in Cali traffic.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD — “West Coast” — as described by nicole phillips
Irreverent without caring enough to be controversial, turn this tune up when you’re biking at half speed even though you’re already three minutes late to your afternoon class, when you’re up late drinking a beer instead of doing your homework, or when you just have no shits to give. It’s the quintessential jam for those of you who feel like you’ve adopted that laid back California spirit.
TYLER, THE CREATOR feat. SCHOOLBOY Q — ¨The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (remix)¨ — as described by taylor litchfield
Tyler just dropped a new album, Cherry Bomb. It might just start a riot in LA, cause who else uplifts the youth around LA like Tyler does. lul. A bad influence since the Odd Future come up, he preaches the life of an LA street rat. So we stay listening.
JONI MITCHELL– “California” — as described by katie zingheim
I once listened to this song on repeat during an entire 12 hour plane ride from Paris to San Francisco. Joni Mitchell is the eternally poignant troubadour for anyone who’s ever been in love, out of love, alone, afraid, or alive. When I’m feeling too many feelings, I turn to Joni to put them into digestible song form, and my feelings toward California are no exception. “Will you take me as I am, strung out on another man?” California welcomes us home, even when we’ve been unfaithful.
SOMEKINDAWONDERFUL — “California Love” — as described by francesca colombo
This cover of the 2Pac classic is addictive. As spring really gets going, all we need to remember is this: California knows how to party.
THE MOWGLI’S — “San Francisco” — as described by tori testa
Born and bread in the New York City groove, I know that there is no shortage of songs about the Big Apple. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this gem about my newest city. The seemingly out-of-place line breaks are shockingly fluid and “doo doo dooing” adds boy-bandish lightness. I can’t stop the smile from blossoming on my face when I listen to this song. It makes me feel at home.
THE BEACH BOYS — “California Girls” — as described by carlos valladares
Let’s not get into semantics about where the best girls are. Let’s simply take eternal optimist Brian Wilson’s word on the controversial matter: Cali is the eighth wonder of the world. The girls, the sand, the surf, the perfectly dreamy sun that shines just the way you like it. No matter where you are in the world, you can always tell a Californian by the Pet Sounds album on their iPod, the bronze in their skin, and the warmth in their eyes. Cali is the place to be, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
DIRTY GOLD — “California Sunrise” — as described by ansh shukla
Farmers blame mirage cities springing out of deserts. Urbanites scoff at gallon-a-nut almond farmers. Vegans blame literally everyone else. There’s only one thing we can agree on.
In times of limbo, what I’ve always needed is a dose of just enough optimism. This state’s had its doubters before (including a newly immigrated kindergartner, Ansh, in the middle of June 2000’s heatwave-cum-blackout (thanks Enron)), but we’ve made it through. Dirty Gold’s jangling guitar, afrobeat drums, and carefree SoCal vibe sing for exactly that infusion of optimism: “California sunrise, come on and wake me up.”
KANYE WEST — “RoboCop” — as described by ned hardy
Kanye has always had a troubled relationship with California. Exhibit A: 2008’s “RoboCop.” Mr. West snatches some strings off a random Pride & Prejudice instrumental, adds a skittering drum pattern, and proceeds to spew vitriol at some “spoiled little L.A. girl,” or, you know, his ex-fiancé of six years. It’s the most majestically fucked-up, gorgeously hateful song Kanye’s ever recorded. Yet on an album filled with sober reflections upon love and death, it somehow stands out as a brief moment of [extremely qualified] sunshine. To live and die and fall out of love in L.A., I guess? Smile through your teeth, Ye.
FASHAWN feat. BLU — ¨Samsonite Man¨ — as described by editor lawrence neil
Thought about making drought-related Lil Wayne puns, but instead I’ll slide you a Billy Paul-sampling diddy from Fresno hip hop vet Fashawn. Better karma, methinks.
PHANTOM PLANET — “California” — as described by e.i.c. katharine schwab