FUTURE – “No Basic” – as described by ned hardy
At some point last spring — right around the time that 56 Nights dropped — we stopped talking about Beast Mode. It makes sense: I mean, Zaytoven’s sun-dappled Steinway-via-strip-club melodies are naturally gonna pale in comparison to an immediate, booming masterpiece like “March Madness.” But I think we may have moved on too quickly. Today, during a lengthy delay in the Atlanta airport, I decided to revisit Beast Mode, which is still just as stunningly cohesive as I remember it. Of the tape’s nine songs, “No Basic” is my favorite: painful, cathartic, and eminently shout-able.
TAME IMPALA – “Let It Happen” – as described by teddy morris-knower
I was visiting Mexico to see my sister get married when she showed me this song. She put it on during our 10-hour long road trip as we came down from the mountains into Oaxaca. Have you ever done that drive into Las Vegas where you can see the whole city unfolding in front of you as you drive down into it from the mountains? It’s like that, but much more beautiful and the city is much more of an escape from reality, as opposed to an artificially created one.
This is the epitome of night driving music. Let it start, turn it up when it builds, and then cruise as it comes back into the refrain after 5 minutes. This is an 8 minute song to lose yourself in, let yourself go.
ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST OF HAMILTON –“My Shot” – as described by analyssa lopez
I’ll admit that I listen to entire musicals on plane rides, but when your plane is delayed and you have to sprint through an unfamiliar airport to make your connection, which is the last flight of the night back to your hometown, I highly recommend playing this very loudly to help you out (also, running on those flat conveyor belt things). Young, scrappy, hungry, hoping to get upgraded to first class. P.S. There’s also this version, featuring women of the cast rapping just as well as the boys. Thank me later.
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – “Mr. Moustafa” – as described by madelyne xiao
From Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack to “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The Republic of Zubrowka and its lobby boy-turned-proprietor, both products of Wes Anderson’s fertile imagination, live on in “Mr. Moustafa.” The instrumental track — fragile, melancholy, halting — recalls a world of innocent bygones: a hotel, its eccentric patrons, and the relative bliss of a pre-World War II Europe.
PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH – “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” – as described by phill giliver
The only way to properly appreciate this song is if you play it on a boombox that you’re carrying on your shoulder, while simultaneously break dancing. Go ahead and try to toprock to your next class — you won’t regret it.
FUTURE feat. ANDRE 300 – “Benz Friendz (Whatchutola) – as described by anthony milki
I get to drive to campus after break, so my travel song comes courtesy of the dude who makes the best driving music. While it may sometimes be difficult to deeply appreciate the more bangery party tracks for which the clean version’s word-count is about a fifth of the original’s, there are plenty of reasons why Future deserves to be at the top right now. Anything with Andre is great, and Future can codeine-cough his way through a song and still make it exhilarating.
THE KILLERS – “Shot At The Night” – as described by alejandra salazar
When traveling, you always know the where, and occasionally some of the who. Virtually every following detail, every subsequent moment, is just one giant mystery — but don’t let that dissuade you from stepping on that plane. As Brandon Flowers is all too happy to remind you, the unknown is exactly what makes the trip worth taking. (note: unfortunately, I cannot promise you a Cinderella story set in Vegas as depicted in the music video. You should still travel anyway.)
DJORDJE BALASEVIC – “Ja Nisam Luzer” – as described bojan srb
Whenever I travel, I think of my folks. My mom, sitting back in the armchair, taking a long, slow sip of panache beer. My dad, at the balcony door, because she won’t let him smoke in the apartment. Djordje playing off his Marantz. Me, once a child, now a disembodied voice on Skype.
Image from here.