This summer, (after spending the spring shirking working out and avoid the Kaplan Center like it was the plague) I decided to focus a good part of my time in actually attending the gym. Really getting a late start on a summer body, but better late than never. That being said, I need the most important tool for this. No, not running shoes, shorts or commitment, but a hell of a workout playlist of hip hop music to get me pumped up, and help me forget the pain I will be in. And though there is still a few weeks until classes end, here is a quick list of songs that are a must for any playlist.
DMX: X Gon Give It to Ya
My God, I could be listening to this song while sitting on a couch with family and be transported on the top of a car, screaming my face off and jumping up and down while surrounded by angry, grown pitbulls. There might not be a rapper, alive or dead, that could generate the passionate emotions of DMX. Also, it must be the uncensored version, because once X begins with dropping the f bomb three times in the first twenty seconds reminding you “it’s not an f*cking game,” you lose yourself. And speaking of losing yourself.
Eminem: Till I Collapse
What? Okay, everyone puts ‘Lose Yourself’ on the hip hop workout playlist like how any peace concert has to have “Imagine.” You could make a workout playlist just with Eminem songs. ‘Cinderella Man,’ ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘Survival,’ even most of the ‘Bad Meets Evil’ album, it’s easy. But ‘Till I Collapse’ has to be his best pump up anthem. Like ‘Lose Yourself,’ there is a slow build in the first minute, but then it explodes into the best running song of Marshall Mathers’ distinguished career.
For old school, ‘Slam’ from Onyx just beat out ‘Jump Around’ from House of Pain, mostly because it’ll look very weird jumping to its chorus in the middle of the dumb bells. Though I guess it’ll make a good song to jump rope to. Anyway, does anyone even know the lyrics from ‘Slam’ except the words “slam” and “let the boys be boys?” No, and it doesn’t matter because this song is a godd*mn red bull mixed with cocaine! Play it, love it and repeat it.
Hit ‘Em High: Busta Rhyme, Coolio, Method Man, and B Real
A classic song from a classic movie. I won’t lie, every time the lightning strikes right before LL’s verse, I ready to bench press a truck. Everyone’s verse and the production of the song itself has to be celebrated. As someone who enjoys watching ‘Space Jam,’ the best thing that came from that movie has been this song.
Five seconds of build for over four minutes of the dynamic duo that is Outkast to launch into one of their most famous, and definitely their best moving song. What can be said already that hasn’t been said about this song? It’s a great song with a sing along chorus and it’s on your playlist already, so there’s not much more to say. It’s Outkast, case closed.
Busta Rhymes and DMX: Otis
The second appearance on this list from these two legends, DMX and Busta takes Jay Z and Kanye West’s single from their collaborative album and fill it up with enough steroids to break a Roger Maris’ single season home run record. The cover definitely outshines the original in this case. Just the combined energy the two could produce, I’m pretty sure the mikes they were using broke from too much force. Seriously, listen to this song and it’ll drive you to run a marathon.
This is just the beginning of your hip hop working out playlist, seeing that if you just work out to these songs, the workout itself would be a little more than twenty minutes. Find more songs to motivate you as you lift, run or stretch wherever you are this summer.