This is strictly head-nod music, perfect for easing into spring. The type of mix to bump once it’s comfortable enough to drop the windows down a bit.
1. “Squares” – The Beta Band
One of the most intriguing songs by one of my favorite (and unfortunately defunct) bands. It has been a lead off song on previous mix tapes with good reason.
2. “Emergency Exit” – Beck
The most hypnotic song from 2005’s Guero. If you’re not bobbing along by the time he says “Tell the angels what you’ve seen/Scarecrow shadow on the Nazarene” – check your pulse.
3. “Pigs” – Aesop Rock
A hidden bonus track on his latest (None Shall Pass) which is not only infectious and bluesy, but says an awful lot about my feelings towards law enforcement.
4. “Sea Lion” – Sage Francis
A successfully brave collaboration with William Prince Bonnie. Hands down one of the most beautiful modern hip-hop tracks to date.
5. “Sneakin’ Out The Hospital” – Beastie Boys
A brilliant instrumental track from the underrated Hello Nasty album.
6. “Blamegame” – Atmosphere
The reggae vibe keeps it bouncy while Slug gives you plenty to think about as usual with lines like “You can hate me/it’s part of the territory/as long as you know it’s impossible to ignore me”.
7. “Any Day” – Typical Cats
Chicago’s brightest unsung heroes spit pure fire over a simple 4-track loop. Still can’t understand why kids listen to T-Pain and not this.
8. “The Beast and Dragon, Adored” – Spoon
Easily could’ve been the lead off track, but I placed it here to step away from hip-hop for a moment. The vibe is brilliantly sexy though.
9. “Playa Playa” – D’Angelo
Can’t understand what the hell he’s saying half the time, but it’s always sexy as hell. It’s getting late. Time to put the sun visor down.
10. “Here” – Brother Ali
Introspective tale from the albino soothsayer himself. Go ahead. Take a peek behind the curtain.
11. “Stranded” – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Throwback soul duet (with Lee Fields) that tells of an ex-lover needing a place to stay for the night. We all know how that sort of thing goes.