Folks, I have a full disclaimer: I have never, ever stepped foot in the Lyon Recreation Center with the intention of using a treadmill, elliptical — or any other machine, for that matter. The one time that I did go was to sign the general waiver form during orientation. The closest I have come to calling myself an athletic individual was in the seventh grade when I achieved a purple belt ranking in tae kwon do.
But on the rare occasion that I succumb to the peer pressure of my gym-savvy suitemate who drags me out to lace up a pair of Nikes for a workout, this is the motivational mix that keeps me running like I stole something. This week’s playlist is for the toned, tanned and those trying to get there.
“Bad Girls” – N.A.R.S.
“Live fast, die young. Bad girls do it well.” Do I actually have to write the rest of this description? You know the gist. Start your workout with America’s resident bada–, M.I.A. Sri Lankan-born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam rose to fame with the single “Paper Planes.” Like most of her songs, “Bad Girls” features a blend of Indian and Middle-Eastern instrumentation. Artists Missy Elliott and Azealia Banks star in this more upbeat remix that will empower you right from the start.
“Slight Work feat. Big Sean” – Wale
Washington D.C. rapper Wale brings this motivational track to the table in his album Ambition. There’s nothing more inspirational than hearing Big Sean bellow “You make 25 a year? I make 25 a night,” as your blood starts pumping and the sweat starts flowing. Don’t stop now.
“POWER” – Kanye West
There’s nothing quite like the angst of Kanye West to fuel your workout at the point where you’re starting to feel worn out. Lauded by music critics as Kanye’s comeback single, “Power” has been featured in plenty of commercials and trailers. If you’ve got some extra time on your hands post-workout, check out the music video. Director Marco Brambilla has captured the legend that is Kanye West in a way you’ve probably never seen it done before.
“Come & Get It” – Jump Smokers
DJ music group Jump Smokers puts an electrifying spin on Selena Gomez’s much slower single, “Come & Get it.” There’s something about this version that will get you off your feet and moving.
“Goin’ In” – Skrillex
As a college student, I’m practically committing social suicide by admitting I’m not the biggest fan of Skrillex. But Skrillex’s renewal of the funky Birdy Nam Nam’s single is just too irresistible. In this version, he’s boosted the levels on the A$AP Rocky’s “Wild for the Night” samples to make it a far more addictive piece.
“Dope” – Tyga, Rick Ross
Tyga has faced intense criticism from intellectuals to rap enthusiasts alike for his misogynistic music. In fact, just this past spring, Harvard University students campaigned to stop him from headlining at their annual Yardfest music festival. As a woman, I sympathize with these sentiments and agree that his sexist messages are inappropriate. But if we are going to criticize Tyga for his taste, we might as well stop listening to hip-hop, rap and R&B in their entirety. So let’s face it, friends: His fiery beats make this potty mouth’s songs perfect for a good dance session or workout.
“Express Yourself” – Gent & Jawns
College partygoers can thank electronic music maven Thomas Pentz, more commonly known as Diplo, for consistently delivering heart-racing hits. His trap selections, such as “Boy Oh Boy” and “Butter’s Theme,” deserve a shout-out of their own because this music has the ability to turn any uncomfortable social scenario into a fist pump-worthy situation. The relatively obscure DJ duo, Gent & Jawns (who humbly describe themselves as just a “couple of dudes makin’ beats”) have remixed Diplo’s most popular number into an impeccable arrangement that just gets better and better as it unfolds.
“Werkin’ Girls” – Angel Haze
Twenty-two-year-old Angel Haze is making waves in the hip-hop scene with her impressive tracks. Comparable to the better-known Azealia Banks, this New York native and her profanity-laden production will give you a much-needed adrenaline boost: “Like I run on sense like a motherf-ckin’ chopper / Like a cheetah in the jungle but I’m motherf-cking faster.” And though her lyric recitation is arguably quite hard to follow, if you play close attention, her crude lyrics are quite entertaining: “Like I’m diarrhea or whatever’s sitting under it / I’m nasty, I’m insane, I’m too much, I spit grains.”
Have a suggestion for next week’s playlist? Tweet me @RiniSampath.
Rini Sampath is a sophomore majoring in international relations (global business). Her column, “Traveller’s Tracks” runs Mondays.