My Mixtape Monday – May 23, 2016

First Name: Patrick
Twitter: @parkingchair
Sex: Male
Age: 50? Really?

Occupation: (Writer)

Mixtape Name: Music for Manic Depressives

Side A
1) Tether by Sarah Harmer
2) Two Star by Everything But the Girl
3) Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths
4) Good Day by Paul Westerberg
5) Until I Die by Ben Kweller
6) Promises by Badly Drawn Boy

Side B
7) Summertime by The Sundays
8) St. Croix by Family of the Year
9) Just Like Heaven by The Cure
10) Hard to Beat by Hard-Fi
11) Gimme Some Lovin’ by The Spencer Davis Group
12) Like Wow Wipeout by Hoodoo Gurus

Liner Notes: While I have never been clinically diagnosed as manic depressive or bipolar, I have always been one moody sonofabitch. In a good way. And music has been my companion on this lifelong journey of indecisive feelings. But I’ve never used music to alter my moods; rather, it has been an affirmation of the way I feel at any particular time. As it relates to Pittsburgh, this playlist could be organized by the times I am away from my hometown and missing it terribly—and the times I am actually there, remembering why I love it so much.

Side A is all about those times I feel like the world is terrible and no one sees things the way I do—or appreciates my brilliance. You know, the kind of world that could potentially elect a bombastic, fraudulent, hatemonger to the highest office in the land. Fortunately, we don’t live in that kind of world; it just feels that way. I think. I hope. Oh God, this may all be real! It’s a collection of six tunes I can always count on to ease me through a lousy day. With just a dash of hope in there to remind me that it always gets better.

Side B offers a glimpse into the flip side of my personality. Six songs that, no matter what’s happening, always make me smile. Songs that are infectiously happy, each with their own unique form of exuberant swagger. I dare anyone to listen to this group of songs and not feel like they just kissed Charlize Theron while swimming in shimmering blue Caribbean waters as your catamaran is anchored just off a secluded white sand beach. You’re welcome.

Indeed, everybody does love Alex, and I thank him for allowing me to take up a little space in your world with this rambling collection of words and music.

Spotify Playlist Link: Music for Manic Depressives

Mixtape - Pastel

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The Week in Tweets – May 20, 2016

Hooray for Friday! Before we all get ready to cheer on the Penguins* tonight, let’s get through an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

* While most of you will be watching Pens/Lightning in Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals, I’ll be held hostage and forced to watch Happy Feet by my toddler. Though not my first choice in Friday night entertainment, it’s a helluva lot better than the Bubble Guppies. Watching that nonsensical show makes me almost regret having a kid…

3) Jenn Strang (@jennstrang)

Nothing makes me despair for humanity quite like airport fashion.

An airport is basically now just like a Walmart with better security…

2) Dana (@yay_toast)

I would like to timeshare a dog.

I wish there was an Airbnb for pets so that I could have other people pay to let my cats ignore them just like they do me…

1) schrödinger’s hoe (@SMASEY)

When I’m president first fucking law is no god damn landscaping or consultation before 9 am, what is WRONG with you people?

Agreed! I also suggest that you make the following illegal as well:

  • using the word “moist”
  • clipping your nails at work
  • Game of Thrones spoilers
  • pleated chinos
  • watching Bubble Guppies

Below is a pic of a Rachel ignoring me. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – May 16, 2016

First Name: Marisa
Twitter: @mcsuquet
Sex: Female
Age: 26

Occupation: Social Media Copywriter + Strategist, SapientNitro

Mixtape Name: High Good, Low Feel

Side A
1) The Treme Song by Treme Brass Band
2) Aaron Burr, Sir by Original Broadway Cast, Hamilton
3) Sabor a Mi by Monsieur Perine
4) Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
5) S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
6) Oye Como Va by Tito Puente

Side B
7) When We Were Young by Adele
8) Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
9) Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & the Pips
10) Close To My Fire by Slackwax
11) Roll Up Your Sleeves by Meg Mac
12) Buona Sera by Dean Martin

Liner Notes: I’m a singer, so I have a pretty eclectic palette. In short, there are two things I look for in every song: 1. Can I sing to it? 2. Does it make me feel good? If the answer is yes, chances are, it ends up in my library. “Good” is relative and I consume music with all 5 senses – so the A Side transports me to moments spent cruising through Miami, tunes blasting, salty coastal air wafting, sun streaming in.

I’ve always been a fan of B sides, so for this mixtape, I chose to slow it down. These aren’t necessarily ballads – each one has a major hook – they’re more for those cozy Friday nights with a wine glass in hand and dim, intimate lighting. Hence the title, “High Good, Low Feel.”

Spotify Playlist Link: These songs are peppered throughout a number of playlists, check out the rest here!

Mixtape - Spring

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The Week in Tweets – May 15, 2016

Here’s a better-late-than-never installment of an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

5) Basic Ally (@SarcasticAlly12)

Like, obviously I’m against a baby fight club on a moral basis but in terms of humor it’s gold

Much to my son’s delight, one of his friends from daycare happened to also be at the mall play area this past Friday night. He and my son proceeded to put on a hardcore display of wrestling not seen since the brutality of ECW in the late 2000s.

I was a little concerned at first, but the boys never resorted to any illegal moves (biting, eye-gouging, nut-punching), so the other parents and I never saw any reason to break it up. The boys absolutely loved it, and smiled from ear to ear after every DDT, One Handed Bulldog and People’s Elbow.

Part of me wished that I would have filmed it, but I wisely decided against it since most likely it would have ended up being used against me in a court of law. #BoysWillBeBoys

4) ortuist (@ortuist)

sometimes all it takes to feel better about yourself is a new haircut, a juice cleanse, daily meditation, years of psychoanalysis, a new body

I believe that it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “Nothing can bring you peace but pizza” and I strive to live by those words…

3) Candace (@rockcandy87)

I immediately regret eating mac n cheese

I immediately regret NOT eating mac n cheese!

2) Shannon Plush (@shannonplush)

I need to get married so he can take the dog I want on walks when it’s cold so I don’t have to. That’s what husbands do, right?

Yes! However, since my wife and I have cats instead of dogs, my husbandly doody duty is to scoop out the litter box. She used to share this responsibility, but stopped when she became pregnant four years ago due to the risk of toxoplasmosis. She also stopped grocery shopping, making the bed, cooking, vacuuming and cleaning out her hair from the shower drain but I’m not sure if that has anything to do with toxoplasmosis or not…

1) Eva (@evamariex387)

Surround yourself with pizza not negativity.

Now that’s something we can all agree on!

Below is a Rachel selfie. Have a wonderful Sunday everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – The Best of the Boy Bands

R&B-tinged “boy bands” have enjoyed popularity since as far back as the 1960s with The Jackson 5. The stranglehold of boy bands on pop culture, specifically with the tween demographic, really hit a new stratosphere in the 1980s with the help of MTV and breakthrough acts like New Edition, New Kids On The Block and Menudo.

A general shift in musical tastes to pop-punk and hip-hop, along with repeated nut-punchings from Eminem, put the musical genre in hibernation as the 2000s wore on. Thankfully One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer and The Wanted have showed up this decade to usher in another renaissance of irresistibly catchy tunes delivered by a group of guys with trendy haircuts.

Below is a collection of some of the best boy band songs of the past thirty years, put together by me and a bunch of my music-loving friends. Please enjoy!

Mixtape Name: Everybody (Boy Band’s Back)

Side A

1) I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys (@prettiestpigeon)
This is “the song” I think of when I think of Backstreet Boys, even though they have catchier songs including Everybody (Backstreet’s Back). The verses don’t make much sense and are paced weird, but the chorus is catchy af and the iconic video elevates it to quintessential boy band status. It was nominated for a Grammy as 2000s Song of the Year, but somehow lost to that terrible Smooth by Santana & Rob Thomas because obvi the voters have terrible taste.
2) Bump, Bump, Bump by B2K feat. P. Diddy
A melodic lacing of acoustic guitar and a scene-stealing verse from Diddy is enough to earn this R. Kelly-penned joint a spot on this list.
3) Hangin’ Tough by New Kids on the Block (@alnarcisi)
Hangin’ Tough was the first time that these guys attempted to break away from the Pretty Boy image that everyone put them in. They wanted to sound tough, and decided the best way to accomplish this was a healthy dose of “rapping”. Regardless, it was one of their catchiest tunes and still compels people to hit the floor to “do the new kids’ dance”.
4) Tearin’ Up My Heart by *NSYNC (@prettiestpigeon)
This song was their second single and the music video is poorly edited and weird. The song is such a stupid “I can’t live with or without you song”, but what teenaged girl doesn’t love the idea of a dreamy boy band’er getting down on their knees and begging to be loved?
5) Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche) by 98 Degrees
Known mostly for ballads, 98 Degrees turned up the heat on this up-tempo dance song with some Ricky Martin-inspired Latin flavor. ¡Ay, caramba!
6) Faded by Soul Decision (@chelseyrovo)
Soul Decision, who I would accurately describe as the ALDI version of LFO or BBMak, created one of the best one-hit wonders of the early 2000s with Faded. It’s the boy band song that you forgot existed, but you still somehow know all the words to it whenever it comes on at the bar. And if you ever do hear this song at the bar, it’s probably because I’m also there controlling the Touch Tunes.

Side B
7) Iesha by Another Bad Creation
Along with the music, setting fashion trends is another HUGE part of a boy band’s impact. Another Bad Creation (ABC) made their mark with airbrushed overalls and inside-out sweatshirts. Unfortunately their reign at the top was short-lived once Kriss Kross came along and let us all know that they were “wiggity wiggity wiggity wack”.
8) Step By Step by New Kids on the Block (@prettiestpigeon)
According to Wikipedia, this song is the biggest-selling hit single for the group. I picked it because it’s the first NKOTB song I ever heard. And to listen to them “breakdown” the steps is literally the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. Step 5 is “Don’t you know the time is right?” That’s not an instruction or step for anything. Ultimately the draw is the catchy chorus, and not necessary the insightful lyrics!
9) Summer Girls by LFO (@alnarcisi)
This song is still in my mind every time I see an Abercrombie & Fitch store. Furthermore, I used to work at a Starbucks in New Hampshire and the lead singer came in once and asked my WAY younger coworker if she knew of the song. She laughed and said no and he proceeded to sing a few of the lines to her and she just kept laughing. #BoyBandFail
10) Live While We’re Young by One Direction (@prettiestpigeon)
This is the lead single from their 2nd album and showcases the greatness of the entire group. The music video is also a hot mess. And really, isn’t living while we’re young the real reason boy band music is essential?
11) If It Isn’t Love by New Edition
Over New Jack Swing-style keyboards and percussion, Ralph Tresvant uses his silky smooth tenor to sing about coming to grips with his own vulnerably to falling in love.
12) Bye Bye Bye by *NSYNC (@RussoJustineA)
This may be the most perfect pop song ever. First, it’s super-catchy. Second, it comes with its own dance! Third, it includes the pop genius of Mr. Justin Timberlake. Fourth, that damn video. Fifth, this is how you start a millennium. IMHO “Bye Bye Bye” was the pinnacle of early 2000s boy band oeuvre before hip-hop came and kicked pop’s bony white butt to the curb.

Bonus TrackABC by The Jackson 5
The fact that this song knocked Let It Be by The Beatles off of the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1970 is really all that needs to be said…

YouTube Playlist Link: Everybody (Boy Band’s Back)

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The Week in Tweets – May 6, 2016

The best part of this weekend already is the fact that I don’t have to wake up at 4:30am to run 13.1 miles in the rain like I did last Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, Pittsburgh Marathon weekend is one of my favorite times of the year. Especially this year since my son won his first medal in the Toddler Trot on Saturday, after which we took advantage of the beautiful weather by meandering around the Strip District and carbo-loading on Bella Notte pizza.

Regardless, sleeping in on the weekend is really just the best thing in the world. Seriously, 90% of the reason that I don’t subscribe to any organized religion is so that I don’t have to worry about waking up for church. I realize that I’m risking eternal damnation, but the idea of my alarm going off at 7:00am on a Sunday morning sounds enough like hell already that I’m willing to risk it.

Alright, enough self-condemnation. Let’s get on to an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets before I’m struck by a bolt of lightning!

5) Sweatpants Cher (@House_Feminist)

Being an adult is when you always want to be drunk but know you couldn’t handle being any sleepier so you hardly drink at all.

PREACH! I seriously can’t stay awake anymore if I have more than two drinks. Turns out that parenthood is the original roofie…

4) Mommy Cusses (@mommy_cusses)

Buying new clothes for kids is like putting new clothes on a werewolf just before they transform.

We’ve given up buying nice outfits for our three-year old son. He can’t go five seconds without staining his clothes. I watched him push a handful of dirt down his pants the other day, which was bad enough, but then he dumped a bucket of water on himself. He deemed his fashion invention “mud-derwear”. It’s admittedly a clever title but I don’t really think that Janie and Jack will be calling him anytime for style suggestions…

3) ruby (@rubyjnkie)

One of these days I am going to light my grill and burn my eyebrows clean off.

Sounds cheaper and no less painful than threading!

2) SuperSardonicTart™ (@SardonicTart)

Interviewer: What do you do to feel fulfilled?

Me: Mostly just eat stuff.

I’ll add this one to my list of overdue skill endorsements that need to be added to LinkedIn:

Eating Stuff
Dabbing
Sleeping In
Keeping It Real
Trusting Big Butts and Smiles

1) gokitty (@gokitty)

dear lord gnocchi is filling

“Lord Gnocchi” is my new favorite rap name…

Below is a pic of Oscar sleeping on my bed at night after being worn out from a long day of napping on my couch. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

oscccnight

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The Week in Tweets – April 29, 2016

It’s Pittsburgh Marathon weekend and that means I’ll be spending the majority of my Friday and Saturday praying for good weather when I line up at the start line 7:00am Sunday morning. Currently the forecast is calling for 52⁰ and thunderstorms, which really sucks big donkey balls. Oh well, at least I’m only running the half this year so I’ll only be tortured half as much…

Alright, enough complaining, it’s time for an all-new, um, wait a sec, uh, actually I’m not done with complaining. There’s a clusterf*ck of road/tunnel/bridge construction going on right now in Pittsburgh. Therefore it’s going to take forever-ever to get downtown Saturday afternoon to pick up my race packet and then again Sunday morning for the actual event. I’ll probably end up running the 13.1 miles of my race faster than it will take me to drive the 9.8 miles to get downtown. #SMH

Now that I’m truly done with whining, let’s get on to an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

8) Nels (@NelsonIER)

I hate when patients rate their pain a 9 and yet they are just chilling. If your pain is a 9 I want to see some tears and the fetal position

I think that assessing pain on a 1-10 scale is just too broad and subjective. I’d eschew numbers altogether and just ask the patient which Kardashian best describes their discomfort. If they respond with anything other than “Rob”, they’re A-ok…

7) Captain Antagonist (@AnOrangeSNES)

The Baha Man never did find out who let the dogs out and yet everyone is pretending everything is okay.

I’m also concerned that Haddaway still doesn’t know what love is…

6 -tie) Salamingia (@salamingia)

Her: so what do you do for fun?

Me: *roars like chewbacca.

Kalvin (@KalvinMacleod)

Adulthood is just seeing how much you can get done while tired.

At this point in my life if someone asked me “What do you do for fun?” I would definitely have to respond with “sleep”.

5) aly (@WElRDAL)

Deliver to me a banana milkshake       

I believe that the full homily is: And lead us not into gas stations, but deliver us a banana milkshake…

4) neckless troglodyte (@boodjaboodja)

my feelings taste like frosted cherry pop tarts

Below is my Pop-Tart feels-o-meter:

Depressed – Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon
Disappointed – Unfrosted Blueberry
Indifferent – Strawberry
Satisfied – Blueberry
Surprised – Confetti Cupcake
Content – Chocolate Fudge
Overjoyed – S’mores

3 – tie) Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa)

Changing the setting on my camera to portrait to better capture the personality of this cheese.

lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren)

*eats a healthy meal*

good job let’s celebrate

*eats an entire block of cheese*

I once ate an 8oz block of HeluvaGood mozzarella cheese seven years ago and it still ranks as both my proudest and most regrettable achievement.

2) Lawyer Thoughts (@lawyerthoughts)

court: that was beautiful counsel.

me: thank you your honor, that was from Gladiator.

If I was a defense lawyer, I would just keep repeating “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” and “You can’t handle the truth” over and over again until my client was found innocent.

1-tie) Jackie Bouvier (@jackiembouvier)

I just stretched so hard I time traveled.

Saucy Kensington (@Book_Krazy)

Fitness instructor: Did you stretch?

*flashback to me struggling to reach the chips on the top shelf at the Mini Mart* “yes”

Along with reaching for chips, I also count putting on my socks, dabbing to Beyoncé’s Lemonade and wiping as acceptable stretches as well!

Below is a picture of Oscar looking stoic af. Have a wonderful weekend everybody and don’t forget to cheer me on Sunday morning in the race! #GoAlexGo

0sccc

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The Village Melt – Sewickley Borough

Restaurant: The Village Melt

Location: The intersection of Beaver and Walnut Streets (aka Beav’nut Corner).

Atmosphere: The chalkboard menu, seat-yourself dining area and illuminated marquee created a relaxing space that promoted fun over formality.

Menu: A multitude of “melts” that covered everything from fancy grilled cheeses (w/ Fontina, Gruyere, etc.) to classic sammiches (Reuben, BLT) to custom hamburger creations.

Melt

Food: Though politically I consider myself “liberal af”, when it comes to grilled cheese, I’m less progressive than the Governor of North Carolina. Therefore I scanned over the surfeit of creative melts looking for the most basic one I could find. I settled on The Lola. It arrived ten minutes later, and it was definitely love at first sight.

The melt consisted of fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula and pesto sandwiched between two huge slices of buttery bread. A generous helping of fries on the side guaranteed that my pants top button would be put to the test for the rest of the day.

Unsurprisingly, everything was mighty delicious. I mean, its grilled cheese and French fries so the bar is pretty low since it’s almost impossible to screw those two things up*., but regardless errthang was scrumptious!

* Unless you’re me. I once dumped an old bag of frozen French fries into a deep fryer and I almost ended up looking like Deadpool.

Service: It took me about two minutes to order and pay so there really wasn’t much time to build much of a relationship with the guy behind the counter. I guess he seemed ok enough.

Final Call: The only thing that could make The Village Melt a better lunchtime destination is if they were located in my neighboring cube. Highly recommended!

The Village Melt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Week in Tweets – April 22, 2016

Today’s dreary weather and the recent passing of Prince has quelled most of my “Hooray for Friday” excitement. Along with MJ and Madonna, his music left an indelible mark on me as I navigated my way through childhood in the 1980s. I was five when the Little Red Corvette video began heavy rotation on MTV in 1982 and I instantly loved it.

I stayed a pretty big fan of his music up until My Name Is Prince in the early nineties. After that my tastes strayed more towards his R&B progeny (Shai, Boyz II Men and Silk) and hip-hop (The Chronic et al).

Though I hadn’t listened much to his prolific output over the past twenty years, his influence has always been a constant. This continues today more than ever, with artists such as Young Thug, The Weeknd and Chvrches vividly displaying his imprint.

Prince has and will remain a paragon of American culture due to his unparalleled combination of musicianship, showmanship and genre-and-gender bending sex appeal. Whenever you’re done reading through this all-new, all-different Week in Tweets, I implore you to listen to as much Prince music as possible*.

* And don’t forget to check out this classic Chappelle skit that hilariously added to his reputation as an otherworldly badass. Game, blouses…

9) Momo (@pickledino)

Kids can literally poop anywhere and people still keep them around. That’s fucking power.

Not only that, but they’re also uproariously lauded whenever they actually sh*t where they’re supposed to. I mean, how hard is it to sit down and poop in a toilet? No one gives a round of applause after I drop a deuce. In fact, my wife often gets mad at me if I do it in our bathroom before she showers because she says that the steam and the stink combine to form a toxic poo-cloud. Being an adult sucks…

8) peaceful nice dude (@nerddeterrent)

I even hate the things I like

I only hate three things – 1) people with dissimilar views than mine, 2) people with views too similar to mine and 3) omelets.

7) Geeka (@Geeka)

Yay for forgotten purse baklava.

“Forgotten Purse Baklava” is my new favorite phrase. It works just as well as an indie band name (coming to Mr. Smalls this Saturday – Deerhunter with Forgotten Purse Baklava), as it does in a book title (Harry Potter and the Forgotten Purse Baklava). Heck, it evens works as a euphemism for an elderly person’s private parts…

6) Ashley Austrew (@ashleyaustrew)

All these moms in Build-A-Bear keep looking at me like my flask is a bad thing.

As long as it’s not YOU actually building the bear, I think that a little alcohol is perfectly alright!

5) Lauren (@yinzersosmart)

My cat does this cute thing where she drinks too much water then barfs it all up on my bathroom floor.

“Water Barf” is also a wholly believable indie band name!

4) J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling)

I wish I could just favourite emails instead of answering them.

Ditto for voice mails, text messages and any other form of human communication!

3) Julia Gulia (@JRobb773)

My resting face is disgusted yet resigned, like a Law & Order detective who finds another dead body just before the commercial break.

My resting b*tch face is disgusted yet amused, like when Lauren finds a puddle of her cat’s water barf.

2) BrassyLibrarian (@BrassyLibrarian)

Would it be wrong if I just made a bunch of garlic bread tonight and ate it all by myself?

Only if you don’t share it with me!!!

1) Tim (@Playing_Dad)

I have not seen this kind of outpouring of sympathy for a celebrity dying since the last celebrity died

mexican u not (@mrzenitram)

cannot wait for hollywood to cast a white guy as Prince in a movie about his life

If it’s got to be a white guy, my vote is for Channing Tatum. At least he could pull off the assless chaps!

Below is a picture of Oscar from a couple years ago looking fresh af after just getting a haircut. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

oscc

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My Mixtape Monday – April 18, 2016

First Name: Zain
Twitter: @Insane_Zain
Sex: Once 6 years ago. Oh, I mean Male.
Age: 25

Occupation: Mindless-Job Worker/Comedian

Mixtape Name: The Brown Album

Liner Notes: There are 2 genres of music have had a huge impact in my life: hip-hop and angsty rock. I appreciate hip-hop for the motivation and clever lyrical ability, and I appreciate angsty rock for the MSN statuses it provided me. I decided to devote each side to one of those genres (using each artist only once), to give you guys my very own musical masterpiece. Here is the mixtape that critics everywhere are calling “can you please stop emailing me your shitty song list?”

Side A
1) Hiiipower by Kendrick Lamar
This was the first Kendrick Lamar song I ever listened to, and still is probably my favourite one. It is weird looking back now at how he’s always been that one guy who has more to say than you would expect on a song. It’s produced by J. Cole too so it’s like a 2-for-1 special. Also, it is a perfect segway to the 2nd song.
2) Killers by J. Cole
It took me longer than I care to admit to finally pick just 1 J. Cole song. 99% of his songs are amazing; he’s like the Heisenberg of the rap game. I had to pick the one that best shows just how great J. Cole is. On Killers he sounds like Nas and Tupac did the DBZ fusion dance and made a song immediately after.
3) Hate Me Now by Nas feat Puff Daddy
I’m no historian, but I’m pretty sure the first gym was built after this song was released. It’s impossible to not be pumped up and motivated when listening to this song. Nas gives you great lyrics on a beat that doesn’t even need it, and Puff Daddy (Diddy/P.Diddy/Puffy/Drake-Slapper) provides a hook that inspired douchebags everywhere.
4) The Way I Am by Eminem
Every brown person has a special place in their heart for Eminem. Just the passion in every line of this song is so impossible to ignore. I can’t help but feel like I’m having problems with record labels and critics myself whenever I hear it. He’s another guy that has so many good songs that it’s virtually pointless to just pick 1.
5) Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) by Kanye West ft Jay-Z
My personal favourite collaboration from “The Throne” is this classic from Kanye’s 2nd album. We get the best version of Yeezy on this with lyrics focused on social issues, personal guilt, and clever takes on a very serious topic. This is the Kanye that probably made Kanye fall in love with Kanye. Jay-Z pops up for an iconic 2nd verse. That businessman line increased the amount of entrepreneurs everywhere by roughly 300% (give or take 299%). I also got to see them perform this live during the Watch The Throne tour (#humblebrag), and it felt like a religious experience, so I may be biased.
6) Something You Forgot by Lil Wayne
This guy absolutely dominated my iPod in High School. This song specifically hit hard for every guy who believed that one Grade 9 break-up would be their biggest regret in life. He samples the classic “What is Love” by Heart (that’s not a joke btw) and gave the world the first Drake sounding hip-hop song. Lil Wayne might barely be able to speak now, but damn did he have an amazing way with words in his good old days.

Side B

7) The Scientist by Coldplay
What better way to start off the angsty rock side than with the least angsty song of all-time. This song is just too great to not have on here. The piano hits you with every note, and Chris Martin makes me jealous of his vocals with every line. It also had one of the cooler music videos that I’ve seen, and major props to him for memorizing the entire song backwards for it. No lie, he actually did that.
8) Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit might be the catchiest angry song of all-time, and Cobain’s voice is so haunting and perfect on every line that it really makes you wish he could have been alive for longer. I think the only thing more unfortunate than Cobain’s early death is that people use this song to mix with house music.
9) In The End by Linkin Park
If you were a foreign kid in North America in the early 2000’s, chances are that Linkin Park was your favourite band. They’re the Eminem of Rock music. This song is great for people who love being reminded about how pointless life is, and I’m almost positive was ghost-written by Vegeta (that’s TWO DBZ references!). Mike Shinoda was my first favourite rapper, and Chester has such an amazing screaming voice that his kids probably get in trouble on purpose.
10) Talk Show Host by Radiohead
I could listen to just the guitar from this song for the rest of my life and I think I’d be happy. Well, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word to describe how it makes me feel. Really you can place any Radiohead on to this mixtape and I wouldn’t be mad at you. This song also gets bonus points for being on the soundtrack for the great 1996 Shakespeare-inspired movie, Leonardo DiCaprio & Juliet.
11) Time Is Running Out by Muse
I heard of Muse for the first time when I visited England as a child in 2004, and this song made me a fan immediately. I remember coming back to Toronto and telling all my friends about this song, so I’m pretty sure I deserve SOME credit for it being their first top-10 hit.
12) Pieces by Sum 41
Being a Toronto kid, I had to throw some Sum 41 into this mixtape. They were one of my favourite bands growing up, and not just because their guitarist looked exactly like me. This song still gives me chills when I hear it, and reminds me about how unnecessarily depressed I must have been at a young age. Also, after 5 insanely popular and iconic bands, I had to throw a random curveball in here to keep it fresh.

YouTube Playlist Link: The Brown Album

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