As an employee at Starbucks for many a year, I can tell you that the music someone in Seattle picks out and sends us to play--I often daydream about being this person, who I imagine gets paid a lot of money--can sometimes be a highlight of my existence. Or at least a highlight of my workplace. Sometimes. They always have a rotating playlist of current folk-y pop-y type things called Contemporary Grind which is either filled with great stuff or awful stuff, along of course with a variety of Soft Jazz Delights. Normally Contemporary Grind is the highlight. But last month, they shocked all of us baristas by busting out a playlist of awesomeness the likes of which had never seen corporate coffee before, a bizarre rap & hip hop classics playlist. This playlist was extensive, sometimes inappropriate, and glorious. Glorious! What joy it gave us, especially during a special type of hell entitled Frappy Hour. I know, just the name makes me want to puke! But the hip hop got us through, yo.
Sadly, upon returning to work this week, we discovered that this playlist--along with another amazing one which included almost-as-bizarre rock tunes, including some great Nirvana and my favorite Radiohead song of all time (which I will devote another entire post to)--were gone, dissipated into the Starbucks Hear Music playlist graveyard. We are now once again getting by on A Bunch of Soft Jazz Which May or May Not Make One Fall Asleep While Making Lattes. With an occasional Decent Alt-Rock / Enjoyable-Folk Tune mixed in. Le sigh. To help me grieve, here's a list of my top 5 songs that were included on this Rap & Hip Hop Mix, that particularly made me smile each and every single time I heard them, even if I was hearing them while someone was telling me the drink I just made them tasted like crap.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Summertime
People love saying the name DJ Jazzy Jeff. It's the truth. If you hear this song and say, "Aw man, the Fresh Prince!," you are on the lowest rungs of being somewhat cool in your nostalgia. But if you hear this song and say, "Aw man, DJ Jazzy Jeff!" you feel infinitely cooler and more in the know. You will want to smack the arm of the person next to you in line at Starbucks and say, "Aw man, DJ Jazzy Jeff!," perhaps multiple times.
Blackstreet, No Diggity
This was first thing I heard one morning at 7:30AM as I turned on the stereo. And it made me very, very happy. The full-length version with the rap and all! No radio edits here! Is it inappropriate to be blasting lyrics which reference "igasms" while serving children hot chocolates? Maybe. Maybe. But it's worth it.
Heavy D & the Boys, Now That We Found Love
Man. Starbucks be goin' real deep with this one. Had you heard this song since 1991? I don't think I had! What a delight! Also, since once again VEVO prevents me from embedding any official videos of anything, I present you with a gymnasium full of Korean boys dancing to this song instead. You're welcome.
Beastie Boys, Fight For Your Right
So there were like, multiple Beastie Boys songs up in this piece. Still, hearing the phrase "your best porno mag" blasting out of our speakers while serving customers made me the happiest.
The Fugees, Killing Me Softly
Another classic, but, it was reaffirmed to me how impossible it is to NOT sing along with this track. Know how many customers I saw singing along to this every time it was on? Lots. You cannot deny the infectiousness of Ms. Lauryn Hill, children.
R.I.P. Rap & Hip Hop Playlist, April-May-ish, 2011.