Hip Hop Deep Cuts- Vic Mensa, Drake, Childish Gambino, Siimba Liives Long

Hip Hop Recovery Run Playlist- Deep Cuts May 2017 (Hip Hop Edition)

By Damian Rodriguez

Deep Cuts is the new Runnerzedge column for the best in new tunes to invigorate and inspire your runs.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like running

Even though recovery runs are supposed to be easy, it can still be a challenge to get out the door. “Down On My Luck” by Chicago rapper Vic Mensa provides the perfect mix of bass and flow will bring inspiration to your perspiration. “Down On My Luck” mixes a pulsing house beat with Mensa’s smooth flow to conjure images of lust filled evenings gallivanting through some colorful urban center, the night fueled by youthful exuberance and energy. These nights pass by with flashes of hip lounges, cultured mingling, Julia Roberts-like open mouthed laughs, and neon cosmopolitans. Infusing you with enough bump and swagger to do something you really don’t want to do, “Down On My Luck” is a great song for that day-after-a-grueling-workout recovery run.

Passionfruit Extract, Tea, and Singles?

When I listen to Drake’s “Passionfruit” off his new album More Life, which I am sure will be in contention for the biggest hit of Summer 2017, I am yet again struck by images of a night on the town. However, this night on the town is a way different night than the one where Vic Mensa’s “Down On My Luck” is the soundtrack. This night out takes place in some flannel filled hub of hipster hubris like Portland, Brooklyn, Silver Lake, or Highland Park. I see some hole in the wall bar where one must wade through a curtain of Native American Spirit cigarette smoke to make their way to a bar that only serves PBR and Shock Top. An afroed DJ with skinny jeans and greasy glasses mixes on a sticker covered MacBook, laid with care on top of plywood supported by cinder blocks. The cerebral ebb and flow of “Passionfruit”, from underground dance party to radio friendly unit shifter, perfectly vibes with a recovery or easy run. Much like that “Passionfruit” playing DJ that night at the bar led to some profound thinking; whether grad school is right for you, is a generation of over educated under employed people actually a good thing for American, and is that my silver Prius or yours? “Passionfruit” on your recovery run will set the tone for a chill and invigorating jog around your ‘hood.

(Since there is no music video for “Passionfruit”at the time of this article, please enjoy this video of Drake aka Aubrey Graham showing us his pre-hip hop roots during his stint on Canadian teen show Degrassi.)

The sleeper hit of 2017

Truth be told, I first learned about Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” from the movie horror movie Get Out, but in recent weeks the song has taken on a whole life of its own. With its hypnotic composition and ethereal chorus of “Stay Woke” it is almost like the song serves as a prophetic warning born from a dream, guided by the Nubian goddess on Awaken, My Love! album cover. A funk-soul protest song against the apathetic disconnect that so many critics have said plague the millennial generation. “Redbone” urges listeners to remain vigilant and politically/socially astute in the face of political corruption and social injustice, all of this masked in a love song. Inserting Redbone into the middle of your running playlist for when you are at your most serene and contemplative is a recipe for a profound and enlightening recovery run experience. Side note- I would not be surprised if “Redbone” was in contention with Drake’s “Passionfruit” for track of the summer.

A Runnerzedge Joint

I cannot think of a better way to cap off your hip hop driven recovery run than with New York rapper Siimba Liives Long’s track “Cocaine Biimbie.” A film noir horn loop provides the sonic atmosphere for some Gotham style flows dripping with confidence and bravado better than anything 50 Cent or Jay-Z has dropped in recent years. I’d love to see a Spike Lee joint featuring this song as the background to a gritty mystery set in in 1950 Harlem (if that movie does get made you heard it here first).

That’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s deep cuts. If you’d like to check out last week’s article or have a song or artist you think would be perfect for a deep cuts feature, let us know of our Facebook page, and while you are there give us a LIKE!