So by now you’ve likely seen yesterday’s Sweet 16 playlist. You may have noticed that it wasn’t exactly what one would expect from the average playlist, in that it was terrible. However, I’m not going to leave anyone hanging here. Well, not completely. Here’s a much more tolerable UConn Sweet 16 playlist, all the better to help any pregaming or pumping up that needs to be done in the next few days.
"1999" by Prince
To begin, there’s no better place to start than with Prince. This song isn’t just a total jam, but it has a few layers of significance in the context of the tournament. Obviously, 1999 was where it all started, with "We shocked the world!"
"Yeah!" by Usher, Lil’ Jon and Ludacris
Things this song conjures up in my brain, in order:
1. Lil’ Brit going H.A.M. at Late Night Karaoke, which I haven’t seen in a full year and miss terribly.
2. It was the #1 song in the country on April 5, 2004, the week in which both Jim and Geno saw their teams take home national championships.
3. That weak-sauce show Luda put on at Jorgensen in 2010 where he was only on stage for about 35 minutes and some drunk girl stole my Legends of the Hidden Temple shirt.
So yeah, it’s quite relevant.
"All of the Lights" by Kanye West
I hopefully don’t need to mention the relevance of "AOTL." Like many people who were on campus during 2010-2011 (my sophomore year), it was EVERYWHERE. But more to the point, I heard it synced up to a certain introductory video about 15 times during 2011-2012. It’s impossible to hear "AOTL" without wistfully remembering everyone’s favorite Big East Tournament clip in which Gary McGhee lost his ankles and didn’t find them until he got to a pro team in Germany.
"Rock You Like A Hurricane" by Scorpions
Gotta pay homage to Niels and Wolf (RIP Enosch, you committed a crime and got arrested for it) by throwing some German rock into the mix. It was a tough choice between this and "Du Hast" by Rammstein, but the tiebreaker went to the "Guitar Hero 3" song over the "Rock Band 3" song.
"Pickup Truck" by Ed Nelson
Not going to lie, Ed Nelson was before my time, but I'm so happy that my lack of knowledge has led to me finding this wonderful track. Ed Nelson was the 2002 ACC rookie of the year at Georgia Tech, but transferred to UConn to compete with the big boys. Some of the lyrics are cringey in hindsight (especially the line placed after "deer"), but then again 2006 was a different time, a different place. Other than that, it's probably the best UConn song in years, beating out the Spring Weekend 2010 anthem and that "Black and Yellow" rewrite where it was just "Kemba Walker" over and over.
"Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show and "Red Solo Cup" by Toby Keith
I don’t get these songs. I’m the kid from Focus who listens to a ton of indie rock and occasionally branches out into other genres. Seriously, though, I listen to Future Islands. The popularity of country and truck-related songs at Ted’s escapes me. But I need to stick these in here as a shout-out to the Ted’s crowd. So there you go, Ted’s crowd.
"A Star Is Born" by Jay-Z
Congratulations to Pat Lenehan on his Goldwater Scholarship! UConn basketball doesn’t just win championships, as far as Lenehan is concerned. In the future, it will help fight cystic fibrosis. This one’s for you, Pat.
"Now or Never" by Kendrick Lamar
Fresh off the NBA2K14 soundtrack and a Grammy nomination, as well as Kendrick’s great Spring Concert performance last year, this track can’t be ignored. The subject matter is relevant too. "I’m so high I can touch the sky… and it’s now or never."
"X Gon’ Give It To Ya" by DMX
I mostly just wanted to include this song because of its expert use in the most recent episode of "Rick and Morty." Just pretend your favorite player is X, and they’re going to give it to Iowa State, and suddenly it’s relevant!
"Midnight City" by M83
This is one of those songs that reminds me I’m alive, and it’s probably going to go down in history as one of the best songs of the 2010s. It’s also the right song to play after Friday’s game, win or lose. Win, and it’s one of the most transcendent celebration songs in the world. Lose, and just pound shots while you listen to that rippin’ sax solo and try to forget the night.
All joking on the Internet aside, this has been a great season to be a UConn fan, and no matter the outcome on Friday, let’s remember how awesome it’s been. I’ll be cheering on the Huskies from a great seat in Ted’s (or the True Blue Tavern if Ted’s is packed by 6 p.m. (or Thirsty’s if the True Blue Tavern is packed by 6:15 p.m. (or Pub 32 if Thirsty’s is packed by 6:30 p.m.))) Crank up the tunes, and go Huskies!