I work on the weekends washing dishes at a restaurant in Hampden called the Goldwen West. Food is good, you should check it out if you get a chance. I like working there cause it's so different from my other job, teaching Special Ed at Kennedy Krieger. That's a real job with professional people who take themselves seriously, and they should. At this place though, dudes with creative facial hair cook enchiladas and listen to Tom Waits, give me food whenever I want and just seem to not give a. It's night and day from my other job where people think I might be a little eccentric to come to the Golden West and be one of the most normal people there.
One thing I've learned about washing dishes is that it's really boring, so if you don't have good music time moves backwards. One time another dishwasher who dresses like a russian sailor put on two Led Zepplin live bootlegs in a row and I wanted to die. I mean, who want's to listen to an 8 minute guitar solo by some dude on drugs? Not me. It's time to create the perfect mixtape so I can start monopolizing that crappy skippy-ass old Sony we listen to in the dishroom.
1 - Lil Wayne - "Oh No" - "me I come out of that water like I was just bathing/ and watch my step on the wet pavement" ... "street sweeper in the back of the hatch/ make me pop the latch/ leave you bloody with the cops to match" ... "I'm sicker with it/ pick a city, buy a condo/ find a fine ho, let some time go" This is exactly the shit you want when you're washing dishes. It's got enough bass to have a whole seperate song pounding out of our shitty but big speakers but enough treble to cut through the din with the right shit to rap along with keep you from getting bored. This is the perfect song to wash dishes to.
2 - Juvenile - "Holla Back" - I liked this before I even heard it, when I read in the liner notes that it had an Otis Redding sample. The lyrics are dirty as shit, and there are a few hooks. That's all well and good, but what makes this song special is the relentless maniacal urgency of what sounds like 3 songs mixed up and thrown together.
3 - Notorious B.I.G. - "Hypnotize" - You gotta have shit on this CD that everyone will recognize. You got waiters walking by constantly, your manager milling around, maybe even your boss will be there to step on your feet. And the more people like your CD, the less likely someone is to come over with a scratched up doom metal album. This is another one of those intensely focused songs that will cut right through your thoughts and distract you, which is definately what you needw hen you've got a whole mess of pankace batter on your silverware. "Your crew run run run/ your crew run run."
4 - the Wu Tang Clan - "Protect Your Neck" - I think the Wu rules our kitchen, man, everyone listens to this stuff. Not just the group, I've actually heard a few more solo albums than I would've like to since I started there. This album is probably the best dishwashing album cause its so twichy and autistic - it's like you drank too much coffee and you're all tense but you're happy about something and you can't sit still and so when you're listening to ODB singing "c'mon baby baby c'mon", you don't mind attacking a few huge pots of burnt chili sauce that you'd been saving for later.
5 - Little Big Town - "Boondocks" - I don't like crowding any mix with too much of any one type of music, so you have to mix it up with some country if you've had 4 rap songs in a row. This song talks about the country, saying "it's where I learned about living/ it's where I learned about love/ and having a little was just enough." It sounds cheesy, and it is, but that's the thing - it totally embraces the corniness of what it's saying. "you get a line/ I'll get a whole/ we'll go fishing in the crawfish hole/ down in the boondocks/ poker on a saturday night/ church on sunday morning." That's actually about half of the song right there, so just imagine it being sung by 4 people back and forth while they've got steel guitars and pounding drums. Once again, it's crucial to get those shitty monolithic speakers something to pound out so loud it rattles the plastic, but still have a tinny enough sound going to be able to hear over all that. Steel guitar is perfect.
6 - Mobb Deep - "Shook Ones Pt. II" - This song here slows it down a bit, but so far this mix has been on some 60 mph in 3rd gear shit, so it's necessary to take it easy for a minute. Drink a ice cold glass of water. Sit down for a minute, bullshit with a waiter while he waits for his burgers to come through. I actually used to think this was a Wu-Tang beat, and it kind of sounds like it. All that mid 90s New York shit was so ominous and greasy, you still bop your head when it's slow, cause there's still a lot going on to wrap your head around.
7 - Scarface feat. Nas - "In Between Us" - On The Fix
, this comes right after the bubbly happiness of "My Block," and I guess it's meant to be the other side of the coin from "I love these ghetto boys and girls." This song here is totally brutal and paranoid "money never changed me/ money changed the people around me ... fuck every soul that ever soul/ that ever felt like I owed/ them a goddam dime/ or a goddam line/ or a goddam chance ... and that goes for everbody/ thinking it's them/ fuck you you and you/ her him and him." This is far and away my favorite rap song with a blues sample, it makes that Nas song sound like a joke. Right when it's over it comes back to a little piano line to remind you of the song before. I read somewhere that Scarface has bipolar disorder, and this stuff totally comes across that way. Fuck it, if you want you could probably put these 2 songs together on the mix, it'd sound great.
8 - Ice Cube - "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate" - I don't know much about Ice Cube, his career peaked way before I was interested in hip hop. I picked up this album last week, this is the first song on it, and I like it. I think it's got the same production as old P.E., and it sounds like, totally overblown, like the sound is holding itself together, and it would evaporate if it stopped moving. That makes for some clean dishes.
9 - Big & Rich - "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" - I remember at my old job driving a van back and forth between the Bronx and Manhattan full of drunk college kids, one night around midnight some girl puked all over the inside of my van while we were sitting in traffic on the Cross Bronx. We're on our way to the city, and the van is full of her friends, but the girl is all drunk and embarrased, crying unconsolably, the whole van smelling like whiskey and puke. I'm trying to tell the girl it's no big deal but she won't hear it - we were well on our way to an awkward ride. I didn't want that so I start busting out all the party tunes, and when I put this on everybody on the van was like, singing and dancing in their seats and having fun. That might be my favorite memory of that job. This is an infectious ass song though even if you don't have any good memories of it, it's even more groove laden than that Little Big Town song and a million times more tongue in cheek.
10 - The Streets - "Fit but You Know it" - The new album is good, but there's no track that matches this one for its rambling wackiness. "Hotel Expressionism" tries but that song's just irritating. This one fits perfectly after "Save a Horse," with it's repetative little staccato British invasion beat and storyline about a drunk dude in Ibiza trying to cheat on his girlfriend.
11 - Jay-Z - "Lucifer" - This is my favorite song on the Black Album. It's got some reggae sample that shows up occasionally on K-Jah West in San Andreas. I dunno how to explain it, but Jay kind of curls his verses around this Kanye West beat, like he's almost singing.
12 - the Clipse - "Grindin'" - This isn't old enough to really be a classic but not new enough to be on the radio or anything. The drums and finger snaps and little echoey noises sound epic on a crappy old stereo. Come and go, bring your silverware to the front, go take a piss, you'll still hear this out of the corner of your ear even if the people out front listening to unobtrusive folk music don't quite notice it.
13 - Sam Cooke - "Lost and Looking" - This is almost the total opposite of "Grinding." Totally melodic and thick - this man was a virtuoso just with his voice. All he's working with here is a simple bassline, and he just murders it. This song will make your head snap back if you don't know it, you'll stop whatever you're doing for 2 minutes and 14 seconds and zone out, which might be just what you need while you're waiting for some frenzied waiters to bus their tables.
14 - Ghostface Killah - "Child's Play" - Last song on the mix, this is a great one to ride out to. Ghost loves soul music and it fits after a Sam Cooke song, he keeps switching up his flow on a few different beats that get strung together, kind of like that Juvenile song but not as frenzied. For about the last minute Ghost doesn't even rap, he just kind of rambles on and on over top of this buttery guitar riff.
I hope somebody who reads this strings this shit together and listens to it - if someone actually does that who washes dishes it'd be a dream come true. Usually my mixes have to have some kind of narrative flow, but this one is just supposed to sound good. I would've linked these songs but I could only put up the iTunes files cause I don't have MP3s, and it just seems like a waste of time.