Your Ultimate Hip Hop Road Trip Playlist

A playlist shouldn’t be your personal lecture where you subject everybody else in the car to your musical tastes.

You’ve packed the gear, washed your ride, and now you’re finishing up the final details of your road trip. There’s one last thing to consider, and it will make or break your journey. What’s going to be coming out of your sound system?

If the music isn’t right, the vibe is gonna be off. Worse, you’ll never hear the end of it. You’ve got to have the best songs queued up and ready to go. These song suggestions will help you get started.

California Love – Tupac

Who doesn’t turn this song up within the first two seconds or so of its familiar intro. This hip-hop classic is so widely popular that it is sure to stop any conversation in the car as your passengers take a few moments to sit and vibe.

Barbie World – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice Featuring Aqua

The Barbie movie has earned critical acclaim in more ways than one. Even if you didn’t care for the politically-tinged comedy, you must admit the theme song is a bop. It’s also perfect for your road trip. The song is upbeat and fun. Also, everybody is going to want to sing along to the familiar hook sampled from Aqua’s#### song.

Bonus points for this song if your roadtrip has a romantic purpose. If it doesn’t, maybe it should! Check out the Hily app to find other music lovers with a deep respect for hip hop culture.

Get in My Car – 50 Cent

This one is classic 50 Cent with plenty of swagger and lyrics designed for shock value. It’s also a laid-back tune with a driving-related theme. That’s enough to add it to your list for taking a road trip or just going out on a cruise.

High Plains Drifter – Beastie Boys

Paul’s Boutique is still considered to be a seminal Hip Hop album more than 30 years after it was released. Arguably, one of the best songs from that record is High Plains Drifter. But, it’s not included here for its popularity. Instead, it earns a spot on the ultimate road trip playlist because it combines storytelling, great musical composition, and a beat that drives. 

Boyz in The Hood – Eazy E

If you were lucky enough to be alive and listening to music and watching movies in 1991, you were a blessed soul. That’s the year Boyz in The Hood was released along with New Jack City. Radio stations spent the year pumping out hits from Queen Latifah, Levert, Color Me Badd, 2 Live Crew, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Ice Cube, and others.

Feel free to pull any of the songs from that soundtrack into your playlist. Every one of them stands up decades later. But, whatever you do, don’t forget to include the song that inspired the title of the John Singleton film in the first place. Boyz in The Hood was Eazy-E’s solo debut and it helped to redefine the genre. Since then, the song has been covered multiple times, and sampled in nearly 100 tunes. You definitely won’t get any complaints if you turn up the volume on this one. 

How to Build Your Playlist

It’s all about variety. Unless you are traveling alone, assume that you are dealing with a wide range of musical tastes and preferences. This is even more true if your passengers are a multi-generational bunch. 

Also, don’t be self-indulgent. A playlist shouldn’t be your personal lecture where you subject everybody else in the car to your musical tastes. Sure, you might be into some super underground stuff or some really specific Hip Hop genre. That doesn’t mean everybody else is. Feel free to add a few unique additions to the playlist, but don’t go overboard.

Finally, get everyone else involved. You are bound to hear fewer complaints if everyone in the car knows they have at least a couple of favorites on the list.