*and the albums were downloaded as one track so they will be counted as a “song” since they were listened to as such. Except Lupe, but he’s awesome and will not be limited to one song.
1. Last Night – P. Diddy ft Keyshia Cole
It was the first time I ever went to a pub at age 19. I parked my first car (still a month old…to me) in the small parking lot on Monot St – the first one on your right hand side that you barely notice. “The place is called 37, in the small alley facing the huge parking lot.” I ordered a nonalcoholic Angelina Jolie and had way too many stale tortilla chips.
2. Blue – Eiffel 65
In mom’s car, coming back from LaserTag on my 10th birthday after getting soaked because my friends and I rode the Supreme Scream ride in the pouring rain…twice. That was the first time I realized that I wasn’t a wimp and enjoyed rollercoasters. And that I’m trigger happy when in the virtual world; I shot 150 rounds in 20 minutes. BUT I WON.
3. Workout – J. Cole
Angry Monkey, Gemmayzeh, last few days of 2011. One of those nights you wish you could bottle up and save for later because they seem temporary and fleeting. Part of you thinks there’s no way things could be like this, as good as they are in this moment. Suddenly it’s an out-of-body experience: you want to freeze time, just break the pause button, grab everyone and never let go so they don’t leave again. The exact people with whom I always want to spend my nights, the perfect whispers, the perfect music, the perfect I-kicked-your-ass-at-bowling buzz. The perfect everything buzz.
4. Closer – Kings of Leon
Sitting on the floor of the balcony in the middle of the night, watching the paper of my first-ever cigarillo burn while trying to make the smoke last longer as it twirls through the balustrade. The whole time I was thinking, “this is so repulsive and I’m going to smell like this all night.” That and “I wonder what would happen if my neighbor’s underwear lit on fire if a spark fell on the clothesline.” Now, I can taste cigarillos whenever I hear this song.
5. Butterfly – Crazy Town
Getting on the bus to go on the 8th grade field trip to the Tanmia Chicken Farms. I had two mixed CDs specially made at the sketchy music place around the corner. The dude looked like a younger version of the roach in Thumbelina but I needed tunes for my Discman and Napster had died. This song had been added because he couldn’t find 1 of the 20 I had requested even though I put backups.
6. Florence & the Machine Concert at Royal Albert Hall
Two consecutive late nights alone at the office. No headphones, just me, Florence, and Adobe CS6.
7. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Live on KEXP
Last week of my last semester doing 3 all-nighters for a senior project with this beauty on repeat. No one appreciated this song THEN. I got so pumped on caffeine while running on empty that I managed to slam dunk my phone in my coffee at 8 am, the morning of my final jury. A Ziploc bag of rice, $120, and left in the freezer for 15 minutes: she’s alive! Who needs a functioning flash anyway. It ruins pictures and I navigate through the dark with a lighter. Old school.
8. Lasers Album – Lupe Fiasco
6-month period of working two jobs and being a full-time student but ey, I had to get out of my head and ’till I got there, the show went on. There were a couple of I’m-Jennifer-Beal-from-Flashdance-and-I’m-going-to-get-into-Julliard dance routines while going up the AUB Chem stairs. I mean in spirit, not choreography because only Sembello’s Maniac works for that and I don’t weld.
9. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
Breaking down in tears in our minivan because I said the song reminded me of my grandma so mom had to pull over on PCH to cry with me.
10. To Forever (Moonbeam Remix) – Rachel Starr
Starting at 59s in the vid above, this was a special ringtone on my old Nokia 6500. I still have the giddy residual reaction of looking for it just to pick up. Then I remember it’s 2013 and I have an iPhone with no flash.
11. Aquarium Full Album- Aqua
In the car-ride to Las Vegas at the age of 9 with only this cassette tape to listen to for 4 hours straight. I know every song, side A & B. I’m pretty sure we were all singing it once we crossed the state line of Nevada. Dad was in another car otherwise this probably never would’ve happened. And even back then, I’m going to say that this was my younger sister’s fault.
12. In Between 2007 Set – Paul Van Dyk
MCAT. MCAT. MCAT. Practice Test after Practice Test. September 3, 2008. 1:30 pm. Safe.
13. Take Care Album – Drake
I was stuck on this album for 9 months a year after it came out. Late bloomer. But only the first 40 min and then minute 44-62, 88-95, 103-113. You know, not the whole album. I never bothered with the rest.
14. California Love – Tupac
Leaving Mulligan’s in Hamra after it getting way too crowded. I kept leaning up against a barrel that wasn’t bolted to the ground. I was dancing with myself mostly but we decided to leave when there were too many people salsa dancing around us. Then this jam came on and we danced the whole way down the stairs. No one believed we were sober.
15. Get Right – Jennifer Lopez
Full day rehearsal at Spring Hills for the annual high school beauty pageant/banquet/dinner/event/whyamicakedinmakeup. I wasn’t a contestant, I was the drill sergeant with a megaphone. “AGAIN. FROM THE TOP…WHAT THE HELL? WHY DIDN’T YOU USE SUNSCREEN?”
16. Climax – Usher
Upon plans of going to the hotel bar falling through, I found myself singing along to this in the middle of a London McDonalds at 1 in the morning with a half eaten Big Mac in one hand and a a single French fry in the other that rhythmically goes up and down when I’d hit the high notes. My friend sat and watched…and eventually joined in. The beauty of being in a foreign land and not caring if you seem like an insane drunkard when, in reality, you’ve just had a lot of BBQ sauce.
17. Sunny Tales (Chill Version) – Sunlounger
I was walking through AUB campus one afternoon after a long meeting with my boss. I decided to just sit on a bench behind Jaffet and listen to this song that randomly came up on shuffle. I don’t know why but ever since I first listened to this song, it takes me somewhere and it always makes me very sad. But I can’t not listen to it.
18. Always on Time – Ja Rule ft Ashanti
9th grade, riding home from school cramped in an ancient Mercedes with way too many cousins. The roof leaked and the driver had an unexplainable love for Najwa Karam, yellow Chiclets, and complimentary glass cups from the gas stations.
19. I’m On – Nas ft DJ Khaled
The treadmill. All I remember is the treadmill.
20. Show Me What You Got – Jay-Z
Zooming across the bay in the speedboat, hair going crazy, tan so golden brown with champagne flooding the deck because we can’t control the way were bouncing off the waves, all that’s crossing my mind is “Damn, he’s fine.” Yeah, that never happened. BUT IT COULD.