Road Trip Playlists

This weekend I learned that being in charge of making a playlist for a long car ride is apparently very serious business. I went to Charleston for a formal, and the ride was a little under four hours. I rode down with one other girl and three guys, and the guy driving was the one who made the playlist.

Before we left, the driver told us that the 4 hour Spotify playlist he made was eclectic, and at the time no one thought anything of it. However as time went on, the two other boys in the backseat were getting increasingly exasperated with the song selections. What made the two boys and the driver have the different opinions concerned what each of them wanted out of the playlist.

The driver’s main goal was to focus on the road ahead, so he chose some of his favorite songs from a wide variety of genres to help him do that. Each song was different, so it was easier for him to concentrate on the road with the different stimuli from the music. The other two boy’s main goal in the car ride was to get hyped up and rowdy in the backseat, so they wanted EDM music and hip-hop/rap songs with upbeat tempos. The two boys loved the playlist when it played songs like HUMBLE by Kendrick Lamar and It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy, but hated the playlist when it played songs like Cups from Pitch Perfect (I’m honestly surprised that this song was in there) and Sedona by Houndmouth.

When the song Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant came on, that was the breaking point. The two boys complained and complained for the driver to change the song, but he stood his ground. He made the argument that it was his car and he was the one driving, so he got to choose the music. I was surprised at how much the music affected the two boy’s behaviors. Both of them are fairly laid-back people, but they were adamant about changing the playlist. The music that was playing was very important to them.

During formal weekend, there were many jokes about the driver and his bad playlist, how he shouldn’t ‘DJ’ anywhere, etc. But I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, in fact, both girls in the car ride enjoyed the playlist. We wouldn’t have liked it if only rap songs played.

What was also interesting to note was that on the way back, when everyone felt pretty worn out from the festivities, almost no EDM or fast rap songs played. This was likely because no one was trying to get ‘hyped up.’ Instead, more alternative 2000’s music was the preferred genre, maybe ending on a happy/sad nostalgic note as our first year of college is coming to an end. No one complained when I Miss You by Blink 182, and Meet Virginia by Train came on. We pulled up to Davidson with the windows down blasting Dirty Little Secret by the All American Rejects.

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