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With summer fast approaching we’re all off to the gym to tackle our ‘extra layers’. Conor McStay works out six tunes to help us feel the burn.
Sexy and I Know It (Mord Fustang Remix) – LMFAO. To start the list we’ll go for the song which reflects how you want to look by the end of all this. Whilst the original version of this song was too ‘Pop-py’ to get in the list by itself, the remix by the Estonian born producer brings the song to another level. An enjoyable hybrid of electro-house and pop which makes this song serious enough to put on in the gym but catchy enough to listen to afterwards.
Holy Water- The Game. In the build up to the release of his latest album, The Game released Holy Water as a promotional single. The mystery of how it didn’t make it on to the Jesus Piece tracklist is a debate for another day, but it justifiably takes a place on this list. Sampling Mala’s song entitled ‘Changes’, The Game introduces a number of themes ranging from ones which are common to rap music; the lavish lifestyle and women, but adds a certain twist with his liberal interpretation of spirituality. Holy Water uses sampling to create a certain aura which makes it a perfect gym song, especially for any exercise involving a heavy weight or is an extreme test of endurance.
Who Gon Stop Me- Jay-Z and Kanye West. One of the under-rated songs from the Watch The Throne album, Who Gon Stop Me is a song in the same category as Holy Water. Sampling ‘I Can’t Stop’ by Flux Pavilion, this song combines egotistical lyrics with an extremely catchy backing track. A song for when the endorphins are being released and you get into ‘God Mode’ and you ask yourself, as the title suggests, Who Gon Stop Me? Having Kanye West and Jay-Z, two artists who are at the top of the rap hierarchy, asking who their rivals are puts you in good company for when you want to ask the same thing to others.
Never Let Me Down- Kanye West. To be honest, I could have done this whole list with only Kanye West songs (Can’t Tell Me Nothing, Through the Wire, All of the Lights and Jesus Walks spring to mind from his single catalogue); however if I had to choose one song it would be Never Let Me Down. For a man who is, rightly or wrongly, portrayed as egotistical, Never Let Me Down stands as one of Kanye West’s most emotional songs when it deals with his car crash and the loss of Aaliyah and how it’s changed him. This song is ideal for the moments when you want to give up and start to doubt yourself, it always makes me grit my teeth, wipe the sweat from my brow, and try again.
Roast Mutton- Howard Shore. Yes, for anyone who knows classical music or has seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/ downloaded the soundtrack, they’ll know this song from there. I’ll admit that it’s a strange choice on paper compared to everything else on this list. However, the last 90 seconds, which have been built up with a series of crescendos, make Roast Mutton a deserved addition to the Gym playlist. This song is ideal for the toughest part of a conditioning session, whether that’s the last round of boxing; Band Sprinting or the final 10 Burpees of the dreaded Hundred Burpee Challenge.
Higher Ground- TNGHT. Finally, a song which is the brainchild of Hudson Mohawke and Lunice completes the list. Higher Ground serves as a great alternative to Roast Mutton if you’re looking for a song which is perfect for any intense exercise but classical music just doesn’t cut it. Nothing would help more with the last hundred metres on the rowing machine than hearing the word ‘reach’ repeatedly from your Ipod earphones A song which makes a good transition from nightclub dancefloor or festival tent to a gym or an Ipod, which means you’re as likely to hear it on a Saturday night as at a spin or box-ercise class.