10 hours of vibes for the road.

As you check everything one last time you ask yourself. Do I have all my chargers, snacks, water, am I wearing comfortable pants? Do I have enough clothes for the trip and some possible emergency. Is the GPS pulled up? Should I pee one more time………definitely pee one more time, you’ll be thankful 2 hours from now when you are grid locked in the middle of Holland Tunnel. These are questions that run through your head before a road trip, but there are several  essential questions missing we must all ask ourselves before we roll out. They are……..

Has a slammin playlist been created with care for this specific journey? Does this playlist have a range of tempos and genres? Does this playlist include classic music everyone should hear as well as new pop hits to keep it fresh? Is there any OUTKAST on this playlist (because there should be, don’t play with me) Is the list  arranged in such a way that  the music being heard is connected to the expected visual scenery along the route? This may seem like a lot of thought to put into music for a road trip but I’m telling you it can make all the difference.

Over this Thanksgiving holiday Pilar, myself and the girls went to visit my parents in Rochester, NY. Rochester is technically in the same state as New York City, but it’s closer to Cleveland than it is to Brooklyn, roughly a 6 hour drive with no traffic and no stops. However with two passengers under the age of 6 and 3 hours of inching along from Broome st across the Pulaski Bridge it took us 10 hours to get there. I luckily had 10 hours of music prepared for this trip, when we arrived at 1 a.m. believe it or not it was Eddie Vedder singing “I’m still alive” that brought us in, it was the perfect sentiment.

Road Tripping with the kids is a bit different because I really try to select songs that are high quality, but also interesting to the ears of 3 and 5 year olds. Granted, these are my 3 and 5 years old kids who listen to Roy Ayers, Biggie, Led Zeppelin, Lady Saw, Ray Barretto, Tom Petty, and Jorge Ben or the regular so they know the deal. We place great value on music and music making in our family so creating this list was not only fun, but I learned a lot about my family and my own listening habits.

And it goes a little something like this, HIT IT…………….

Give me your love- Curtis Mayfield

Give me the sunshine- Leo’s Sunship

Breakdown- Tom Petty

Harlem- Bill Withers

Hey girl, I like your style- The Temptations

Just One of those days- Monica

Be Bad (pt1) – Ill Mondo

Day Dah light- LC and Louise Bennett

Weight Off- Kaytranada

It’s Your Thing- Christian McBride ft Dee Dee Bridgewater

Mr. Kicks- Oscar Brown Jr.

Stones Throw Records 10 year anniversary- Various dope Emcees and producers

Come and Talk To Me Remix- Jodeci

Nite and Day- Al. B. Sure

Caught Up- Usher

Best Things in Life are Free- Sam Cooke (Live)

Fool For You – Alice Smith

Love No Limit- Mary J. Blige

Long Walk Remix- Jill Scott

Brandy- Baby

Freekin You  remix- Jodeci

Stand On The Word (Larry Levan mix)

Some Beats- Slakah the Beat Child

Cold Sweat- James Brown

Stone Cold Funk- Anthony Hamilton

Singing and Dancing- Rhyze

A Brand New Wayo- Mixed Grill.

Haven’t You Heard- Patrice Rushen

I Want To Do It- Scandal ft. Lee Genesis

Gyal You a Party Animal- Charley Black

Your Number- Ayo Jay

Lemon- N.E.R.D ft. Rihanna

Element- Kendrick Lamar

Respiration- BlackStar

Hazeus View- Joey Badass

Yasin Bey/ Marvin Gaye – Inner City Travellin Man

Manipulated – Mindsone & Kev Brown

Land of the Free- Joey Badass

Expressive- Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder

I’m Gone- Logic

Are you in?- De La Soul

Feel No ways- Drake

No Limit- G Eazy

Mi Gente- J. Balvin

It’s a Vibe- 2 Chainz

Magnolia- Playboy Carti

Progress of Elimination- Boss

C.R.E.A.M- Wu-Tang Clan

The Tide is High- John Holt

4:44 full album

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band- Full Album

Freedom 90- George Michael

Cuban Jam Session – Vol 3

Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin

Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen

Aquemini- Outkast

Dip and Fall back- Lady Saw

Web- Hampton Hawes

Let No Man Put Asunder- First Choice


Long Distance- Sam Gellaitry

Them Changes- Thundercat

Season of the witch – Stills session

Right Place, Wrong Time- Dr. John

Free Love – Jean Carn

Black Five- Roy Ayers

Strawberry Letter #23- The Brothers Johnson

In the Air Tonight- Phil Collins vs Nutso Remix

Scooters Groove- Tuxedo

Second Time around- Tuxedo

Soul Drummer- Ray Barretto

Emotional Rescue- The Rolling Stones

Ware Wa- SoulJazz Orchestra

In a Sentimental Mood – John Coltrane

Losing Hand- Harry Belafonte

No Diggity (Mateo Vibes remix)- BlackStreet

I Need a Man- Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Don’t Wanna Fight- Alabama Shakes

Libertango- Grace Jones

Shaft in Africa- Johnny Pete

Help Is On The Way- Whatnauts

Beautiful People- Barbara Tucker

Cocomotion 79- El Coco

Black Coffee- Superman

Sultans of Swing- Dire Straits

Red Flags and Long Nights- She Wants Revenge

TIBWF- Budos Band

Shadow boxing- GZA

Full Clip- Gangstarr

The Rhythm Changes- Kamasai Washington

Design- B Stroller

Alligator- Dizzy Gillespie

Live Your Life- Yuna

El Amor- Tito Bambino

Masketo- Riva

No te Veo- Jowell y Randy

Linda Eh- Grupo Mania

Omega- Tu Si Quieres, Tu No Quieres

Make you Feel- Alina Baraz

Water Get No Enemy- Fela Kuti

Today- Tom Scott

Stand on the Word- Joubert Singers

Body and Soul- Coleman Hawkins

George Benson- The Ghetto

Detroit Guitar Band Album- Dennis Coffey

Bad Bascomb- Bo Diddley

Positive Vibration – Bob Marley

Can’t Find the Judge- Gary Wright

Back in the Day- Erykah Badu

Blackbird (acoustic)- Beatles

Have Some Live- Childish Gambino

Black hole Sun- Soundgarden

Machine Head- Bush

Alive- Pearl Jam


When I look back at this list, I must say I am pretty proud that my kids listen to music that is diverse, soulful and timeless.  I will keep feeding them musical meals filled with fresh organic goodness that sparks their own creativity and music making.   In the end here are the tracks that connected with the kids the most.


Blackbird- Beatles (They really love this song, they ask me to play it everyday at some point) 

Stand on the Word- Joubert Singers

Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen

Have Some Love- Childish Gambino

Soul Drummer- Ray Barretto

Mi Gente- J Balvin

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zepplin

No Limit- G Easy


Aaron McMickle

Aaron McMickle- DJ, Father, Musician, Music Lover. If you like how we connect the dots on this site, please leave a comment. Play the music presented here, and come back often. It's a life long journey

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