Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yoga Playlist: Hip Hop Class

I had such a great time putting this playlist together, and I hope the music made for a fun class.  Below are the playlist details, including some Spotify -- oh, the wonders of Spotify!! -- links, which should allow you to listen to most of the songs.  I've put an asterisk next to the songs that aren't currently available on Spotify.  (It's a shame they're not; Sweatshop Union and Collective Efforts are two of my favorites.)

Class Playlist:
  • Be, by Common
  • Definition, by Black Star
  • Identity Cards (feat. Luckyiam), by Grieves
  • Passin' Me By, by The Pharcyde
  • Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys), by Jay-Z
  • Here I Come, by The Roots
  • Remember the Name, by Fort Minor
  • Big Pimpin'/Papercut, by Linkin Park & Jay-Z
  • As We Enter, by Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
  • Timelines, by Sweatshop Union*
  • Another Day, by Crown City Rockers
  • Puppets, by Atmosphere
  • Ghetto Rock, by Mos Def
  • Strugglin', by K'naan
  • Check the Rhime, by A Tribe Called Quest
  • Made in America, by Kanye West & Jay-Z
  • Let It Alone (feat. Manchild), by Collective Efforts*
(Click here to listen to most of the above songs on Spotify.)

Pre- and Post-class Playlist:
  • What's Hardcore?, by K'naan
  • Moment of Clarity, by Jay-Z
  • Like Toy Soldiers, by Eminem
  • Seasons, by Collective Efforts*
  • Quiet Dog, by Mos Def
  • Listen!!!, by Talib Kweli
  • On the Rocks, by Grieves
  • 100% Dundee, by The Roots
  • The Thing About It, by Sweatshop Union*
  • Doo Wop (That Thing), by Lauryn Hill
(Click here to listen to most of the above songs on Spotify.)


  1. thanks for posting your playlist as something to kinda have fun with. too bad so much of it is too explicit to really play for a class though. im trying to sensitize the students not desensitize them by hearing all the usual stuff that goes into rap. i hoe someone sometime will come out with a positive vibe for us to use. not many of these artist strive for consiousness.

  2. For the specific hip hop class where I played this playlist, I advertised ahead of time that the music would be explicit, and I reminded everyone of that when I checked them in for class. I got special permission from the studio to do this. That said, I made a serious effort not to choose songs with subject matter that would draw people out of their practice; I put the yoga first, and I think it was successful. I also used clean versions of a couple of these songs when I felt the language would be too abrupt and noticeable on the unedited versions.

    If you're looking for some socially conscious hip hop artists, I especially recommend Sweatshop Union and Collective Efforts. Common and Grieves also have a few good songs that you can play without worrying about language, subject matter, etc.

    Good luck! And thanks for visiting!

  3. Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks for sharing this. I play upbeat music in my class and though I love hip hop, I have been hesitant to add any hip hop songs to my playlist. Do you think it was a hit in your class (i.e. did anyone say anything negative/positive about the experience)?

    Thank you!


    1. Hi Elise!

      Everyone seemed to like it, but I advertised this one in advance as a hip hop class, so they knew what to expect. I've had people request that I do it again, so that's a good sign! And I play at least one or two hip hop songs in each of my regular yoga classes; I'm just careful to play clean/edited versions of the songs. This limits the songs I can play, but I don't want to offend anyone, and sometimes I have teens and children in my classes.

      Good luck!