After getting its fill of Southern hospitality – and a dominating performance from Will Power – the IZOD IndyCar Series has gone across the country to one of racing’s most venerable events.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a place where history and legend combines with the natural glamour of Southern California to create a unique experience.
Born in 1975, the brainchild of Chris Pook has evolved into a destination race that all fans must experience at least once in their lifetimes. It has moved from strength to strength through the years, from Formula One to Champ Car and now to IndyCar. And as American open-wheel racing continues to progress back to its former self, it’s not hard to see Long Beach as a cornerstone of the calendar for another 37 years – which is more than I can probably say for this mixtape column!
Anyway, SoCal is home to a wide variety of musical artists and styles, but considering that we’re in the LBC this weekend, you can expect a hip-hop lean with this batch of tunes. With that said, some of them are highly NSFW (not safe for work), NSFK (not safe for kids) and NSFG (not safe for grandma), so be sure to wear headphones as you’re hunting these down on YouTube.
Track: “Going Back To Cali” by The Notorious B.I.G.
Album: “Life After Death” (Bad Boy)
I always try to put in at least one tune on these that serves as a tone-setter for the whole weekend and just go from there. It doesn’t matter if Biggie was from the East; this track is perfect for any getaway to the West Coast.
Track: “Natural Born Killaz” by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube
Album: “Murder Was The Case” (Death Row/Interscope)
I’m not sure whether this track is meant for Dario Franchitti and Will Power –after all, these two have been absolutely crushing their rivals on the streets for some time now. These two have traded blows in the first couple of events, but who will have the upper hand this week? And can anybody else keep them from doing what they’ve been doing to the field on street courses?
Track: “Regulate” by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg
Album: “Regulate…G-Funk Era” (Violator/Def Jam)
“REGULATORRRRRRRS! MOUNT UP!” Tell me that doesn’t get you ready to whip somebody. Perhaps the perfect representation of the classic ‘90s G-Funk sound, its laid-back feel fits perfectly with its place of origin. A gem.
Track: “What’s Golden” by Jurassic 5
Album: “Power in Numbers” (Interscope)
Not everything that emerged from SoCal in the early 1990s was gangsta rap. Formed around this time were plenty of alternative hip hop bands from the Los Angeles region, including this one. J5 broke up in 2007, but not before dropping this “golden” tune, which is appropriate since nobody in IndyCar wants to be “silver” – second place. The drivers, the teams…They all want the golden ring, after all.
Track: “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell Williams and Charlie Wilson
Album: “Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$” (Priority/Capitol/EMI)
THERE’S the Doggfather! Ya’ll thought I was going to leave him off a Long Beach mixtape? Ha! In any case, this tune sort of symbolizes the atmosphere and the scenery of Long Beach and SoCal, wouldn’t you say?
Track: “Beverly Hills” by Weezer
Album: “Make Believe” (XL)
OK, time for some rock now (and something your children can actually listen to).
I’d put in “Brave New World,” but the IZOD check hasn’t come yet, so instead, here’s this ode to celebrities and the lives they lead – a perfect track for all the movie stars and musicians that descend upon Long Beach every year.
Track: “409” by The Beach Boys
Album: “Surfin’ Safari” (Capitol)
Does it bum anyone else out that the new Chevy IndyCar engines coming in 2012 won’t be 409s?
Track: “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” by The Doors
Album: The Doors (Elektra)
Basic, no-frills, hard-driving rock and roll that’s perfect for mashing the gas. I truly hope the PA at Long Beach blasts this tune as the drivers go out for their pace laps on Sunday.