by Sean Maloney
I've made a mix or two in my day, and I can respect the time and thought it takes to winnow a list of 200 to just 27 songs. Then when you factor in that it needs to be for work, and that the mix needs to cook just as long that pig, well that takes a special sort of music. For instance, I don't think I would have made it through my very first kitchen job if it hadn't been for getting to bump my third-generation "Best of Premiere" cassette dubs back in the day. And blasting Tuff Crew/Masta Ace/Biz Markie mix at unreasonable volumes was the highlight of working in the kitchen at Murfreesboro's funeral-home-cum-ladies-lunch-spot The Front Porch Cafe. I totally understand the need to keep it classic in the kitchen. Not that listening to a bunch of new songs from local bands isn't awesome — it is.
For instance, this summer, I put together a five-hour playlist of hardcore and alternative hip-hop from the late '80s through the late '90s, with some throwback new school thrown in for flavor. It's a lot of songs about food, drinks from all areas of the country with some non-thematic but straight-up-classic cuts thrown in so any non-rap-nerd guests don't feel completely awkward. But really it's five hours of slow-and-low bangers from around the country — beef, while delicious, is not a good look in a playlist — that are perfect for cooking a slab of pork slow and low in the heat of the summer. Goodie Mobb's "Soul Food"! Domino's "Sweet Potato Pie"! Sacred Hoop's "Bathtub Gin"! I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast but I am definitely international when I eat French toast. It's a damn fine mix if I do say so myself.
So what are you listening when you're in the kitchen this summer? Got a Spotify? Post a link in the comments. Or, y'know, just type things in the comments. We've all got Google.