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Road Trip Playlist For Hip Kids (and Parents)

by Greg Tatum

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With the holidays on the horizon, many of us are preparing to travel to visit family. Although we’re only a half an hour away, that doesn’t quell the “Are we there yet?” from the little voices in the backseat.

Like most families, we enjoy listening to music during our road trips. For times like these when we have kids in tow, we’ve curated a playlist that both kids and adults can enjoy. Because who really wants to spend an entire trip listening to “The Wheels On The Bus” or Kidz Bop, and  being a fan of hip hop, finding kid-friendly rap songs on the fly can be a bit difficult.

One way to get around this is to simply purchase the “clean” versions of your favorite songs, but I choose not to do so for a couple of reasons. One, I’d have to spend twice the amount of money I spend on music as clean versions are sold separately from explicit versions. And two, I feel that the clean versions of songs are usually poorly done. So what I do is evaluate the lyrics of each song and use my own discretion to determine what may or may not be appropriate for my kids.

Here are a few songs that made our road trip playlist:

2Pac – Dear Mama – Arguably one the best songs that comes to mind about one’s love for their mother. Although the song does have brief mentions of hard topics, the overall message is powerful.

Aaliyah – Miss You – It’s been 15 years since her passing and she’s still one my favorite artists ever. I’m happy to be able to share her beautiful music with my kids and hope for them to do the same in the future.

Adele – Hello – Who doesn’t love Adele? Although the kids love to sing the powerful chorus, I find that their singing is constantly drowned out with that of my own!

Akon – Sorry, Blame It On Me – Very good song about taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Alex Clare – Too Close – I’ll admit, it was the IE9 commercial that got me hooked on this song.

I’m going to admit that I’ve been a HUGE Alicia Keys fan ever since she exploded on the music scene. Really, any Alicia Keys song will do.

Alicia Keys – Empire State Of Mind Part II – It’s not the version with Jay-Z (due to containing explicit lyrics), but I love this version just as much. The kids love it as well, especially the chorus.

Amanda Perez – Angel (Remix) (feat. Preemo) – As they used to say back in my day, this is an oldie but goodie! The back and forth between Amanda Perez and Preemo flows really well.

Andra Day – Rise Up – Very powerful song by an artist with a very powerful voice.

B.o.B. – Nothin’ On You (feat. Bruno Mars) – This is the song that got me into B.o.B. and Bruno Mars, and I’m glad I didn’t sleep on it. Both artists are simply amazing, so when they come together on this song, it’s just simply even more amazinger!

Board Bangers – Cause The Beat’s Hot – Cats. Need I say more?

Drake – Find Your Love – We’re all huge fans of Drake, so it’s great when we find a song of his that the entire family enjoys.

Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home (feat. Majid Jordan) – Another great one from Drake that’s extremely catchy and easy for the kids to sing along to.

Drake – Hotline Bling – Arguably one of the best songs of 2015. I don’t think there’s a single person (adult or child) who can’t recite the catchy chorus.

Empire Cast – Conqueror (feat. Estelle and Jussie Smollett) – One of the bestselling songs from the show “Empire”. The chorus is catchy and powerful and delivers a very positive message of overcoming obstacles.

Empire Cast – You’re So Beautiful (feat. Jussie Smollett and Yazz) – Another powerful song from “Empire” with the message of sharing your beauty with the world.

Far East Movement – Like A G6 (feat. The Cataracs) – A very fun song that can break the monotony of a long, boring drive. I have to warn you though, you may  constantly hear from the kids about how they are “fly like a G6!” for a while!

Flo Rida – Good Feeling – This song is a perfect example of why Flo Rida is great at making songs that lift your mood and make you want to dance.

Foxes – Youth (M3H Trap Remix) – This is a “trap remix” of the song “Youth” by Foxes. The original song is great, but the kids (as do I) prefer the trap remix over the original as it’s more upbeat and catchy (due to its inclusion of solely the chorus).

Frank Ocean – Thinkin’ Bout You – A beautiful song that helps strike a balance in this playlist from other songs that could get you amped.

Fun. – We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) – Here’s another one I discovered via TV commercial (who else remembers that amazing Chevy Sonic kickflip commercial?) and just HAD to add to the playlist.

Karmin – Look At Me Now (Cover) – This one is a bit unique as it’s a cover of the song “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown. Since Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” is VERY explicit, this works as a good substitute . Karmin does a very good job with the cover and swaps out all of the strong language.

Katy Perry – Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J) – Katy Perry’s voice with Juicy J’s flow over an amazing beat makes this song a must.

LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem – When this song first came out, it was like the Pokemon Go of songs. It was everywhere! Needless to say, it got a LOT of playtime while in the car with the kids.

Ludacris – Madden 2000 Theme – I’ll admit, this one is waaay out of left field! I bet it’s difficult to find, but I’ve had in my archives from way back in the Napster days. I can recite every single line from the song, and it’s a nice touch of nostalgia.

M83 – Midnight City – The instrumental is one of my favorites and is definitely one to play on repeat for a few times before moving on to the next song.

Magic! – Rude – A very catchy song that’s fun to sing along to. “Why you gotta be so ruuude!”

Parry Gripp – Raining Tacos – Ok, I’m going to give a disclaimer for this one. My kids are ADDICTED to this song! It’s a very fun and happy song, and the lyrics make it very easy to sing along from beginning to end. That said, I’m kind of regretting adding this one to the playlist as it’s ALL they want to listen to! I’ve grown a bit tired of listening to it over and over and over and over, but I believe my kids never will.

Pharrell Williams – Happy – How could one not be happy while listening to this song? It’s just such a positive and upbeat song from Pharrell. It’s probably his secret as to why he hasn’t seemed to age a day!

Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah – A beautiful song and catchy chorus has made this one a favorite in our household over the years.

Silento – Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – Probably the number one song that comes to mind when putting together a playlist for the kids. This song took the music world by storm last year and my kids still sing and dance along to it to this day.

Sleeper Agent – Winter Wonderland – Here’s a great one for the holidays.

Stevie Wonder & Keanu – Jingle Bells (Trap Remix) – This song is perfect for the holidays. It’s very catchy and it’s one of the kids’ favorite songs. It’s very common to hear “again!” coming from the backseat of the car as soon as the song ends.

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off – Taylor Swift’s music is addicting and sure to get everyone in the car singing and dancing. Shake It Off is one of our favorites for obvious reasons.

Tinie Tempah – Written In The Stars (feat. Eric Turner) – I love to diversify my playlists, so this hit by U.K. artist Tinie Tempah is a great addition.

And there you have it, our road trip playlist that includes several different genres, artists, and musical tunes that the whole family can enjoy!

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Safe travels and let us know your favorite family road trip songs!

As we hit the road with happy kids and parents this holiday season, we drive with extra ease knowing that our friends at State Farm are here to help keep our roads safe. During your travels, be on the lookout for State Farm sponsored vehicles designated to help keep you safe while on the road. Here in Indiana, we have INDOT Hoosier Helpers, sponsored by State Farm. Each fleet of Assist Patrol vehicles monitor Indiana metropolitan areas to provide traffic control and medical assistance at crash sites and offer limited road side assistance if needed.

The limited and completely complementary roadside assistance includes services like a tire change, fixing minor mechanical problems, and removing debris from the road. These services are meant to assist all drivers on sponsored public highways. We all know how messy the roads get during the holidays, State Farm is #HereToHelp keep them safe when the unexpected happens.

The program runs in 15 states with 20 sponsored patrols. To learn more about State Farm Assist Patrol visit the State Farm Assist Patrol Program page.

This post was sponsored by State Farm.

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