- Chris Palmer, ESPN the Magazine
- 0 Shares
For any athlete, motivation is as essential as knowing the playbook. But having a coach bark clichés in your ear isn’t exactly an enticing proposition. We’re pretty sure most players would prefer sick beats and well-crafted lyrics pumping through their designer headphones to get them up for a game.
So we hit up DJ Politik, one of the most in-demand mixologists working the club scene today, to find out what songs get an athlete’s mind right. The 23-year-old wax-spinning wunderkind grew up in LA a Lakers fan and self-described sports junkie. (He fondly remembers his first game at the Forum, when Michael Jordan’s Bulls faced off against the Lakers during Kobe Bryant’s rookie season.)
Athlete pals like Metta World Peace and Reggie Bush are constantly hitting him up for those must-have tracks to get them in the right frame of mind for a game or workout. With a high-profile gig behind the turntables at Tao in Las Vegas on Friday nights he sees a lot of athletes roll through and has developed a keen sense of what gets them going.
“When athletes come into the club I know what songs fire them up,” says Politik. “Whether you’re in a club or about to play a game, a good song can put you in the right frame of mind.”
Since motivation can be the difference between winning and losing, we had Politik put together a 10-song playlist guaranteed to fire up any athlete.
• "Sirius" - Alan Parsons Project
Politik says: “This is what you heard during the intro to the Bulls starting lineup during Jordan’s career. I’m a big fans of ’90s sports so this gets me psyched. It gives you that feeling that you’re going into battle.”
• "Bangarang" - Skrillex
Politik says: “The sounds just comes at you in waves. It’s a high-energy record that gets you pumped. It’s pretty straightforward, there’s no emotional roller coaster ride. It just bangs.”
• "Till I Collapse" - Eminem
Politik says: “It starts out with a little drama and builds from there. Em raps really angry on the track and it puts you in a zone.”
• "Ante Up (Remix)" - M.O.P. feat. Busta Rhymes & Remy Ma
Politik says: “Any time I play this in my sets people go wild. Just a classic jump-up-and-down, have-a-good-time track.”
• "Pop That" - French Montana feat. Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne
Politik says: “The Luke sample gets you going the way they use it over and over. It’s a great song to get an athlete in the mood to compete. It just gets you up. Plus Drake kills his verse.”
• "Simon Says" - Pharoahe Monch
Politik says: “This is an older track that was on the 'Training Day' soundtrack. The beat is so raw and gets the blood flowing.”
• "Burn" - Meek Mill feat. Big Sean
Politik says: “It’s a newer track that wasn’t really a single but was big on the mixtape circuit. There really isn’t a hook, but the beat bangs and I’m a big fan of Meek’s delivery.”
• "Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor
Politik says: “A timeless classic. It’s got to be on any sports playlist you put together. This song isn’t going anywhere.”
• "How We Do" - Hardwell & Showtek
Politik says: “This is a more uptempo track. It’s a great song to train to because it just puts you in a groove and takes over your mind.”
• "Metropolis" - David Guetta & Nicky Romero
Politik says: “Most people think athletes only listen to hip-hop but you can find house and EDM more and more on their playlists. This has become a favorite of a lot of players.”
For any athlete, motivation is as essential as knowing the playbook. But having a coach bark clichés in your ear isn’t exactly an enticing proposition.