, RunningQ&A Wednesday: What’s On Your Running Playlist?

Q&A Wednesday: What’s On Your Running Playlist?

Q: My question is not a deep and intellectually challenging one – in fact, shamefully, quite the opposite….

Do you have a go-to work-out playlist? Or any music from your pole-dancing workouts you’d care to share? I always find that the music I’m listening to can have a determining effect on if I go for that run or not…

A: Dang, she brought up the pole too, though…

Strange side note – something I almost neverrr mention on the blog is that I’ve spent my life dedicated to music, and am actually a classically trained opera singer who sings in six languages… and occasionally still listens to Lil’ Jon and Gucci Mane.

So sue me.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my studies, it’s that music is about much more than words. What people relate to, more often than not, is feeling and emotion… and that can be conveyed in far more than just the lyrics. It’s the sound, the volume, the tone… if everything is right, it will spark the “right” feeling in you and you can use that as necessary to your life.

This is why, I believe, some people have no use for certain songs and others live for them. It’s all about whatever there is in your life that can relate to what that song is saying.

That being said, when I go run, it’s all about giving me something that’s going to stoke the ass-whoopin’ fire in my soul. I need something that’s gonna make me run out there and throw a ‘bow at the next jerk who wants to walk out on the jogging path smoking and eating a honey bun. Quite frankly, I need some music that’s going to get me thiiiiiiiis close to being arrested.

Conversely, when I practice my pole work, I prefer something sensual. Relaxed, focused, not necessarily wild… somewhat subtle… short of the occasional super-ratchet song, that is. It’s got to be something that can get me past the “OMG YOUR ARMS ARE BURNING AND YOUR THIGHS ARE ON FIRE… BUT YOU SEXY, GIRL!” feeling.

You have to figure out what feelings you need to tap into in order for you to feel emotionally fueled to complete your activity. I need to feel like I might get arrested… this might also be part of the reason why I run a little faster when certain songs come on.

That being said, asking me what’s on my playlist is a pretty personal question. I mean, you might as well ask me what I weigh. 😉 Here’s what my pole playlist looks like. (I know that sounds funny, since it very well could be, well… never mind.)

  • Anytime, Anyplace – Janet Jackson
  • Babydoll – Mariah Carey
  • Be With You – Beyonce
  • Beauty – Dru Hill
  • Blame It – Jamie Foxx
  • Blue Alert – Madeleine Peyroux
  • Break You Off – The Roots
  • Breathe – Raheem DeVaughn
  • Corrupt – Cee Cee Michaela
  • Crazy You – Zo! feat. Sy Smith
  • Excuse Me Miss – Jay-Z
  • Feenin’ – Jodeci
  • Freakin’ Me – Jamie Foxx feat. Marsha Ambrosius
  • Glory Box – Portishead
  • Hot Tottie – Usher
  • How Can I Love U 2Nite – Sisqo
  • I Need Love – Robin Thicke
  • In Private – Jagged Edge
  • Kiss Me – Cassie
  • Let’s Take Our Time – TLC
  • Long Night – Nelly feat. Usher
  • Look At Her – One Chance, Trey Songz, Lloyd
  • The Moon and the Sky – Sade
  • Nefertiti (Center of the Universe) – Chico DeBarge
  • No Guarantee – Chico DeBarge
  • One Night Stand – Lil’ Jon feat. Oobie
  • Promise – Ciara
  • Pushin’ Inside You – Sons of Funk
  • Pussycats – Missy Elliot
  • Question Existing – Rihanna
  • Release Some Tension – SWV
  • Say Yes – Floetry
  • Seven Days – Mary J. Blige
  • Sh-t, Damn, Motherf-cker – D’Angelo
  • So Anxious – Ginuwine
  • Suzie Blue – Ben Harper
  • Table Tennis – Flying Lotus feat. Laura Darlington
  • Take Care – Marsha Ambrosius
  • Teach U A Lesson – Robin Thicke
  • Single – Raheem DeVaughn
  • Video Phone – Beyonce feat. Lady Gaga
  • Who You Wit – Jay-Z
  • Yes – Beyonce
  • You Are Everything – Dru Hill
  • Your Love Is A 187 – Whitehead Bros

What’s on my current running playlist?

  • Ice Cream – Raekwon
  • Maneater – Nelly Furtado feat. Lil’ Wayne
  • I Luv Your Girl – The-Dream
  • That Girl – Pharrell
  • Get Me Bodied – Beyonce
  • Fire – Paul Wall & Trina
  • Grew Up A Screw Up – Ludacris & Young Jeezy
  • Candy – E40, MC Eiht, Snoop Dogg
  • Special Delivery – G.Dep, Ghostface Killah, Craig Mack
  • Daddy Fat Sax – Big Boi
  • Itty Bitty Piggy – Nicki Minaj
  • Hard In The Paint – Waka Flocka Flame
  • What You Know – TI
  • Whoa – Black Rob
  • Viva La White Girl – Gym Class Heroes feat. Lil’ Wayne
  • Hot Tottie – Usher
  • So Appalled – Kanye West
  • Hot Boyz – Missy Elliott
  • Roman’s Revenge – Nicki Minaj feat. Eminem
  • No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame
  • Monster – Kanye West
  • Gucci Mane – Won’t Catch Me Runnin’
  • Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg
  • Play No Games – Lil’ Jon
  • I Don’t Give A F-ck – Lil’ Jon
  • Put Yo Hood Up – Lil’ Jon
  • Bia Bia – Lil’ Jon
  • Throw It Up – Pastor Troy

As you can see, I like my running music wild, and I make no apologies or explanations for it other than this is what I need to make those miles. What’s in your headphones? Let me see those lists!

Oh, and since I may be one of a handful of people around here with a pole, let’s throw this out there – if you could put on your best pole routine, what would be on your playlist?

By | 2015-09-21T13:13:19+00:00 February 26th, 2015|Q&A Wednesday, Running|34 Comments

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes food and fitness, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is also certified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because she likes having alphabet soup at the end of her name.


  1. Retta June 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM - Reply

    I read all the time but my first time making a comment.

    When working out I listen to downloads from MotionTraxx (www.motiontraxx.com) the music is given in beats per minute (bpm) and it is FREE!!! He has music for walking, jogging, running, intervals and those lovely machines (elliptical, etc.) in the gym.


    • Kim August 24, 2011 at 2:57 PM - Reply

      Thanks Retta!

    • April December 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM - Reply

      Are you able to download the music and put it on an mp3 player or does it have to be on your phone? I’m always on the look out for music to run to especially that is set in bpm, but my phone battery blows so I run with an iPod.

  2. CJ June 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM - Reply

    Get Me Bodied is a necessity on ANY playlist for me! Love your blog and I see you have a little ratchet in your spirit as do I. “No Hands” will get you right!

  3. manijojo June 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM - Reply

    I feel you on both playlists. I am a classical violinist that must do my cardio to something that makes me feel empowered and “street” at the same time. I like some Young Joc, Rick Ross, David Banner, TI, and JayZ . . . sprinkle in some Trina, Beyonce, Monica. You get the picture.

    Keep doing what you do. I am inspired by you.

  4. smac June 1, 2011 at 11:32 AM - Reply

    HaHa!!!!!! Don’t tell anybody this is my workout music!
    I have 4 Cardio files on my iphone
    Extreme Cardio ( my running list )…. I constantly change them

    Da Brat Look at me Now
    No Love Eminem & Lil Wayne
    Hollywood Jay-Z
    Drop it Low Ester Dean
    Yeah Ya Know (Takers) T.I.
    Hard Rihanna & Jeezy
    How Low Ludacris
    Bad Girl Danity Kane
    Universal Mind Control Common
    Hello Good Morning Diddy
    Number One Jamie Foxx
    Overnight Celebrity Twista
    Green Light Beyonce
    Gittin Funky Kid N Play (yeah thats that old school!)
    Run the World (Girls) Beyonce

    * Most of these are the clean versions and they provide a great work out!

  5. Jessica June 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM - Reply

    LOLO! I am cracking up at your list because it’s nice to see someone else has some just dirty “rachetedy” music on their playlist. Ok, this is what’s currently on my running playlist

    Oh Yeah ! – Foxy Brown
    No time to play – Guru
    We gonna make it – Jadakiss
    Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
    Closer – Kings of Leon
    Auditorium – Mos Def
    Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
    The Saints are coming – Sweet Suburbia
    Fly like an eagle – Steve Miller Band
    In the City – Chromatics
    Fancy – Drake
    Fear Success – Drake, Jay-Z, Nas & T.I
    What we talkin about – Jay-Z
    Get right – Jennifer Lopez
    Swagger like us – Jay -Z
    One Mic – Nas
    Brooklyn we go hard – Jay -Z
    Da Rockwilder – Method Man & Redman
    Lose Yourself – Eminem
    I get money – 50 cent
    Gatorade has evolved – David Banner (from the NBA playoffs last year)
    Hustle Hard – Ace Hood
    Who got it on lock – Guru
    Who got the props – Black moon
    You be killin’ em – Fabulous
    Juice (Know the ledge) – Eric B & Rakim
    Ego – Beyonce
    Girls run the world – Beyonce ( Love the words of this song)
    Shawty say – David Banner
    Get like me – Chris Brown & David Banner
    Here come the boom – DMX

    I can’t wait 2 c what’s on everyone else’s playlist !!

  6. The Duo Dishes-Chrystal June 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM - Reply

    I have to have lots of beats going when I workout. Dancehall, dance/techno, euro pop, electro…that keeps me going on the days I really don’t want to run anyways!

  7. LikeRamona June 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM - Reply

    I’m loving the playlists posted! Y’all have given my playlists a much needed boost!!!
    Mine are mixes by local djs. I have the rap mixes for cardio, house music for strength training & a montage of sexy tunes for abs, squats, and such. Marathon by Raheem Devaughn is one of my favorite sexy tunes!

  8. keyalus June 1, 2011 at 2:39 PM - Reply

    Love the pole dancing playlists. I love to see what songs move other dancers. I was more of a 90’s R&B pole girl. I’m not a very good fast dancer so the booty shaking songs never really cut it with me.

    Laurnea – Infatuation
    Tamia – Can’t No Man
    Mariah Carey – Bliss
    Christina Aguilera – Get Mine Get Yours
    Mya – Sophisticated Lady
    Truth Hurts – Addictive
    Xscape – Feels So Good
    Usher – Bad Girl
    Kelis – Awww $h!t
    Joi – Lick
    Boyz II Men – Uhh Ahh
    Anthony David – Cold Turkey
    Sara Barellies – Come Round Soon

  9. CurlieGirlie June 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM - Reply

    Haha, the blog “Black Girls Run!” just came out with their playlist yesterday. I haven’t listened to it yet, but it should be interesting.

    My fun, fast run usually consists of music that you would hear at the club, lol…I don’t know why, but it gets me going. I have introspective runs that feature the mellow songs of artists like India.Arie, Adele, Sade, etc. My long, “I-need-to-run-off-some-stress” run usually consists of worship music. I have so many different playlists, it’s not even funny. I feel like I can get tired of the same playlist really quickly, so I switch it up as often as possible.

  10. Reggie Carr June 1, 2011 at 6:10 PM - Reply

    @Erika Really impressed with the whole singing in 6 different languages thing! Since everyone seems to be giving their musical background, I’ve been playing alto sax since age 12, so that’s over 20 years for me. And I’ve been playing bari sax for about 8 years.

    I’m like you, Erika; my workout music has to put me in a “I wish a M**F** WOULD” mood, but instead of a playlist I just listen to Pandora. I’m an old school hip hop/rap fan so my favorite station to work out to is Public Enemy (been a fan of theirs since forever ago). It being Pandora, I usually end up working out to P.E., Ice Cube, Ice T, NWA, EPMD, Beastie Boys, and KRS One. That’s the playlist when I’m lifting weights or doing calisthenics.

    My cardio playlist is the Cadence Calls of the U.S. Special Forces (what can I say, I grew up military) which my wife found on iTunes, if anyone’s interested.

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