Another Tuesday means another Tuesday top 10 and another republican primary. This time the primary is in Florida which gives us an excellent opportunity to look at ten of the finest songs ever written about the sunshine states.
10. Will Smith “Miami”
In “Miami.” Will Smith raps “all ages and races…Spanish, Hatian, Indian, Jamaican/Black, White, Cuban, or Asian.” This speaks to the important change in tone between the South Carolina primary and the Florida primary. While in South Carolina Newt Gingrich could play the sneakily racist cards, in Florida the racial makeup makes that less possible. Instead in Florida, you get to hear each candidates horrid accents as they record ads directed at the Spanish speaking population of the state.
09. The Mountain Goats “Tallahassee”
81.4% of the people who played Sporcle‘s US Capitals game knew that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida. It surprises me that that number is so high but maybe that’s because Sporcle players and Mountain Goats‘ fans seriously overlap. The title track from his epic album, Tallahassee tells the story of a couple who drink themselves to death in Sunshine state capital.
08. Jan Hammer “Miami Vice Theme”
Do I even need to write anything about this? There is no song more iconic to the city of Miami than Jan Hammer‘s theme music to the 80s TV show, Miami Vice. It is Miami’s version of “New York, New York” or “Dirty Water.”
07. Sublime “April 29, 1992 (Miami)”
Sublime‘s “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” is about the Los Angeles riots in the wake of the Rodney King beating. Although, the track has “Miami” in the title, it is a fairly non-Florida based song. However, the unrest in the song does mirror some of the unrest seen today in protests like #OccupyWallStreet movement and the Arab Spring.
06. Rolling Stones “Tallahassee Lassie”
Freddie Cannon’s early rock ‘N’ roll classic, “Tallahassee Lassie” has become a standard, covered by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Jan and Dean, and Los Straitjacket among others. The track is basically about a girl from Florida’s capital who can dance; what more do you need out of a rock song?
05. Swedish House Mafia featuring Tinie Tempah “Miami 2 Ibiza”
I would be remiss to do an entire Florida post and not mention Miami’s booming dance scene. Of course, the best song about the Miami dance scene comes from Stockholm-based, Swedish House Mafia. Despite being from 5000 miles away, SHM know that Miami’s scene rivals that of dance meccas like Ibiza.
04. Less Than Jake “The State of Florida”
The sunny sounds of ska are usually most closely associated with California but Florida has just as much sun as California! Surprisingly there are not many high profile ska bands from the state. The most notable is Less than Jake and their most Floridacentric track is “The State of Florida.”
03. Modest Mouse “Florida”
Listening to Modest Mouse‘ “Florida,” I can not help but think whoever loses, Newt or Mitt, they will be singing this song as they leave the state. The poignant lyrical point being “Even as I left Florida…couldn’t quite seem to escape myself.”
02. Wale “Miami Nights”
Florida’s biggest rapper has to be Rick Ross. Despite naming his first album, Port of Miami he has never written a great Miami anthem. Signee to his label, Wale did on his latest album, Ambition. The track is called “Miami Nights” and basically describes the hip hop lifestyle in Miami, a glimpse into a world few of us will ever know.
01. Against Me! “Sink, Florida, Sink”
A good deal of political ire was directed at Florida after the debacle that was the Florida recount of 2000. The best of those anthems was Against Me!‘s “Sink, Florida, Sink,” which is no surprise since Against Me! sharpened their teeth writing pointed sociopolitical folk-punk. I can only imagine the political ire that will arise should Newt Gingrich win Florida.