It’s that time of year again when college sports fans go wild as they root for their favorite team during March Madness. The NCAA tournament is back in full effect as college basketball teams leave everything on the court to win the championship title. Whether you’re one of the athletes competing in the games or a die-hard fan hosting a viewing party, music is the universal language essential for any pre-game function, in-game function, after-party function—you get the picture!
Yes, we can all thank Atlanta rapper Future for dropping his properly titled song, “March Madness” back in 2015. During this time of year, the track is a quintessential anthem for college ballers and fanatics. If you don’t have at least one Future song on your sports playlist, perhaps you should give up your rights to controlling the aux cord. As you get your brackets in order for this year’s Big Dance, here are five new songs to set the vibe on your March Madness playlist:
DJ Khaled ft. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, “Shining”
DJ Khaled is known for taking over social media and the radio airwaves. Not only is he the king of Snapchat, but he’s also an anthem hit maker. His latest song, “Shining,” with Jay Z and Beyoncé is the perfect vibe to get anyone amped for a game. It’s basically the song that needs to be the first track on your playlist. The infectious production along with Jay and Bey’s confident lyrics are all the motivation you need. “Shining” is all about highlighting your wins, but also not allowing any haters to dim your light. It may come off a bit boastful to some listeners, but if you’re going to talk about being the best, you have to show up and show out. In the words of DJ Khaled, “Don’t ever play yourself!”
Jidenna, “2 Points (98 Points)”
“You can be mean when you look this clean,” yes, it’s always a good idea to take notes from the “Classic Man” known as Jidenna. “2 Points” is a standout track from Jidenna’s debut album The Chief. Although it’s the shortest track on the list, the stylish rapper teaches his listeners about staying ambitious and always striving for excellence. Scoring 98 points is great, but shooting for those extra two points is even greater.
Lil Uzi Vert ft. Quavo and Travis Scott, “Go Off”
The title of this track could be player’s daily mantra before hitting the court. Lil Uzi Vert teamed up with Quavo and Travis Scott on “Go Off,” the first soundtrack single from the upcoming film The Fate of The Furious. The dominant themes in The Fast and the Furious franchise are the need for speed and adrenaline rush when you beat someone at the own game. “Go Off” is the perfect song to hear during pre-game warm-ups and player introductions.
Big Sean, “Bounce Back”
“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.” The name of the game in any sport is somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose. During the Big Dance, once a team loses a game, they are officially out of the tournament for good. Luckily, Big Sean’s “Bounce Back” encourages the losing team to keep hope alive (for next year). If your team does not win the title, let’s just say this is a song you’ll have on repeat until next season.
Thanks to an assist from Donald Glover at the Golden Globes, rap group Migos has been winning all 2017. The group’s latest single “T-Shirt” is the song every athlete should play after a winning game. The video itself has the trio showing off a swagged out style with sweet threads because it’s all about doing it for the culture. Once a team wins the championship game, there is no doubt the players will have a new type of style and attitude about them.
You can catch the NCAA Tournament action all this month to see if your team makes it the Final Four, but don’t forget to have your music in order first.
Mya Singleton a.k.a. Mya Melody is a music writer hailing from the Bay Area. As the current music editor for TSFJ, think of her as the playlist virtuoso or the audio aficionado for sports fans everywhere. Although music is her first love, she occasionally partakes in any argument regarding the NBA. She’s a huge Kobe Bryant fan who’s still upset Chris Paul never became a Laker. To this day, Hardball is one of the saddest movies she’s ever watched, R.I.P. G-Baby! Follow her as she navigates to change the face of music journalism and remember, a wise philosopher once said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”