The Miami experience in 49 minutes

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After growing quite fond of Miami during my freshman year, I was devastated having to spent three months away for summer break. It was during that time that I created a playlist with a list of songs that encompass the immaculate vibe of the great city I loved so much.

This playlist took on a new meaning during the age of Covid-19. Unable to safely roam the city, the songs reminded me of the incredible place I get to call home for more than half the year.

Whether a subtle reference or an ode to the city itself, below is a list of great tracks to encapsulate the Miami experience from the comfort of your own home.

Drake – “God’s Plan”/ “The Motto” (feat. Lil Wayne)

Drake’s music is a staple on every South Beach DJ’s rotation, and the hard-hitting trap beat of “The Motto” is always a hit for club-goers dancing their hearts out at LIV. “God’s Plan” is a hit especially close to the hearts of many University of Miami students, as Drake filmed the music video right here on campus in 2018.

Ty Dolla $ign – “South Beach” (feat. Quavo & French Montana)

A care-free, beachy tune, this deep cut from Ty Dolla $ign’s discography envelops the warmth of South Beach in just three minutes. Play this one at high volume and you can almost taste the ocean air down at South Pointe Park.

Nicki Minaj – “Miami”

Minaj is no stranger to the party scene of Miami, spending a lot of her time off from the recording booth at appearances across the city. “Miami” is everything you’d expect from a Minaj track – cocky bars and tough punchlines.

Tyga – “Taste” (feat. Offset)

I can’t think of a song that I heard more throughout my freshman year of college. “Miami, you can get a taste” was every girl’s Instagram caption, and the blaring bass line floated out of the front doors of Sandbar and Barracuda’s every night. This song is a Miami-certified club banger.

Iggy Azalea – “Work”

Sometimes, it can take a lot of hard work to live in such a lavish city. Azalea understands this struggle well. “Work” is an energetic single about her story growing up “sixteen in the middle of Miami.”

City Girls – “Act Up”/ “Twerk” (feat. Cardi B)

Straight out of Opa-locka, City Girls is the biggest female rap duo to emerge out of Miami. Boastful and confident, these women hold nothing back, and they make our city proud. Additionally, both music videos for these tracks encompass the beauty and fun of Miami Beach.

Syn Cole – “Miami 82” (feat. Madame Buttons)

One of the biggest events in Miami every year is Ultra Music Festival. EDM and dance music are a major part of the city’s culture, and “Miami 82” is a great reminder of just how fun festivals like Ultra can be.

Camila Cabello – “OMG” (feat. Quavo)

Raised just a few miles south of UM in Pinecrest, Cabello’s dedicated much of her solo career to representing the Latin flare of a Miami upbringing in her music. “OMG” is no different, demonstrating how girls “from Miami cause trouble in L.A.”

Enrique Iglesias – “MOVE TO MIAMI” (feat. Pitbull)

On another upbeat Latin-inspired bop, Iglesias summons people of all backgrounds to explore the culture of Miami. An ode to the beautiful bodies and gorgeous women of the city, “MOVE TO MIAMI” is totally flirtatious and sexy.

Saweetie – “ICY GIRL” (feat Kehlani) [Bae Mix]

A successful homeowner on South Beach, Saweetie is a favorite for many of the hot girls in Miami. “ICY GIRL” is equally danceable and powerful, as Saweetie spits out bars anyone can get down to on the dance floor.

LMFAO – “I’m In Miami Bitch”

A well-known Miami party anthem, LMFAO’s songwriting will have you imagining a night out on the shores. As the lyrics say, “in the sand, a Red Bull and vodka up in my hand… I’m in Miami bitch.”

Tiesto & Dzeko – “Jackie Chan” (feat. Preme and Post Malone)

Ah, the joys of coasting through Collins Avenue with the windows down. Just crank the volume up, and Tiesto will remind you just how much fun nighttime drives under the city lights are.

Pitbull – “International Love” (feat. Chris Brown)

This list can’t be complete with Mr. 305 himself. One of the most successful Miami artists ever, Pitbull has made himself one of the biggest names representing Miami-Dade. “International Love” is one of the biggest (and catchiest) hits of his career.

Whether new to the city or a seasoned Miami vet, click here to get the Miami experience, without the threat of COVID.

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