It seems like Los Angeles and New Jersey get all the great car culture songs, right? Maybe you get some fun hot rod songs out of the Southern states, but in any event, New York City seems to get the short end of the stick in this regard. With so many classic musicians coming out of New York, you’d think we’d have more awesome car songs, right? Except that car people are sort of a minority in NYC. It’s easier to find New York songs about taxis and subways than it is to find a song about driving. So if you’re having trouble putting together your weekend drive playlist, let us help you out a little:


Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz, Lost Boyz


An ode to some of the local favorite car brands, and to the sheer joy of driving around NYC in the Summertime. The song takes you back to the 1990’s, when rappers wore baggy pants and Kangol caps and hit the streets in Jeeps, SUV’s and luxury cars. The Lost Boyz are undeniably New York in sound, in style and in attitude.


Harlem Drive, Quincy Jones


Although this jazzy instrumental does not contain any lyrics, it really does communicate perfectly what driving in Harlem is all about, doesn’t it? Cruising down the streets of Harlem you can just soak up the history by osmosis, picturing the jazz clubs, the early New York rappers, the cool, laid back, yet still serious vibe of the town.


Rockaway Beach, The Ramones


Rockaway Beach is not so much a song about driving around NYC as it is about escaping NYC on a hot Summer day. New Yorkers generally have to be content to pop a hydrant or take a dip in a public pool if they want to cool off in the dead heat of July, but now and then, if you’re up for fighting the traffic and finding your way down the coast, you can have an amazing experience on the Jersey Shore or even further south for an awesome road trip.


No Sleep Til Brooklyn, Beastie Boys


No Sleep Til Brooklyn perfectly communicates the feeling of those all-night, white-knuckle drives, trying to get back home through traffic, popping caffeine pills and chugging lousy gas station coffee. Viewing the city by the dim light of early morning. It’s a feeling halfway between Manhattan and Mad Max’s high-octane wasteland, a feeling that New Yorkers know all too well, and a feeling that’s maybe never been expressed better than the Beastie Boys expressed it on No Sleep Til Brooklyn.


Back Seat Of My Jeep, LL Cool J


LL Cool J raps about one of the greatest pleasures of car ownership: the bubble of privacy. When you’re out on a date in NYC, getting someplace private can take so long that the moment is near guaranteed to pass by the time you arrive. With a spacious ride like a Jeep, a backseat is transformed into a love nest, a honeymooner’s hotel room, a place where you can go for a little privacy just as soon as you find a spot to park.

Although car culture isn’t as strong in NYC as it is in some other cities, it’s still an important part of the city’s culture. New Yorkers take deep pride in their rides, and even if you don’t have the spacious freeways and endless parking spots found further South, it’s still one of the best places in the world to get behind the wheel.