13 Beats: Roadtrip Edition

Some of the best memories are made when you’re stuck in the car with your friends and family traveling to a fun destination. This week’s 13 Beats features jams to blast from your car radio and scream along to:

1. “Life is a Highway” – Rascal Flatts (2006)

Featured in The Cars Movie, “Life is a Highway” is a classic that captures the happy vibes of zooming across a highway. Gary LeVox croons, “If you’re going my way, I wanna drive it all night long,” describing how freeing and easy it is to be with his lover. 

RIYL: Kenny Chesney, Lonestar, Little Big Town

2. “Kids” – MGMT (2007)

“Kids” is electronic, upbeat and nostalgic, making it the perfect song to blast with your sunroof open. Lyrics like “No time to think of consequences” emphasize the song’s message of living in the moment and enjoying youth.

RIYL: Two Door Cinema Club, Tame Impala, Empire of the Sun

3. “Summer” – Calvin Harris (2014)

“And we could be together, baby, as long as skies are blue” sings Calvin Harris, providing summer imagery to describe the electric feeling of summer love. This track is perfectly reminiscent of days on the beach in the early 2010s and is sure to get your trip mates excited.

RIYL: Daft Punk, David Guetta, Alesso

4. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood (2005)

We’ve all screamed “Before He Cheats” with our friends before, making it a no-brainer to play on a road trip. “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,” sings Carrie Underwood about the damage she wants to do to her ex’s car after he cheated on her. 

RIYL: Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini

5. “Ms. Jackson” – Outkast (2000)

Outkast lets their classic Southern rap sound come through in this track that is hard not to bop your head to. Lyrics like: “I hope we feel like this forever- Forever, forever ever? Forever, ever?” have become infamous and are incredibly fun to scream at the top of your lungs. 

RIYL: Mos Def, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott

6. “Knock Knock” – Mac Miller (2011)

“Finna have a party, baby, you can tell your friends, we the type, lookin’ right, still settin’ trends” raps Mac Miller, celebrating his confidence in himself and his growing career. Someone in your car is guaranteed to know all of the words to this catchy track.

RIYL: Logic, B.o.B, Machine Gun Kelly

7. “Paper Planes” – M.I.A. (2007)

“Paper Planes” has an addictive and edgy beat, and is sure to get everyone in the car feeling confident. Lyrics like: “Everyone’s a winner, we’re making our fame” are easy to sing along to in the car.

RIYL: Azealia Banks, Dua Lipa, Kali Uchis

8. “3005” – Childish Gambino (2013)

Another of those songs that someone on your trip knows all of the words to, “3005” has a catchy melody and lyrics bound to keep the energy high. “I used to care what people thought, but now I care more, I mean, nobody out here’s got it figured out” raps Donald Glover, inserting some of his insecurities into the song.

RIYL: Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator

9. “Cruel Summer” – Taylor Swift (2019)

“It’s new, the shape of your body, it’s blue, the feeling I’ve got,” sings Taylor Swift, describing how it feels to fall into a summer romance. The song’s airy beat and bright vocals provide the listener with the freeing feeling of summer.

RIYL: Lorde, Lana Del Ray, Charlie XCX

10. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees (2011)

Neon Trees puts their signature boppy sound into this catchy track, their most popular song. Tyler Glenn repeats the chorus, “Everybody talks, everybody talks, everybody talks too much” to address rumors being spread about him and his lover.

RIYL: Paramore, Walk the Moon, The Mowgli’s

 11. “The Sweet Escape” – Gwen Stefani, Akon (2006)

A popular song to lip sync to on TikTok, “The Sweet Escape” is also a great track to sing with the windows down, cruising on the highway. Catchy lyrics like: “If I could escape and recreate a place that’s my own world” depict a fantasy life between Gwen Stefani and her lover.

RIYL: P!NK, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga

12. “Tongue Tied” – GROUPLOVE (2011)

“Take me to your best friend’s house, goin’ ‘round this roundabout” croons Christian Zucconi, excited for the fun night he and his friends are going to have. The song gives the best vibes for going fast on an open road.

RIYL: Bleachers, Foster the People, American Authors

13. “Wannabe” – The Spice Girls (1996)

“Wannabe” hardly needs an introduction because its snappy lyrics always get a crowd singing. Lyrics like: “Make it last forever, friendship never ends” are fun to scream along to with friends.

RIYL: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears