Baltimore City Paper

A playlist from Best Of Baltimore winner for 'Best Music Nerd' Brandon Scott

Brandon Scott wearing his Colin Kaepernick jersey in front of City Hall on Monday night

Last month, when we asked a few local politicians to pick a favorite song for a summer playlist, Councilmember Brandon Scott had one of the most enthusiastic responses—he sent a few songs over and hinted that he could've sent plenty more. As a result, we award Scott a "Best Music Nerd" award alongside his "Best Councilmember" award and also asked him to give us a full playlist of favorites. Scott sent the list below over with some commentary as well. At the bottom of the list is a Spotify playlist of the majority of Scott's list though a few songs are not on Spotify so we've added YouTube links to them.

-Mos Def, 'The Rape Over': This song sums up my feelings about mainstream music/media and its portrayal of African Americans."

-Public Enemy, 'Fight The Power': The first music video I remember, and basically the soundtrack to my formative years.

-The Foreign Exchange, 'So What If It Is': Any true Baltimorean loves a good house track and when I’ve had a bad day with the weight of the city on my shoulders, this song takes it away—if only temporarily.

Sam Cooke, 'Chain Gang': One of my granddad’s favorite songs. Takes me back to working with him on the family farm in North Carolina in the summer as a kid.

-The Impressions, 'People Get Ready': Takes me back in time to the '60s and the work/fight that led to me being where I am today. Song is extremely relevant today as there is a train coming and people better get on board.

-James Brown, 'Mother Popcorn': "Come on man, it's James Brown. Further explanation? Really?

-KW Griff, 'The Force': I’m from Baltimore and I love "Star Wars." Griff killed this track.

-Bruce Springsteen, 'Hungry Heart': "Got a wife and kids In Baltimore jack…"; my roots are country and I’m from Baltimore.

-Nas, 'Ether': Because that’s what I do to my competition, I Ether them.

-'I’m a Man' by Bo Diddley: Love this song because 61 years later a young Black Man like myself is still looked upon as a boy by so many that we have to proclaim that “I’m A man.”

-Mos Def, 'Mr. Nigga': One of my favorite songs. Pure unadulterated truth! Unfortunately I know that this is how much of the world sees me. I hope one day to live in a world that does not.

-Bob Seger, 'Against The Wind': Because I’m country, a runner and often feel that it's how I’m living.

-Digable Planets, 'Black Ego': Great Song, great Music, great Lyrics, great title.

-Kanye West, 'I Wonder': Kanye in all his genius. The sample loop says it all.

-The Roots, 'One Time': “Once you had the best, better ain't as good.”

-Crystal Waters, 'Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)': If you’re from Baltimore and grew up in the '90s and don’t love this song, you didn’t grow up in Baltimore in the '90s.

-Cam'ron, 'Oh Boy': My favorite song to dance to my senior year of high school.

-Wu Tang Clan, 'A Better Tomorrow': Because that’s what I want and the lyrics depict so much of what I have seen and lived in my life.

-OutKast, 'Liberation': “Helping the shackling of your brethren happen just by rappin'.” One listen and you will understand.

-Rod Stewart, 'Hot Legs': My favorite song as a child! I would beg my parents to play this en route to my grandparents' house in North Carolina.

-The Foreign Exchange, 'Daykeeper (Live)': The Foreign Exchange is my favorite group who just happen to be based out of NC and performed this in country style.

-Arrested Development, 'Tennessee': Man this song just made you want to connect with your ancestors. For me, it always made me want to go back to North Carolina to watch my family play horseshoes as I ate watermelon just like the song says.

-2Pac, 'So Many Tears': Back in elementary I thrived on misery/ Left me alone, I grew up amongst a dying breed”

-The Foreign Exchange, 'Better': This song will make you forget a bad job or bad relationship but for me its just a great song that blends the best of hip-hop and R&B

-A Tribe Called Quest, 'The Chase Part II': “Damn Phife you got fat”; '90s hip hop at its finest

-KW Griff, 'Tony’s Back': I’m from Baltimore and Park Heights specifically. Don’t understand? Ask Porkchop or DJ Big L.

-Pete Rock & CL Smooth, 'T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You')': We all reminisce over our lost ones. This song takes me back to my childhood where it provided an escape from the chaos that was Baltimore in the '90s.

-Redman, 'Time 4 Sumaksion': Funk Dot hit the spot with a rough rugged '90s hip hop headbanger.

-The Foreign Exchange, 'Nic’s Groove': Hip-hop at it’s finest.

-Wu Tang Clan, 'Impossible': “The murder rates are increasing and we decreasing.” Enough said

-Mos Def, 'Umi Says': My grandma told me I had to let my light shine. Five years after her passing in this song Mos Def said his Umi said he should shine his light on the world.

-Sam Cooke, 'A Change Is Gonna Come': One of my granddad’s favorite songs and something I believe will happen for us all!

-Black Moon, I Got Cha Opin': The Barry White sample and Buckshot’s lyrics take you to a time when MCs could rap and lyrics mattered.

-Camp Lo, 'Coolie High': The smoothness of this song from the beat to the flows just takes me back to spring days with my first car cruising with the window down bumping this without a care in the world.

-Wu Tang Clan, 'C.R.E.A.M.': In case you didn’t know Wu Tang Clan ain’t nothing to…with. I was nine years old when this song came out. It changed my life and hip hop forever. “Shorty running wild smoking ces… ain’t trying to hear what I’m kicking in his ear.”

-Creedence Clearwater Revival, 'Bad Moon Rising': Parents have huge influences over their children. My dad forced my brothers and I to watch "American Werewolf in London." Before we knew it we grew to appreciate the greatness of this song.

-A Tribe Called Quest, 'Scenario': If Bo don’t know this is the greatest posse cut of all time. Bo don’t know jack.

-Jay-Z feat. Scarface and Beanie Sigel, 'This Can’t Be Life': Just imagine a 16 year-old kid from Park Heights who is becoming aware of the world he lives in playing this song, with Kanye’s Harold Melvin sample and deep verses from the trio of rappers for the first time. "There’s gotta be more, this can’t be us," is something my friends and I thought everyday.

-Dela, 'How to Fish': “My Grandfather never bought a lot of gifts but he handed me a rod and taught me how to fish.” Love my grandfathers for all they have taught me. Only have one of them with me now but they both have made me a fisherman.

-Black Star, 'Respiration': The height of Rawkus Records! Mos, Talib and Common speak classic truth in this one. Puts me back on the walk/bus ride home from working my uncle's car wash on Quantico Avenue home in 1999.

-Nas, 'Queens Get The Money': “I’m over their head like a bulimic on a see-saw."

-The Pharcyde, 'Drop': I have love for the West Coast too!

-dead prez, 'Animal in Man': The "Animal Farm" hip-hop eemake! Deep! Shout out to Ms. H. for making us dissect this in English class at MERVO!

-Noreaga, 'Nothin'': A Neptunes-produced club banger that had me two stepping from MERVO to St. Mary’s College

-DJ Technics, 'My Life Extra': I’m from Baltimore man. We all like to shake off.

-Jay-Z, 'Dead Presidents': A hungry, pre-'Hard Knock Life' Jay-z spills out the feelings of so many young men in our inner cities. Dream on this classic.

-Art Of Noise 'Moments In Love': The essential slow jam tape song even to this day! Once you hear this you know its going down.

-Raheem Devaughn, 'You': A real soul love song made for...

-Raekwon, 'Heaven and Hell': “You can’t believe in heaven when you living in hell”

-Notorious B.I.G., 'Everyday Struggle': The life of so many people I grew up around. Lyrics may be sad to some, but all so true.