PLAYLIST: Best Songs About HelLA

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PHOTO: Banksy

Los Angeles is that place we all love to hate. It’s hot, plastic, polluted, has arguably the worst police force in the nation and the birthplace of all the things we are obsessed with but pretend to detest: porn, celebrities, plastic surgery and reality television. It’s hard not to get depressed while looking around you at LA’s third-world crumbling buildings covered in murals covered in graffiti, sitting in hours of bad traffic or accidentally stepping on a used syringe on the street. Ah, Los Angeles.

But there is also the other LA, the bastion of opportunity, the place where ideas culminate into popular culture, the whimsical canyons of a Francesca Lea Block novel and the soul-searching view spots in the hills and on its beaches that make you feel like you’ve got the whole world figured out.

This mix is an ode to all that is Los Angeles, the good, the bad and the beautiful.

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers: What song embodies Los Angeles better than this one? This beautiful, sad ballad is an ode to heroin, to inspiration, to desperation, to feeling in love with this hell hole. You can almost see the pollution streaked sunset behind Anthony Kiedis, sitting under an overpass, as he scratches out the epic poetry that would become this timeless classic. Later in the mix is a more mature reflection on the world created outside the Golden State’s borders by the profiteers in this massive megalopolis, Californication. 

Murs – L.A.: Murs is not your typical LA rapper, he is definitely far more introspective than mainstream rappers with a vintage soul feel. If you live in LA or you are just visiting, blast this while driving downtown, on Ventura, the Coast Highway or even through one of the canyons. Windows down, duh.

All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow: This aint no disco, this aint no country club either… this is LA!