JAMMIN AT THE GYM

Raheel Ramzanali: Ranking the workout songs from the Black Panther soundtrack

The Black Panther soundtrack has great workout songs. Youtube.com

This week Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Panther will finally come out after years of anticipation and early last week the soundtrack for the movie was released. While most soundtracks feature mostly instrumentals, Black Panther’s soundtrack was produced by Grammy winning artist Kendrick Lamar so it sounds and plays like a traditional hip hop album. While I love a good Hans Zimmer track in my workout playlist (shout out to Time on the Inception album!),  you normally can’t finish off the last five minutes of cardio to most movie soundtracks. The Black Panther soundtrack is different. This soundtrack is tailor made for your workout playlist so I want to rank the most “workoutable” songs on this album from 1-13.

  1. Pray For Me by The Weeknd - Unlike most writers, I’m starting with the best stuff and giving you the most workoutable song. This song was destined to be your go to song for that PR set or the jam to get you started on cardio day. I’m not the biggest fan of the Weeknd, but he does the damn thing on this song. Get ready to squat until you can’t when the chorus hits. Getting tired? You just need Kendrick’s, “You need a hero, look in the mirror, there go your hero.” I’ve listened to this song at least 38 times since the soundtrack released. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. Redemption by Zacari - This is a huge upset because All The Stars is a GREAT workout song and I’ve had it on my playlist for a month now, but after listening to the soundtrack multiple times, this song here goes so hard. I had it on while playing basketball and pretty much the game stopped so we could all get in a booty pop. The beat is great and will provide you with that much needed boost during your sessions.

  3. All The Stars  by Kendrick Lamar - When I first heard this song last month I couldn’t believe I liked it since I’m not the biggest Lamar fan, but even he couldn’t make me hate this song. This is such a built for Top 40 radio station song with the themes of love, use of Sza, and leftover Rihanna beat, but it works so damn well. This is also the first song by Sza that didn’t make me question everything I know about relationships and love. My one pet peeve with this song? The way Sza pronounces “closer” - y'all sure she isn’t saying kosher?! Best time to play this song? Right when you start your workout.

  4. King’s Dead by Kendrick Lamar - MISS ME WITH THAT BULLSH*T! If you were looking for a “traditional” sounding K.Dot song then this is the one. The beat brings it and the features by Jay Rock and Future really bring that extra eyyyyyyy we’re looking for in a workout song.  Just when you think this song is done - oh snap, James Blake on it! Everything changes from here and Kendrick Lamar takes us home.

  5. X by ScHoolboy Q - I’ll admit it, I don’t even know who or what a ScHoolboy Q is, but I’m into it now. We’re now entering the part of this list where you could shuffle 5-8 and they’ll be about the same in the workoutable measurement. At this point it’s just really good background music that will keep you going during your workout. I’m putting this song at 5 out of respect to 2 Chainz and his feature.

  6. Big Shot by Kendrick Lamar - Please, please, please don’t kill me for putting this at six since Houston’s own Travis Scott is on this track. I really like this song, but to me it falls into the category where the songs really don’t pop, but still are good workout songs. Bonus to Scott for always mentioning Houston on major projects.

  7. Opps by Vince Staples - I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I can already tell you this song’s instrumental will be used in the most dope fight scene we’ve ever seen in the Marvel Universe. This song will bring it so hard in the movie, but as for a workout song? It’s just another song. I have a feeling most will not agree on this ranking.

  8. Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar - If you LOVE Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical mastery then this song is for you, but it really doesn’t have that IT factor for a workout song so it comes in at eight.

  9. Paramedic!  by SOB x RBE - Good beat, catchy chorus, and features from a bunch of guys, but man this song just doesn’t work for me. You might like it, but this one won’t be making my workout playlist.  

  10. Bloody Waters by Ab-Soul - See above. (Sidenote, this song is a setup for King’s Dead so it does flow nicely if you put em back to back like they are on the soundtrack.)

  11. The Ways by Khalid - We’ve now hit the portion of the list where the tracks are really good for a cool down or warm-up. Need to bring that heart rate down some? Put on this love ballad and just let Khalid and Swae Lee bring a smile to your face as you check out your gym crush that can bench more than you.

  12. I Am by Jorja Smith - I can’t get Jorja’s voice out of my head. It’s haunting. It’s beautiful. Damn, this is such a good song to have on while you’re setting the mood with that special someone, but I just can’t see myself using this in the gym. Maybe for couples yoga or sitting in the sauna just so I can make it awkward for others in there with me.

  13. Seasons by Mozzy - This song doesn’t have workout beat you need, but damn Reason brings it in this song.

 

So there you go, enjoy this soundtrack and movie! Let me know what you think by tweeting me @The_Raheel.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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