As part of last semester’s Sociology of NYC course, NYU Prison Education Program students at Wallkill Correctional Facility put together the ultimate New York mixtape. Music was central to learning about the transformations in the city’s economy and culture. We were excited to pay homage to hip hop which originated in the South Bronx as the voice of a generation of African American, Puerto Rican and Carribean teenagers and which has over a few decades become a contemporary global phenomenon. We had intense discussions about which songs to select and let’s just say that it took a lot of compromising from all of us to narrow down the list. We ultimately decided to choose artists and songs that best capture what Nas called the “New York State of Mind.” Enjoy!

Side A

  1. Nas “N.Y. State of Mind”
  2. Stevie Wonder “Living For the City”
  3. Ja Rule feat. Fat Joe and Jada Kiss “New York”
  4. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
  5. Krs-One “The Bridge is Over”
  6. Big L “Ebonics”
  7. Public Enemy “Shut ‘Em Down”
  8. Cam’ron “Come Home With Me”
  9. Mobb Deep “Shook Ones”
  10. Naughty By Nature “Uptown Anthem”
  11. Mase, Black Rob, Lox, Dmx “24 Hours to Live”
  12. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five “The Message”
  13. Ice T “New Jack Hustle”
  14. The Crusaders and Randy Crawford “Street Life”
  15. James Brown “Say It Loud, I’m Black and Proud”
  16. Gil Scott-Heron “New York City”  

Side B

  1. KRS-One Stop the Violence Movement “Self Destruction”
  2. Frankie Beverly and Maze “Before I Let Go”
  3. Frank Sinatra “New York, New York”
  4. Duke Ellington “Take the A Train”
  5. Bobby Womack “Across 110th Street”
  6. Marvin Gaye “Inner City Blues”
  7. SNAP! “The Power”
  8. Donny Hathaway “The Ghetto”  
  9. Big Pun “Fire Water”
  10. Maino feat. Jada Kiss “What Happened”
  11. LL Cool J “Doin’ It”
  12. Robin S. “Show Me Love”
  13. Wu-Tang Clan “C.R.E.A.M”
  14. The Lox feat. Lil Kim and DMX  “Money, Power Respect”
  15. Biggie Smalls “Party and Bullshit”
  16. Tito Puente “Oye Como Va”

Two Bonus Tracks

The Chantels “Maybe”

Grand Combo “Un Verano en Nueva York”

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