This Is the Only Playlist You’ll Need to Survive Memorial Day Weekend

Saxophone master Kamasi Washington has crafted the soundtrack to your life

One massive perk of Memorial Day—besides the three-day weekend—is that it’s not only appropriate but highly encouraged to consume whole chickens smothered in barbecue sauce with a side of multiple all-beef hotdogs. It’s all fun (eating) and games (cornhole) until your pants don’t fit the next day, so we’d suggest squeezing in some extra steps to counteract the extra calories. We’ll even sweeten the deal with a sick hiking/walking playlist, brought to you by saxophone virtuoso and Inglewood native Kamasi Washington. He told us why these 11 tunes—from Kendrick Lamar to Kelis—are perfect for pounding the pavement in L.A. Stroll with the ear candy, then move on to some real candy, because you earned it.

The Spaceship is Leaving

Brandon Coleman

This is one of the funkiest songs I’ve ever heard. It causes instant vibe, and it’s a perfect jam to start a walk.”

Valdez Off Crenshaw

Terrace Martin

I grew up walking down Crenshaw, and this rendition of Donny Hathaway’s song captures the feeling I get walking down that street.

Inner City Boundaries

Freestyle Fellowship

They’re an underground hip-hop group from my neighborhood. I looked up to them so much when I was young.

Jerk Ribs


I love this song. It feels like an Ethiopian-style 6/8 rhythm. And I love jerk sauce!

As We Fight

Ambrose Akinmusire

When this album came out, it moved me. Ambrose is pushing the boundaries of the trumpet and music.

Holy Are You

The Electric Prunes

Ferguson turned me on to this band a few years ago. I was blown away by their music! Gospel is a staple of the community that I grew up in.

Like It Is

Yusef Lateef

If I could have a theme song playing while I walked down the street, it would be this. It’s a great combination of soul and composition.

Zodiac Shit

Flying Lotus

I’m a really spacey person, and this song always takes me to a new place. It’s a great daydreaming trigger, and I love to daydream when I go for a walk.

Good Kid

Kendrick Lamar

Such a powerful piece. This album revolutionized hip-hop and inspires me to push forward.

Oh Sheit It’s X


After taking a walk with so much heavy music, this is the perfect chill pill to end on.