I will never, ever admit that my taste in music is anything special. I know I’m impossible. I once liked Nickelback, for crying out loud. Not just like – I mean REALLY like, as in, when I was in middle school Nickelback was my favorite band. I have since wised up, but we all know liking Nickelback at any time is unforgivable.

For my first Not About Sports post on Next Year D.C., I decided to assess my music tastes in a 10-song sample. I shuffled through 10 songs and put those 10 songs on paper, without question. Since these are 10 songs out of thousands, they won’t be a legitimate representation of my musical whims. But they certainly run the gamut, representing the best of what I like and re-introducing me to some inexplicably bad selections that have somehow stayed glued to my Spotify account. Here we have some jewels, and some that constitute the nadir of music as a whole. Without hesitation, let the judgement commence:

The Invisible Girl – Parov Stelar

Listening to Parov Stelar is like kicking back at a speakeasy with your best gal and a better cigar. Parov, I tip my 1920s-era fedora (which, by the way, is often confused with the far less stylish trilby, a hat which gives a bad name to fedoras everywhere. But I digress)! I seriously recommend you check out more. A friend introduced me to this throwback magic and I haven’t looked back.

Take The Money And Run – Steve Miller Band

Hey look, #2 isn’t embarrassing either! Not only that, it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. I couldn’t tell you why, other than that I always listen to it whenever it comes on, without hesitation. Imagine my disdain when I saw a certain Taco Bell commercial rip the song to shreds just to sell some goddamn Crunch Wrap sliders.

Seriously? It sounds like a 28-year old man joined a recording session at the Kidz Bop recording studio. It sounds like something Smash Mouth would have done way better in 1999. Get it together, Taco Bell.

But seriously, this song is great. Steve Miller Band is great. You can’t judge me on this one.

On Top Of The World – T.I. feat. Ludacris & B.o.B.

Haha. Full disclosure: I am not a huge rap fan, but I do appreciate the genre. No one will mistake On Top Of The World for, like, Tupac or anything, but it’s a fun song, right? Right? Because we all know that I’m swimming in the money and the cars and girls.

Also, where did B.o.B. run off to? It feels like he hasn’t done anything interesting in years. Maybe I’m just super disconnected from the rap scene. That dude is seriously talented, though. He should get it going again.

Party Up – DMX

I am the whitest person who ever lived. Sour cream. Mayonnaise. Vanilla. You know why? I didn’t even know this song existed until 2002. That’s because in 2002, this happened:

Guys, I LOVED this movie as a kid. It’s sooooo bad, but soooooo good at the same time. And yes, it’s true, I didn’t know what a ‘DMX’ was before this. Is that unforgivable? Either way, it’s magnificent that a DMX song showed up in a movie directed squarely at children.

Work – Iggy Azalea

Oh God, here we go. The first one where I truly have to do some explaining. The problem is, I don’t have a good excuse. I heard this song in the car once, and I added it to my playlist. Simple as that. No lies. Nothing misleading. I have money, I have family, I’m 23 and I’ve never been to Miami. I just thought it was catchy, okay?

Now, of course, I think it’s the scourge of the earth and upon having it shuffled into my ear canal I immediately deleted it. Because even though I have been up some nights working on my shit and trying to get that rich, I’ve never given a blowjob in the name of designer shoes (which, by the way, goes down as the dumbest lyric I’ve heard in years).

Stupid – Kacey Musgraves

Country music is both misunderstood and completely, utterly understood. For those of you that think country music is about cute girls in Daisy Dukes drinking beer and shoveling hay onto your truck’s tailgate, well, you’re completely correct. That’s the shitty side of country music. That’s Florida-Georgia Line degrading women and Blake Shelton excoriating you for being a New Yorker, ya damn city slicker.

Then there are artists like Kacey Musgraves, artists who actually try to write music instead of pulling lyrics out of the bottom of a beer cooler. Highly recommended, even if I have literally no connection to anything related to good ol’ country living.

In One Ear – Cage the Elephant

Ahhhhh why do I have this song? Deleted. Cage the Elephant is a terrible garage band that some producer thought could make a hit. And they did. No Rest For The Wicked is catchy as hell. Everything else they’ve done is unadulterated crap. Don’t tell this to my brother, who idolized these rock god wannabes when he was younger. Yuck. The singer, who must have throat cancer at this point in his career, sings about his words going “in one ear and right out the other” and I’m sure he’d be proud to know that this is exactly what happened when I listened to it.

Like A G6 – Far East Movement

WHAT THE FUCK. Why did I ever add this song to any playlist of any kind at any time? You know what – I think I’m more embarrassed about this song being on the playlist than Iggy. At least Iggy seems, I don’t know, genuine about her work. These guys basically say “We like to party and when we do, it’s like we’re the Gulfsteam G650, a twin engine jet airplane. We so fly yo hahahaha” oh my god I’m so embarrassed right now. This song came out in 2010 so it means at some point over the last five years – while I was in COLLEGE aghhhh – I considered it decent enough for listening. Holy mother of God I cannot defend this abomination. To the many people who say my music tastes are awful: here is your fuel. Burn me at the stake.

Love Train – The O’Jays

Ugh, I feel like I need to shower after that last song. Thankfully, The O’Jays are here to help! I can’t disassociate this song with shitty beer, but it’s still a jivin’ good time.

This is a song that will brighten your day no matter how bad it’s been. And if you happened to listen to Like A G6 recently, here is your medicine. You have been cleansed.

Bossa Nova Baby – Elvis Presley

I love Elvis. I love Elvis so much. I’m really glad this came up, because now I can wax poetic about The King. I have probably 100 Elvis songs on this playlist so you had to assume it would show up eventually. This one is far from my favorite (that honor goes to the elegant, beautiful, passionate Now And Then There’s A Fool Such As I), but it’s the perfect introduction for the Elvis beginner. Upbeat, fun, energetic as hell. Oooooh yeah. This was a good finish.

For those interested, the next five songs that came up on shuffle were Tombstone Blues (Bob Dylan), Like Toy Soldiers (Eminem), The House Is Rockin’ (Stevie Ray Vaughan), Patiently Waiting (50 Cent), and Way Down (Elvis Presley).

There you have it. Judge me. Criticize me. Agree with me? Hey, it took balls to do this, alright? I have zero regrets.