Playlist: Songs I Used to Play at Parties in College

I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I used to run shit.

When I was in college, my friends and I were perhaps a little notorious for our shenanigans. Maybe I’m romaticizing, maybe I’m nostalgic, maybe I’m drunk. But all I know is, I used to ride around with the windows down singing Nicki Minaj and everything was perfect and nothing hurt.

I’ve never really said a formal goodbye to the person I was in college, which is okay because really we don’t ever get to say goodbye to the people we liked being. But there were so many moments there that I wanted to last forever; I never knew what “being infinite” was until I met the Homo Mafia and embarked on a new life as recovering goodie-two-shoes with a red cup in hand. I have all these vivid memories of playing beer pong on Thursdays, clubbing all weekend, the night when all the lights except the back porch bulb went out and we could all see that couple making out in the bushes, the concerts, the smoke-and-rap sessions, the freestyling, the dirty bars.

We always had the same songs on. We knew all the words. I can’t remember if this is my playlist or one I stole from someone else; I just know I’ve had it on my computer ever since that party we had for Josh’s birthday where we played “Bulletproof” five times. We sang these songs in moving cars, darkened living rooms, crowded bars and now, I’m gonna pour one out for my former life and listen to them all over again.

Songs I Used to Play at Parties in College

Play Your Part (Part 1) – Girl Talk
Cannibal – Ke$ha
6 Foot 7 Foot – Lil Wayne
Patron Tequila – Paradiso Girls ft. Lil Jon and Eve
Milkshake – Kelis
Diva – Beyonce
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
Ignition Remix – R. Kelly
Creator – Santigold
I’m Not Your Toy – La Roux
Crazy Beautiful Life – Ke$ha
Paper Planes – M.I.A.
Cheers – Rihanna
Keep It Goin’ Louder – Major Lazer, Nina Sky, Ricky Blaze
Let The Beat Build – Lil Wayne
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich – Lady Gaga
Sleazy – Ke$ha
Get Busy – Sean Paul
Did It On ‘Em – Nicki Minaj
If U Seek Amy – Britney Spears
Over – Drake
Whatever You Like – T.I.
All of the Lights – Kanye West
Pound the Alarm – Nicki Minaj
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
TiK ToK – Ke$ha
Ego Remix – Beyonce ft. Kanye West
Seventeen Years – Ratatat
Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
Tigerlily – La Roux
We R Who We R – Ke$ha
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Ride ft. David Guetta
Boys – M.I.A.
A Milli – Lil Wayne
We Don’t Care – Kanye West
The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco
S&M – Rihanna
Sweet Dreams – Beyonce
Right Round – Flo Ride
Dance in the Dark – Lady Gaga
Piece of Me – Britney Spears
Blow – Ke$ha
Pon De Floor – Major Lazer, Vybz Kartel
I Know You Want Me – Pitbull
Birthday Sex – Jeremih
I’m the Best – Nicki Minaj
Only Girl in the World – Rihanna
Aston Martin Music – Rick Ross ft. Drake, Chrisette Michele
Hey Ya! – OutKast
Izzo (H.O.V.A.) – Jay Z
Gossip Folks – Missy Elliot ft. Ludacris
Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ – Kanye West
Bottoms Up – Trey Songz ft. Nicki Minaj
Pop Bottles – Birdman ft. Lil Wayne
Shots – Lil Jon ft. LMFAO
Womanizer – Britney Spears
Take It Off – Ke$ha
Monster – Kanye West ft. Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z
Welcome to My Hood – DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Plies
Right Above It – Lil Wayne ft. Drake
No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame ft. Wale, Rosco Dash
Like A G6 – Far East Movement
Hate It or Love It – 50 Cent ft. The Game, Tony Yayo, Young Buck
ET – Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
My Chick Bad – Ludacris ft. Nicki Minaj
Snap Yo Fingers – Youngbloodz, Sean Paul, E-40, Lil Jon
Round of Applause – Waka Flocka Flame ft. Drake
Lil Freak – Usher ft. Nicki Minaj
She Will – Lil Wayne ft. Drake
Turnin’ Me On – Keri Hilson ft. Lil Wayne
Show Me A Good Time – Drake
Hold the Line – Major Lazer
Sexy Bitch – David Guetta ft. Akon
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Bulletproof – La Roux
I’m On One – DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne
Knock You Down – Keri Hilson ft. Kanye West and Ne-Yo
Doo Wop – Lauryn Hill
We Found Love – Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Every Girl in the World – Young Money
POWER – Kanye West
All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled
Shooter – Robin Thicke ft. Lil Wayne
Deuces Remix – Chris Brown ft. Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, Andre 3000
Headlines – Drake
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Bed Rock – Young Money ft. Lloyd
I Love College – Asher Roth
Play Your Part (Part 2) – Girl Talk

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. there’s something about pop/rap music circa 2010-2013 that screamed I AM ON TOP OF THE WORLD NOTHING WILL BE BETTER THAN THIS LIFE I’M LIVING RIGHT NOW and this playlist perfectly captures that

    • that’s exactly how i felt whenever we had these parties, so i think you’re spot on

  2. i’m at my dad’s house and wow is he gonna be excited when he comes home to me blasting this playlist while i bake things with blueberries in his kitchen.

  3. omg your college playlist is my college playlist! We R Who We R <3 the soundtrack to my 20th birthday when we got kicked out of a raunchy ass 18+ club

  4. I was in undergrad from ’06-’10 in Philly. These were no doubt the best years of my life (thus far). Not only did I come out during this time, but I have fond memories of the tunes my friends and I would blast before nights out or road trips. In ’08 the women’s organization I was a founder of decided to go to a strip club for Valentine’s Day. Yes, it was my idea. We ended up going almost weekly and our playlist for going to the club included “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry, “Lick It” by God-Des and She and “Bad Girlfriend” by Theory of a Deadman. There’s nothing like a lesbian woman screaming at the top of her lungs, “My girlfriend’s a dick magnet” while driving in her HRC-stickered VW Golf. Well, I was fooling around with a few bi girls at the time so I wasn’t that far from the truth!

  5. My college playlist (I’m in college now) involves songs that are easy to cry,over my crippling anxiety to.

    My Immortal- Evanescence (really the whole Fallen album)

    Alleyways- The Neighbourhood

    Born to Die- Lana Del Rey

    Chloe in the Afternoon- St. Vincent

    Complicated- Avril Lavigne

    White Houses- Vanessa Carlton

    Like a Stone- Audioslave

    My post midterm/finals sobs

  6. College music was all Ani, Dar, Bjork, weirdo tiny girl-front bands.

    Oh, and a secret addiction to eurodance.

    This playlist reminds me of sooo many queer parties I went to during those years, I love it.

  7. Maybe this is your college party playlist, but this is my morning work playlist. Silent & very serious office, great things happening in my headphones right now.

    Thank you.

  8. This playlist is on point. If I weren’t in a college class right now, I’d blast this shit.

  9. “Whatever You Like” was the first song I ever arranged for my college a cappella group! #nostalgia

  10. I used to be a DJ in my college and I am seeing so many songs that I used to play!!! BEST ARTICLE EVERRRR

  11. I haven’t heard such an amazing playlist that makes me want to have a dance party since Club Wolf!!!

  12. THIS PLAYLIST IS SO GOOD! These songs remind me of many highlights in my college life. THANK YOU!

  13. Having partied with you personally back in the day, thanks for the nostalgia Carmen! College is nostalgia now?! We old.

    • ugh, we so old. how did it happen? it seems like just yesterday i was mixing some everclear and frozen juice into a large cooler in my kitchen.

  14. Yesterday my friend and I were listening to a bunch of unmarked mix CDs she had found. It was glorious, and know the nostalgic jams can continue in the house via this playlist. Amazing, thanks!

    • on the way to A-camp my friends and I played the Digimon soundtrack which she had burned onto a cd herself in childhood. Old cds can be marvelous!!

    • Sam, I’m merging this with Mary’s and never listening to anything else ever again.

  15. In college I partied to the Chronic, the album and the product, among other rappers of the 90s. I can’t relate to partying to these particular songs. But, I can relate to feeling on top of the world as 90’s rappers can sometimes make one feel. And this was in the late 00’s.

  16. Sooooo I feel old right now…very old. I was at uni briefly in ’02/’03 I remember little club music aside from my flatmate introducing me to Drum and Bass which I still love, Jungleist Massive is amazing as is The Lighter. Back then the pre gaming was done to Tatu, Avril lavigne and various pop punk tracks, I used to party at Rock clubs to Disturbed and NIN, I have little desire to revisit that time. I dropped out and moved to Scotland and the gay clubs played In Da Club by fiddy, trouble by pink and a crazy Dolly Parton 9-5 remix. So much drunk. Makes me glad I now have a one beer limit in life.

  17. all i remember us playing a lot of in college was “say it ain’t so.”
    i’m a million years old, it’s fine.

  18. Seeing “Bottoms Up” on this playlist brought back wildly vivid memories of literally SCREAMING “It’s Mr. Steal Yo Girrrrrrl!” in the car with my friends whenever the song would come on. Can’t wait to relive that rn on my drive to work w/ this playlist.

  19. I have a very similar playlist of songs I used to play in college. We also used to play “Make It Rain” by Lil Wayne/Fat Joe, and I still don’t fully comprehend the meaning of the lyrics.

  20. Hughes 6 pretty much ran the world in my opinion. This playlist reminds me of how effing cool I felt running with that crowd. Too much fun.

  21. Bless you good woman. This playlist is THESHIT. Girl Talk is my damn jam forever.

  22. These are all songs that we listened to my junior and senior years of high school, so naturally I was excited. I put it on and then my girlfriend and I ate a frozen pizza, played drunk monopoly, and had a lot of sex, without once repeating this awesome playlist. Carmen, you are a goddess among us.

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