Style - Kicks and Gear / Aug 2, 2011 / 12:45 pm

The 10 Best Warm-Up Songs

No Way Out

Back in high school, the warm-up mix always had to be on point. We used to argue over the songs, sometimes had trouble landing edited versions and even had one kid constantly try to sneak his own tape over to the guys running it. It was a never-ending argument. I still remember coming out my senior year to T.I.‘s “Bring Em Out” which would seem appropriate, except that I never liked that song. It didn’t get me hyped at all (if we were gonna have T.I., I argued, it better be “What You Know”).

Then in college, everything changes. Unless you’re big time, the vibe is just different. There’s less energy – crowds get smaller, which is really weird – sometimes gyms get larger and the intensity never seems to be quite as high. Sometimes the school has it’s own warm-up tape, and they used it for every sport. The spectacle just isn’t as big, surprising in a way when you think about it.

In high school, the entrances were epic. I still remember the song off a Diddy album (I can’t remember which one) that sampled the Alan Parsons Project music from the Bulls, and even though it wasn’t a great song, it immediately became the favorite for about five different high schools. Still, my ultimate warm up mix would play out something like this:

Re-Up Gang- “Pussy” (Remix)
Public Enemy- “Rebel Without A Pause”
Nas- “Made You Look”
Lil Wayne- “Bm J.R.”
Kanye West- “Hell Of A Life”
Eminem- “‘Til I Collapse”
The Diplomats- “Stop N Go”
Ice Cube- “When Will They Shoot?”
Mobb Deep- “Apostle’s Warning”
Diddy & BIG- “Victory”

I know I’m missing some, but if someone put together a playlist with these joints, I would be feeling good, and hopefully jumping just a little higher.

**right after I finished this, “Door Man” from the Clipse came on my iTunes. That has to make this list**

What are your favorite warm-up songs?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • Goattree

    Can’t forget grand finale from the belly soundtrack, dmx’s up in here, or BOB by outkast

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Quiznakes K Dizzle

    Remember the Name – Fort Minor
    Shut em down – Public Enemy
    Lose Yourself – Eminem

    You right tho. Findin clean edits for the best tracks was a chore

  • iannyb

    Miame went all No Limit in the finals with C-murder’s “Down for my n’s”

  • frank the tank

    Miami has been playing down for my n”s for years now

  • s.bucketz

    in north jersey/ny every high school had the same edited version of mobb deep ‘shook ones’ on their shit

  • http://www LP

    nice list, that Diplomats “STOP N GO” and “MADE YOU LOOK” was critical for me in highschool and college…classic

  • ERIC

    DMX – Intro

  • Ducky87

    DMX: What’s My Name

    Trillville: Headbussa

  • IGP

    MOP- Ante Up!!!

  • Kage

    I was just gonna say ANTE UP from MOP . in high school our rival school had the “BELL” trophy and annually we played the Bell game to see who gets to hold the trophy for that year. “ANTE UP!” — this song gets you a little TOO hype. makes me want to shank someone now a days haha

  • Big Island

    Damn I am old. Really old.

  • Chaos

    Ante Up is an all time great!

  • Da_Griff

    Yeah, i used to have warm up music on my discman to listen to before a game to psyche me up. But there was only a lil’ rap on there.

    LL Cool J – Momma Said Knock You Out
    The KLF – Last Train to Transcentral
    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    Faith No More – Surprise! You’re Dead
    House of Pain – Jump Around
    Regurgitator – Kong Foo Sing
    Bjork – Army of Me

    Big Island, i hear you man.

  • 2cents

    @ Da_Griff nice to see not everyone who loves bball needs (c)rap in their warm up set.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Please no Kanye. Makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

    Talib Kweli – Just to Get By

  • BIGDOG305

    Trick Daddy – Let’s Go
    Tuff Crew – My part of town

  • yoda

    so, you’re having this article every 3-4 months? this is like 4th time that i see some kind of “what’s your warmups music” :)

  • Bresaniel

    Brings back memories… Clean versions are tough to handle, wordd I was the one on the team to get a kid sneak in some non-edited songs mid-way thru…

    I see the above list is East coast heavy…

    The best joints we got during warm ups :

    Still DRE
    Grand Finale
    And Black Rob’s ” Whoa” was on everybody’s playlist for a minute

    Brings back the good old days

  • jdizzle

    BMJR is one of the best songs Wayne ever came out with. Carter 1 and Dedication 1 is the only Wayne I can listen to nowadays

    Ludacris Move Bitch used to get mfs amped. They cant even play that song in the clubs cuz it usually starts fights

  • mike

    We used to come out of the tunnel to this:


  • Will


    the line “you will not win cause i will not lose” always psyched me up for game time

  • Rep Yo City

    We came out to 1 song all 4 years as it became a staple at the building…

    Da Rockwilder (Running out of the locker room right at the “OH MY GODDD”)

  • Isom

    Come on Sean. We are your readers. Please show us some class and take two minutes to research your article.

    I also had no clue, but a quick google search gave me everything I (and you) needed to know.

    “The Saga Continues” by P. Diddy feat. G. Dep, Black Rob and Loon sampled The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius”

    via http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/1916/P.%20Diddy%20feat.%20G.%20Dep,%20Black%20Rob%20and%20Loon-The%20Saga%20Continues_The%20Alan%20Parsons%20Project-Sirius/

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    This brings me right back to one of my first posts at Dime:


    My Top Five:

    “Da Rockwilder” by Method Man & Redman
    “Bring ‘Em Out” by T.I.
    “Hit ‘Em High” by Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, Method Man & B Real
    “Ante Up” by M.O.P.
    “Concrete Schoolyard” by Jurassic 5

  • cheezweez

    Dead Prez – Hip Hop .. if that don’t hype you up, then there’s something wrong with you.

  • Da_Griff

    Thanks 2cents!

  • Da_Griff
  • M-Intellect

    Whoever said ‘Intro’ by DMX knows!!! Chuck Lidell used to come out to that track and I swear it was made to hype people up!

    My gym playlist (Similar concept) is…

    BMF; I’m Not A Star – Rick Ross
    Intro; Ruff Rider’s Anthem – DMX
    Trap or Die; Thug Motivation – Jeezy
    Hard In The Paint – Wakka Woocka Flame

  • cdubb

    Damn. This has been a while. Mixed CD’s in my Discman before every game.

    This is what always got me going:

    Luniz – Got 5 on it
    Dilated Peoples – worst comes the worst
    Mobb Deep – Shook ones pt 2
    MOP – Home sweet home
    50 Cent – Back down, If I can’t
    Dr Dre – Still D.R.E., What’s the difference?
    Snoop Doggy Dogg – Snoop’s upside ya head
    Tupac – Ambitionz as a Ridah, Can’t C me, 2of Amerikaz most wanted

  • Sean Sweeney

    I remember when Tyson used to come out to Ambitionz as a Ridah. Epic.

    The DMX intro is also a must. Most of his intros are great. And I probably could’ve put a song on there from Jeezy’s first album. That was all we played for an entire year when that thing came out.

  • Skeeter McGee

    I was about to say Jeezy Trap or Die CD used to be on repeat before games in early high school…

  • AustinBasketballCamps

    Anything Rocky themed.