This edition of Freestyler’s Playlist comes by way of Canada’s Mo Ali Heydarpour. Heydarpour has travelled the world as a professional footballer, but is perhaps most well-known for his online videos under the name IT10.
While training, Heydarpour uses a short-but-sweet collection of inspirational hip-hop tracks to keep him motivated.
“A lot of these songs are about starting from the bottom and success,” Heydarpour said. “It just helps me keep focused when I’m doing my training and reminds me of how much work I put in to reach the place I am now.”
Without further ado, let’s get into the music.
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Drake, “Summer Sixteen”
Sticking true to his Canadian roots, Heydarpour starts his playlist with rap giant Drake. The Toronto MC’s braggadocio bars are sprinkled over heavy trap drums and are perfect for anyone’s workout (except for maybe Meek Mill’s).
Heydarpour goes back to back (I’m sorry I had to) with Drizzy tracks with the newly released “Sneakin'” featuring one of XXL’s 2016 Freshman Class, 21 Savage. It’s another typical Drake cut, complete with jabs at Meek and an uptempo beat produced by London on the Track.
G-Eazy, “Me, Myself & I”
The me-versus-everybody theme continues on Heydarpour’s playlist with G-Eazy’s hit “Me, Myself, & I.” The emerging rap superstar’s inspirational lyrics are sure to get you off the couch and on the pitch in no time.
Lupe Fiasco, “Superstar”
Heydarpour throws it back to 2007 with the classic “Superstar” from Lupe Fiasco. With Matthew Santos’ golden vocals on the chorus, it would be difficult to find someone that doesn’t feel good after listening to this song.
G-Eazy, “Opportunity Cost”
G-Eazy returns to the playlist, this time with “Opportunity Cost,” which tells the tale of the rapper’s rise to stardom. It’s more laid-back than the other songs on Heydarpour’s list, but it gets the job done when it comes to inspiration.
50 Cent, “I’m The Man”
Who said 50 fell off? Despite never lifting his voice higher than a conversational tone, Fiddy will have you feeling like the man upon listening to this uplifting track.
Kanye West, “Famous”
If there’s two things Kanye West doesn’t lack, it’s confidence and charisma. ‘Ye brings both of those to the table in this cut from his polarizing Life of Pablo album. West recruits a big team of producers, including Mobb Deep’s Havoc and Hudson Mohawke to create thunderous drums and organs perfect for your freestyle session.
Machine Gun Kelly, “Spotlight”
Heydarpour concludes his playlist with the wild boy himself, Machine Gun Kelly. “Spotlight” starts with MGK spitting complex lines over minimalist guitar and piano chords, and evolves into a more upbeat track as the song continues. MGK’s passion is on full display throughout the song and will definitely get you going.
Cover photo courtesy of Claire Teri Photography.