I recently found and listened to an old TDK D60 in a junk box marked only by the faded word "jams." Is there a word for the experience of hearing music and having it transport you to an earlier time in your life? There should be.

This tape had known the interior of the Kenwood cassette player that rested in the dashboard of my trusty old red 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix with the one gray fender. The Kenwood cassette player was wired to the generic 250-Watt amp that underpowered two 12 inch Rockford Fosgate speakers in a box that I bought off a kid who needed money real bad to pay some other kid back. I kept the box chained up in the trunk of the car with 6 inches of upholstery between the car's interior and the speakers; it didn't matter, I have never been an audiophile. I just bought them to make the entire car rattle with bass. My parents swore they could tell whether I was going to make my curfew several minutes before I pulled in the driveway.

In 1994 I was friends with a guy who had me drive him to the mall so he could buy some "gear" at this store called "The Man Alive" that sold duochromatic outfits by the likes of Karl Kani: big baggie green and yellow shorts and an oversized shirt with matching green and yellow panels. He once stole me a pair of orange denim Girbauds with the tag suggestively on the crotch. He claimed to have lost his virginity at the age of eleven, two full years before I stopped playing with action figures. I would end up spending a lot of time in high school waiting around the living rooms of doublewide trailers watching television and eating no-bake cookies with the younger sisters of the girls he was fucking. Then we would pick up this guy called Lip and play basketball. They called him Lip because his lower lip was so big when he fell asleep on the way to Cedar Point one time my friends managed to put four full potato chips side-by-side on said lip while he snored. Lip had at least fourteen brothers and sisters and he was always beating the shit out of them. Lip's in prison now, and the other guy pays three different baby mamas every month.

God that mix brought back memories of awesomeness. I downloaded all the songs and now present them to you in close to their original order. Try to imagine, if you will, driving home from Lake Michigan in a rattling car smelling like sunburn and sand after an unsuccessful afternoon picking up girls from other school districts and listening to these songs in 1994:

1. A Tribe Called Quest: excursions
2. Beastie Boys: flute loop
3. Rakim: guess who's back
4. De la Soul: ego trippin (gumbo funk remix)
5. The Coup: fat cats, bigga fish/
6. The Coup: pimps

This wasn't actually on the original mix, but they really need to be presented together. When I heard it again recently I was like, whoa, I totally know people who talk like that now.

7. Notorious B.I.G.: juicy

"Super nintendo, Sega Genesis/ When I was dead broke man I couldn't picture this." There was this kid in my art class who the principal let perform "positive" raps on the P.A. in the morning about doing your homework and not doing drugs, then in art class when the teacher wasn't paying attention he'd rap about selling drugs and that kind of shit. I never saw him without a pick in his fro. He used to sing those two lines from this song over and over and over.

8. Funkdoobiest: Bow wow wow.
9. Beastie Boys (w/Cypress Hill): So What'cha Want (remix)
10. Del tha Funkee Homosapien: Ya Lil' Crumbsnatchers
11. The Fugees: nappy heads (remix)
12. Digable Planets: 9th wonder
13. De La Soul (featuring of teenage fanclub): fallin'

If I could go back and re-choose the de la soul songs I would pick something from their second album. I remember thinking this song was hilarious though because of the Tom Petty sample. It comes from the soundtrack of the 1993 movie Judgment Night, about a group of privileged minorities (including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Emilio Estevez) whose RV breaks down in an underprivileged white neighborhood run by Denis Leary, Piven, and the bald guy from House of Pain who named himself after boxer shorts, released an album of boring acoustic music and then had a heart attack. The thematic premise of the soundtrack was to match up "alternative" rock groups with rappers to create pre-Linkin Park raprock monstrosities like the song with Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill, who to my knowledge have never managed to record a song that wasn't about marijuana. I think Pearl Jam were like totally scared for their lives when they recorded it, but I'll bet Sonic Youth was totally into it.

14. Wu-Tang Clan: Da Mystery of Chessboxing
15. Beastie Boys: Car Thief

This is the best Beastie Boys song ever. I have no arguments with 1994 Dutch on this one.

16. The Pharcyde (with the Brand New Heavies): Soulflower

[this mix is missing two songs I couldn't find online: one by the Alkoholiks and one by the Beanuts I think]

Note: most of these songs are not appropriate for kids, unless you are awesome.