Music Genres That Are Great Driving Soundtracks

Whether to keep you awake, focused, or keep the drive fun, there are some music genres that are great driving soundtracks.

There's something about cruising in the summertime that just makes you feel alive - even if you're just commuting to work. The right car can make any journey good, but if you really want to get the best that driving has to offer, you're going to need the right soundtrack for your roadtrip. 

The awesome thing about music is that there are genres that are perfect for just about every occasion - driving included. Among those genres are tracks that make for amazing driving vibes of every sort. Here are some of the best choices for driving, and when to play each one. 

Gangsta Rap

There's a good reason why you see so many college kids and streetwear aficionados bumping hip hop beats when they're cruising. In particular, gangsta rap tends to be the most popular - and it's easy to understand why. 

There's just something about the deep bass, the confident-to-arrogant lyrics, and the steady background music that makes you feel like you're badass. Gangsta rappers are the modern "rebels without a cause," and that vibe extends into their music.

Incidentally,  that dose of badassery tends to feel incredible when paired with the right ride. So, if you're looking for a really good soundtrack for just feeling cool as can be, dose yourself with some rap when you're on the road. 

Good options include the Notorious BIG, 50 Cent, Run The Jewels, Schooly D, and of course, Snoop Dogg. 

Nightcore

If you've ever had one of those nights where you just want to cruise over to the club with your female friends, then you already know that part of getting that party on is starting with the best party music out there. Nightcore's feminine-kawaii-hyper sound makes it easy to get happy, excited, and ready to break out your best moves on the dance floor. 

Oh, and since it also has awesomely bouncy kicks, this kind of music sounds absolutely incredible when it's bumped at top volumes from a pair of good speakers. 

Excellent choices for your driving soundtrack include S3rl, Synthwulf, and Hixxy. 

Downtempo Trip Hop

Have you ever had one of those drives where you just wanted to calmly admire the city skylines around you? That kind of mood doesn't really bode well with the typical high tempo tracks you'd expect to see on this list. 

For these kinds of moments, your best bet is something mellow, sophisticated, and of course, urbane. Trip hop reflects this mood perfectly, and sounds perfect when bumped loud or kept at a more moderate volume as well. 

If you're ready to get chill while driving, Massive Attack, Tricky, and Thievery Corporation are excellent artists to pop in your CD player. 

Country

Love it or hate it, country music has a deep history when it comes to being cruising music. In its uniquely twangy, salt-of-the-earth charm, country music brings out a very fun, freedom-embracing element of traveling the open road. 

This is why it just seems to make sense to listen to country while cruising long stretches of highway. It's just such an American thing to do, you know? 

If you want to give good country a shot, consider Jimmy Buffet, Jake Owen, Toby Keith, and Kid Rock. 

Outrun

Also known as the genre that was named after a driving game - and the genre that was invented by composer Kavinsky, outrun might be the only genre in history to have been directly made to be a driving soundtrack

If you've ever wanted to pretend to run away from cops while being a rebel in the your favorite 80s flick, then this is the music genre that you need to immerse yourself in. Expect pulse-pounding beats, strong synths, and that oldschool cool that you always love in every song. 

Excellent choices include Lazerhawk, Kavinsky, and Perturbator. 

70s And 80s Classic Rock

Classic rock has so many hits that have made road trips amazing over the years, especially during the 70s and 80s. This was, in fact, the Golden Age of road tripping - and it's so worth seeing why. 

These songs are comforting, everyone knows the lyrics to them, and they just seem to go with just about every kind of background possible. Did we mention that classic rock is incredible for car karaoke? Yeah, we need to say that. 

Good choices for road soundtracks with this vibe include Queen, Bruce Springsteen, and Gary Numan. 

House Music

Back in the 2000s, people who loved the Jersey Shore cast tended to pick up a lot of their habits - including blasting house music from their oversized, gas-guzzling car rentals. Tacky as it may seem, it's totally understandable why this trend caught on. 

House music is awesome, first off. Secondly, house music has that perennially fun club sound that makes you feel like it's summer all year round. It's glamorous, it's got crisp beats, and the lyrics are catchy enough that everyone can start singing along by the third chorus. 

Good choices for a beach-ready outing include Lucas Prata, David Guetta, and Nicky Twist. 

90s And 00s Alternative Rock

For many of us, alternative rock is one of those things that brings us back to high school and college. It's classic, carefree, and somehow just speaks to those times in our lives where all we really cared about was drinking beer and laughing with friends. 

That carefree, almost "fratboy" vibe that so much of the alt rock that came out during this time makes it a perfect driving soundtrack for guys' nights, tailgating parties, and of course, just having fun in your car. 

Good picks in this genre include Blink 182, Sum 41, and Nirvana. 

Drum And Bass

Though gangsta rap definitely has its badassery, there's something about DNB that just makes you feel like you're in the middle of the scenes from Straight Outta Compton. It's urban, has jungle beats, and also makes for incredibly fast-paced driving. 

Strong, deep bass hums and breakbeats make this genre a surprisingly good choice for moments where you want to feel like a gangster - as well as those moments where you're driving to the lounge with friends who want to mellow out. 

Good choices here include Aphrodite, Goldie, and Photek. 

Turntablism

Yes, I'm talking about the entire genre composed of record-scratches, remixed 50s jive, and hip hop components. Turntablism may have gone out of fashion, but it definitely isn't out of style. After all, truly awesome things never go out of style - even if trends may have forgotten them. 

The thing about turntablism is that it's got that same gangster vibe of rap or DNB, but it also has a bit more of an ostentatious undercurrent than typical rap. This is the kind of music that turns heads and automatically makes you feel like a badass G. 

Turntablism is subtle in its way of telling you, "I'm old school, and I can whoop you," - but make no mistake about it, no one will be unable to receive that message. That being said, this is more of a "car show" soundtrack than anything else. 

So, if you wanna flaunt your car, this is a good choice. Awesome options include DJ Qbert, Chinese Man, The Avalanches, and DJ Quest. 


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Music Genres That Are Great Driving Soundtracks