That's right, folks, it's Mardi Gras. The day before Lent kicks off with the solemn Ash Wednesday, when absurdly excessive partying hits its absolute peak. Of course, whether you're a Catholic or not, Fat Tuesday is a fantastic excuse to cut loose and have the absolute most fun one can have on a Tuesday. To assist you in said partying, we at the Weekly have assembled a selection of songs to bring the best from Rio to New Orleans into your pre-Lenten celebration. Here's our Mardi Gras Phat Tuesday playlist!
5) Run-D.M.C., "Peter Piper" (1986).
One of the all-time-classic rap routines, Run-D.M.C.'s immortal "Peter Piper" is punctuated by the outstanding turntable work of the late DJ Jam-Master Jay. Those iconic bells you hear cut up over the chorus comes from Bob James' cover of Paul Simon's "Take Me to Mardi Gras." Among the most cherished breaks in the entire hip-hop canon, they're most known for being the signature Jam-Master Jay moment and a definitive example of how the right excerpt of a song, no matter how brief, can become the stuff of legend.
4) Mac Dre, "Get Stupid (Remix)" (2004).
The hyphy movement that reinvented partying in the mid-2000s was largely led by late hip-hop innovator Mac Dre. Among the many infectiously fun jams that his prolific catalog has to offer is 2004's "Get Stupid (Remix)." The feel-good beat and trademark Mac Dre irreverence is fun for all ages, including the little girl in this video, who proves that, when hyphy is involved, you're never too young to "Get it crackin' like a Mardi Gras!"
3) Meek Mill featuring Young Chris, "House Party" (2011).
While Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group imprint has spent the better part of the decade making hip-hop that seems custom-made for yacht parties, the absolute hardest partier of the bunch has to be Meek Mill. While he amassed a large following after his introspective debut, last year's Dreams and Nightmares, Mill first made waves in the hip-hop landscape as an unpredictable party snapper. His non-album banger "House Party" was one of the wildest singles of 2011 and has been a staple of all of our parties since.
2) Galactic featuring Juvenile and the Soul Rebel Brass Band, "From the Corner to the Block" (2007).
New Orleans is known for having quite the Mardi Gras showdown, and what better way to encapsulate decades of that wonderful tradition than this outstanding collaboration between Juvenile, Galactic and the Soul Rebel Brass Band. "From the Corner to the Block" pulsates with NOLA energy, combining several regional flavors for a cornucopia of full-blown fun. If you're looking for a cross-generational Mardi Gras pleaser, this is the one.
1) Jay-Z featuring UGK,"Big Pimpin" (1999)
Of course, this had to be No. 1. With the new millennium starting and the music industry at its height, Jay-Z got Def Jam to fund an absurdly expensive video shoot during Trinidad's Carnival celebration, giving us a Hype Williams masterpiece that has been turning boys into men for 13 years now. The sheer excess, gleeful abandon and vivid images capture the true celebration of being alive that Mardi Gras is. After you pour one out for the late Pimp C, bump this one as loud as you can — and let the bead-throwing begin!