Student discusses benefits of sharing in a friend’s music and letting shotgun choose the song

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Draven Jackson

Arts and Living Editor

Whether you’re picking up your friend for a night out, or just driving around with the windows down feeling the cool air hit your face, what’s the one thing you almost always do?

If it’s turning on your Spotify playlist and cranking up your favorite song, then you’re just like every other driver out on the road. 

There’s something about driving around that just makes music better. Not to say that the songs aren’t still bops when you’re listening to them at home – they definitely are – but driving and music just seem to go together. When you’re almost back to your house and that one song you love comes on, you always wish your drive would last a little bit longer so you could finish it. 

Maybe, like many of us do, you wait in the car until it’s over, belting the lyrics at top volume without caring if the cute boy across the parking lot can see you. (Spoiler: he definitely can). 

So, obviously, when our friends get into the car, the first thing we want to do is: show them that new Khalid song we’ve been jamming to or blast them with “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 because you just rediscovered how great all of the Songs About Jane album is. While this is a totally rational, reasonable and understandable response to your friend’s presence in your car, consider this: hand your passenger the aux and let them choose the music this time. 

I know, crazy idea, right? We all seem to follow the Dean Winchester mantra of “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.” While its totally okay to want to show your friend the music you’ve been listening to lately, you never know what kind of music you’re missing by ignoring their song choices. 

Personally, my summer was filled with the music of my friends. Whether it was how-to-deal-with-a-breakup music, “listen to this cool song I just found” music, or just-because-I-was-riding-in-their-car music, my ears have been opened to a whole new array of songs. 

One friend introduced me to artists like Snow Tha Product and Ashnikko, two great female rappers/singers (if you’re really into Lizzo.) Another friend gave me new songs that were immediately added to my playlist, like “Tinder” by Limbo and “Haunt Me” by Samsa. 

While it’s totally possible I could have found this music on my own, the act of a friend looking at you and saying, “I found this song I think you’d really like,” is just a really nice experience. It shows that while they were listening to their music, minding their own business, they heard a song and thought of you.

Music has always had the ability to bring people together, be it at a concert, a festival, or just on a long drive. There’s something about you and your best friend singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs while driving down an empty highway that just makes you feel a little bit closer when you get home. 

And while it’s fun to know all the words to the songs you’re listening to, maybe its time you put your playlist aside, hand the aux chord to your passenger, and take the time to let shotgun choose the music. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your next favorite song, brought to you by your friend’s playlist. 

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