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Sympathetic Vibrations | Make Your Royals Tailgate Turnt Celebrate the New Season with the Mother of All Playlists

Tailgaters light a charcoal fire at Kauffman Stadium As these Royals fans outside Kauffman Stadium know, there are a few ways to get a tailgate party started. One is with fire. The other? Try our ready-made tailgating playlist. (Brad Austin | Flatland)
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1 minute read

The Royals season is back in full swing. And following last week’s fanfare-laden home opener, baseball fever has once again descended upon our fair city.

While the boys in blue are still working out some of the kinks on field left by both voluntary and (tear) involuntary roster holes, Opening Day saw yet another stellar exhibition of tailgating prowess. Say what you will about our collective shortcomings KC, but dammit, we know how to drink beer and eat cholesterol-heavy foods from the back of all manners of sport utility vehicles and tents.

And while we have proven time and time again that KC has the parking lot food game on lock, there’s always room for improvement. For instance, if your tailgate doesn’t include an adequate allotment of appropriately lit tunage to get you mad hyped before the game, I’m sorry to say this, but you’re doing it wrong. And shame on you.

What’s that? You lost your “Jock Jams” CD years ago? No problem. Flatland has hand-picked a great set of tunes you can use as needed at your next tailgate. So when the energy level dips following the inevitable trichinosis scare, or when that one friend deliberately over-serves himself (again), feel free to call this playlist out of the bullpen to eke out the save.

The Playlist

Warning: Some of these tracks may contain explicit lyrics.

  • Wilbert Harrison, “Kansas City” – Duh. There are many odes to KC, but only one of them can boast being a Billboard No. 1 single. Though many versions of the song have been made, this one is the most recognizable and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
  • Tech N9ne, “KCMO Anthem” – Who better to commemorate the Royal’s World Series Championship win than Tech, an icon in the indie hip hop world and one of the city’s most successful artists. Though his pounding track was released as a baseball-themed victory lap, the song serves well as a hype song for KC in general.
  • Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen” – At first blush, a track about a girlfriend who will smoke crack and commit crimes with you doesn’t seem like a good fit in a Royals playlist. But when you consider that the song became a locker-room staple during the Royal’s 2015 World Series season, as well as the subject of many inside jokes between the players and the media — it’s a difficult omission.
  • Various Artists, “Kansas City (Cover)” – In celebration of the 2016 Middle of the Map Fest, Jessica Paige, along with artists from The Blackbird Revue, Run With It, and Project H got together and covered The New Basement Tape’s rendition of “Kansas City”. Sure, the original version may have a little more polish and Marcus Mumford on vocals, but this version has local artists with a music video shot amongst local landmarks. What’s not to love?
  • Bon Jovi, “Livin’ On a Prayer” – This 80s classic is the reigning sixth inning sing-along champ at the K, and its opening bass and synth chords typically herald an onslaught of uncoordinated air guitaring. Embarrassing? Yes. But less so than having Garth Brooks’ “Low Places” serve as our musical representative.
  • Mac Lethal, “Royals Insanity Rap” – Mac Lethal has been well known around these parts for years, but has blown up nationally from the success of his viral videos, which usually involve two things: A single, sometimes gimmicky concept, and blisteringly fast rapping. He doesn’t deviate from the formula too much, but this time the track is replete with name drops and references to the Royals.
  • Archie Eversole, “We Ready” – Much like “Trap Queen,” Eversole’s track became a postseason staple and was prevalent all over the the club – from the post-victory locker room celebrations to the stadium itself. So much so, that many credit the track and its hook as the mantra for the Royals dominant postseason run in 2014.
  • John Leslie Long, “The Kansas City Royals (Parody)” – This is a parody version of Lorde’s pop hit “Royals.” As you might expect, the two songs are basically the same, but for Long’s Royals-friendly deviations from the original lyrics.
  • Tech N9ne, “O.G.” – Yeah, yeah… I know. But when you have success like Tech’s, then you can have two songs on the playlist, ok? This cut has more of a West Coast funk vibe, complete with references to repping the KC metro and being “hellified like the food of Ollie Gates.” Whatever you do, don’t forget to check out the music video.
  • Irv Da Phenom,“I’m ROYAL” – Irv’s 2014 track, which was released as a Royals anthem despite not having any references to baseball at all, works as a standalone track. Nevertheless, with a hook like, “I’m royal. Gimmie gimmie that crown,” it will also work well for any tailgate at the K.
  • The Beatles, “Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!” – The Beatles version of “Kansas City” is actually a grandchild of Wilbert Harrison’s version (with Little Richard’s version rounding out the genealogy). The raucous blues hit is high energy and serves as the victory music at Kauffman Stadium after a Royals win. And winning is the only thing you should have on your mind before going in.

— Dan Calderon is Kansas City native, an attorney, and contributor to Flatland. You can contact him by emailing, or on Twitter @dansascity.

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