Grooves for the Move: 2 AM 7 Train


Action Bronson performing at Rolling Loud. Photo credits: Clarise Khan

Clarise Khan

Taking the 7 train back from Rolling Loud every night at 2 AM made me think. A lot. Every night I sat on the hard plastic seat, soaked in rain, exhausted from my voice to my legs. If you, like me, choose to spend your late-night rides staring out the window deep in thought, you should add these songs to your playlist. Don’t worry, it’s not sad, it’s just chill enough to let you night-dream until you get home.

Ramsey – Seafood Sam

There’s an ease to this flow that carries through the entire track. Seafood Sam samples Makoto Matsushita’s Love Was Really Gone for the instrumental, and you might recognize it from many others (like racki) who have sampled it recently. I’d argue Seafood Sam does it better. The groovy melody from Matsushita combined with Seafood Sam’s storytelling about his come-up as an artist makes you want to slink back in your seat and watch the NYC skyline (or the lights from the D.C. metro) for the rest of your commute. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when this song is the only thing you want to hear the next time you’re riding back at 2 AM.


Swords – Young Wabo

It’s fire. That’s all. Wabo is incredible on this beat, giving us dark, angelic, low-fi magic.


Polo Jeans – Mac Miller ft. Earl Sweatshirt 

“Broke and crazy, rich and famous doesn’t last long

Spent all my cash on a broken dream

Went from weed and liquor to the coke and lean

All-all-all I got’s this mansion and this potpourri

But don’t I look so handsome in these Polo jeans?”

This is a bit of a switch-up, but I feel it’s important to include Mac Miller on a playlist like this. I miss Mac a lot, and the recent Faces release has filled a crazy big hole in my life. On this track, he raps about success and failure in the music industry, with Earl Sweatshirt giving us a verse that can only be described as pessimistic but successful. It’s a soberingly aware song, and the delivery makes it perfect for long rides on the train. It’s the comedown off a major high.


Terry – Action Bronson

This song exudes Queens NY, with some of Bronson’s most iconic lyrics (“Watching Iron Chef / The secret ingredient was lion’s neck”), hardest flows, and impeccable deliveries. Don’t let that scare you though, this beat is relaxing as hell thanks to The Alchemist’s production. Bronson riffs about drugs, sex, and food (“Smoke good, f***, eat, drink/ Drive nice car, wear all green mink”) while concocting lucid imagery, and his demeanor is so casual that it almost throws you off, almost. The surreal transition at the end is unexpected but welcome for the vibe we’re looking for at 2 AM. If you want to really add something special to your playlist, try the Spotify Single version of the song, the messy transition between Bonsai and Terry is the perfect introduction to Action Bronson.