Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 4: Toponyms

Ever since I was little, I've been fascinated by toponyms (which is really just a fancy-schmancy word for place names). Most placenames, when you dig into their origins, reveal a little something about the history of the place itself, and this thrills me to no end. I realize this is hopelessly nerdy, and I'm ok with that.

A lot of places (perhaps most, even) are just named after prominent geographical features: Mesopotamia (Greek for "the land between two rivers"—namely the Tigris & Euphrates), Amsterdam (the dam on the Amstel river), as well as Chicago, the Maghreb, Rio de Janeiro, Waterloo, Copenhagen, & Detroit. A sizable chunk of toponyms (especially on my side of the globe) are rip-offs—names taken from Native American tribes, or from pre-existing places:
Miami, Philadelphia, Kansas City, New York, Kingston, etc.

If you're lucky, you might get a place named after you (like Italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci or early New Amsterdam landholder Jonas 'Boogie Down' Bronck.) It helps to be a saint, or a monarch, or both (StL represent!)
If you can't manage to get a city named after yourself, a nice consolation prize might be getting a city named after a company you run: Atlanta isn't named after Atlantis or the Atlantic Ocean—it's namesake is the Western & Atlantic Railroad. It may not be the noblest of origins, but it's catchier than "Coke-Town".

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here is a mixtape stuffed with tunes about places and travel and hood-repping and all that great stuff, with toponyms in the title of each. I've purposefully avoided Frank Sinatra, as I don't much care for him. If you want to hear "New York, New York" or "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)", feel free to line 'em up after this mix in Winamp or whatever the kids use these days.

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 4: Toponyms
  1. Will Smith; Miami
  2. B.B. King; Philadelphia
  3. Juggy Jones; Inside America
  4. The B-52s; Mesopotamia
  5. The Budos Band; Chicago Falcon (The Washington Sq. Lads & Mark Ronson Remix)
  6. Hubert Laws; The Chicago Theme (Love Loop)
  7. Tommy Wills, Man With A Horn; K.C. Drive
  8. Luis Enriquez & His Orchestra; Rendezvous In Rome
  9. Peter & Paul Lewis; Ethiopian Land
  10. Two Man Sound; Que Tal America
  11. Calypso Rose; Kingston Breakdown
  12. Zoo Brazil; Tokyo
  13. Fierce Ruling Diva; Amsterdam Slide
  14. Jermaine Dupri & Ludacris; Welcome To Atlanta
  15. Jermaine Dupri; Welcome To Atlanta (Coast 2 Coast Remix feat. Diddy, Murphy Lee, & Snoop Dogg)
  16. 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman; California Love (Remix)
  17. The Main Ingredient; California My Way
  18. Kool & The Gang; Hollywood Swinging
  19. Atki2; Vietnam
  20. Cesaria Evora; Angola (Carl Craig Remix)
  21. Man Parrish feat. Freeze Force; Boogie Down Bronx
  22. Kraftwerk; Trans Europe Express
  23. Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto; Trans Europe Express
  24. Serge Gainsbourg; New York, USA
  25. Mateo & Matos; New York Style
  26. Ray Mang; Praia do Londres
  27. DJ Mark Flash; São Paulo
  28. Monkey Steak; Maghreb
  29. James Braun; Oi World This Is Copenhagen
  30. Van Halen; Panama
  31. Siouxsie & The Banshees; Hong Kong Garden
  32. Telex; Tour De France
  33. ABBA; Waterloo
  34. Affairs Of The Heart; Waterloo Sunset
  35. Duran Duran; Rio
  36. DJ Marquis; D/E/T/R/O/I/T
  37. 313 Bass Mechanics; D.E.T.
  38. DJ Nasty; In The D
  39. DJ Chip; Streets Of The Chi
  40. Kim Wilde; Kids In America
  41. Ultravox; Vienna
NEXT WEEK: New Jack Swing.


  1. Great! Love the theme. Favorite transition: California Love to California My Way. Big Props!!!


  2. Pat Dailey - "Get Your Ass to Cleveland" :D

  3. Panama isn't a song about the place Panama. It is still so amazing though.
    BC uk's song about Miami is a DNB classic, and probably better than "the Prince's" song about the same city since by this time he was way, way past his "freshness" date. He lost me years before his "big Willy" phase.
    As always, a fresh mix, please let this series become "my decade of mix tapes".
    I've been there and my advice to Pat Dailey is "get your ass out of Cleveland". Ha!