This is all Prof’s fault.
The Rhymesayers’ resident rapscallion is performing at First Ave tonight with Sa-Roc, Cashinova, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch as part of the kickoff for this year’s X Games. And Prof’s latest album, Pookie Baby, features a fun new anthem about his hometown, “Minneapolis.”
Now clearly Prof is not the first person to call a song “Minneapolis.” But that got me wondering just how many songs have been named after our city.
To clarify: I’m not talking about songs with “Minneapolis” in the title, or songs that mention Minneapolis. Just songs that are called, simply, “Minneapolis.” How many could there be?
My friends, there are so many.
After a full day’s search, I turned up 51 songs called “Minneapolis” (counting the new Prof track.) Some you probably know. Some may have only been heard before now by family and close friends of the performers. Not all of them are worth listening to. But I did anyway. And now you can too.
There’s an important lesson here, I think: If you really want to stand out, write a song called “St. Paul.”
that dog (1997)
L.A. pop-rocker Anna Waronker meets the cutest boy she ever saw, hangs out at a Low show with him, and decides not to move to his hometown. Her loss.
The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group (1995)
What was Minneapolis like in the ’90s? This charming indie ode from a simpler time, when apartments were much cheaper but there were very few bike lanes, will give you a glimpse.
Thoughtful indie rocker Lætitia Tamko muses on what “home” means to her as she flies into MSP.
Lucinda Williams (2003)
By the end of this song, Lucinda wants to gouge herself and bleed out into the Minnesota snow. February, amirite?
Mark Mallman (2011)
Our local theatrical madcap rocker celebrates this urban wonderland with a rousing cry of “Back to the city! Back to life!”
Ben Kyle (2012)
A hushed, pretty celebration of you-know-where from the Romantica frontman.
Bill Janowitz (2002)
“Well, she came from Minneapolis,” the Buffalo Tom front man sings. “She was looking for a change I guess.” You never know what people are going to rhyme with our city.
On this slight b-side, the witty Brit new-wavers repeatedly (and quietly) chant “Minn-e-a-polis” over some fancy synths, then close by mentioning “the sound born from the city of Minneapolis.”
An early b-side from the British electronica act who you remember from Trainspotting.
Chad Valley (2018)
This song doesn’t mention Minneapolis at all. Explain yourself, Mr. Valley.
Sadat X (2002)
A solo joint from a member of the middle school rap crew Brand Nubian.
Laurent Salzard (2018)
A funky little jam from a French jazz bassist.
Young Tc Guapo (2017)
A St. Paul MC’s guided tour through “the Murderap,” starting off with ten seconds of simulated machine gun fire.
Jaspar Lepak (2010)
“A love song to this city,” written when the songwriter was set to move away to South Africa.
Brian Bethke (2015)
An Osseo singer-songwriter drives to Minneapolis with his girlfriend, who dumps him and takes the car. Presumably, he found his way back to Wisconsin somehow.
Boca Chica (2009)
“Minneapolis is prettier in July,” sings Pittsburgh folkie Hallie Pritts. True? False? Discuss.
Sonia Rao (2016)
“Thank you, Minneapolis,” this former contestant on The Voice sings after a romantic epiphany allows her to overcome her fears. Sonia, you’re welcome.
Tom Daily (1999)
Remember the Smoking Popes? Daily was the Chicago pop-punk band’s guitarist.
Jonny Hollis (2009)
Mississippi-based folkie rhymes our town with “one more kiss.”
Pull a Star Trip (2012)
A Swedish group whose interests (according to their Facebook page) include “expressing what we think and feel with lyrics and harmonies.” That seems like a very good interest for a band to have!
Otis McDonald (2018)
A nifty little instrumental tribute to Prince and the Minneapolis Sound from a multi-instrumentalist who renamed himself after Shuggie Otis and Michael McDonald.
Lee Rude (2014)
A peppy little number from a local songwriter that could’ve been commissioned by the Minnesota Tourism Board, it mentions everything from Sebastian Joe’s to the Guthrie.
Kelsey Kopecky (2017)
A Nashville indie rocker sings “Minneapolis, I still love you.” Aw, rightbackatcha, Kelsey.
Ben Hupfer (2014)
“Northeast 221 9th Ave was my residence,” he raps. In other words, a local guy.
Yo Yo and the Chaplain (2013)
“A man could easily lose himself in empty sturm und drang,” observes a visiting folkie of our “old deserted mill town.” Hmm.
Mista Maeham ft. Tanqueray Loc (2015)
An autobiographical tale from a fiery local MC.
Tony B (2007)
Another song, from an all but Google-proof performer, that doesn’t mention Minneapolis at all. Next time you see Tony ask him about it.
Thomas Didier (2015)
A brief, moody electronic instrumental. Recommended if you like brief, moody electronic instrumentals.
“Minneapolis will never be the same!” these Florida punks shout. And we will never know why.
As Waters (2016)
A somewhat precious little song of heartbreak from a Canadian singer-songwriter.
Forest City Lovers (2010)
More Canadians. Our northern neighbors love us.
The Raging Nathans (2016)
Sludgy, scabrous punks outta Dayton, Ohio, named a song after our town for some reason.
Helen Exner (2015)
A piano ballad about hitting Highway 29 and taking a road trip to Minneapolis from a Wisconsin singer-songwriter who now lives in Florida.
Birthday Suits (2015)
Kind of an anti-anthem from the local punks, who grind out a measured, linear track with sardonic vocals buried beneath the guitars.
Hasenchat Music (2014)
So there’s this German electronic music label that puts out albums with titles like Laser Dubstep, Witch, and Obscurus Sanctus. I have no inkling what their deal is, but this comes from Music for Sport: Episode 4, which names most of its tracks after American cities. Does this one even count?
Wolf Among Willows (2015)
A local experimental Americana duo gets atmospheric and dirgey.
Union Hotel (2015)
Though this is straightforward American rock, the only information I could find online about this band was in Russian. An ominous sign.
A pitch bent voice sings “Hello, Minneapolis, I’ve been gone too long” over a cool dance-rock track.
Arron Dean (2013)
Looks like he (they?) lives (live?) (lived?) in Hawaii, but there’s also a song called “St. Paul on Mississippi” on the Arron Dean Bandcamp page. Curious.
Elliott Graber (2016)
“Minneapolis/ You keep calling me home,” sings this folksy St. Paul-based singer-songwriter.
The Baseboard Heaters (1999)
A footloose rock and roller hits the road to make a pilgrimage to “the holy land of my rock and roll tradition.”
Tripping Icarus (2014)
Remember when former Vikings punter and witty, righteous activist Chris Kluwe had a band?
I think they’re from Denmark?
Brianna Lane (2015)
"Oh my city, so tall and so pretty, I am lonelier with you than I am in the wild," sings the local singer-songwriter. We’ve all been there, Brianna.
Matthew J. Bentley (2015)
Turns out you can write EDM tracks about Minneapolis too.
Fifteen Minutes Fast (2003)
Just some pop-punk kids taking a “trip to Minneapolis” where the lead singer “had more fun last night than I could believe.”
Take It Back! (2009)
Fifty-six seconds of frustrated punk vitriol from an Arkansas Christian hardcore band. I hope they’re not mad at us.
“Good morning to you, Minneapolis. Sorry I could not stay this time.” You’re always welcome back, Rayno. Whoever you are.
Carousel Drive (2016)
An acoustic instrumental from some San Diego-based Snow Patrol fans.
Sammy Crawford (2005)
A bouncy piano tune about trying to talk a Minneapolis gal into moving down south.
And that's all of 'em. If you think of any I've missed, let me know. Or maybe don't let me know. Fifty-one might be enough.