There’s nothing quite like the feeling before a night out. Excitement, anticipation, deliberation over what to wear, putting on your best makeup, and the always weird smell of curling irons heating up.

I believe that the music you listen to while you’re getting ready to go out can make (or break) your night.  It sets the tone. It gets your mind right.

Because music is such a crucial part of the process, I’ve put together a list of the top songs to play while getting ready to go out.  Crowd around the mirror with your friends and grab a glass because we are going the EFF OUT tonight.

Note: I’m omitting any cliché classic songs like Kool & the Gang’s “Ladies Night”, Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” and Prince’s entire discography. Those are a given.

Beyonce, Nicki Minaj – Flawless Remix
I’m starting with Queen Bey because it would be rude not to do so.  I could’ve easily picked 10 other Beyonce songs to be on this list, but Flawless wins for its overall message of “Goddamn, I look so good tonight and am amazing and nothing can stop me.” That’s the attitude you want and the attitude you need for a great night out, and possibly life in general.  Also, the Outkast “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” sample is perfection.

Michael Jackson – Bad
Roll your eyes if you must, but I love Michael Jackson’s music with the fire of a thousand suns.  And just like Bey, MJ had a plethora of great dance songs to pick from, but Bad has always been one of my favorites (and criminally underrated).  It’s slightly aggressive, it’s boastful and it gets you all pumped up in that cheesy ‘80s sort of way.  Note: Weird Al’s “Fat” may also be used as a substitute in emergencies.

Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna
I dare you to put this song on and not dance.  Marina starts off a bit soft and ethereal but wait for that beat to drop.  This song will make you want to buy a real-ish looking strand of pearls and wear a plastic tiara to the bar on your birthday. And you know what? I wouldn’t blame you.  This song is aural candy and is magnificent from top to bottom.

Con Funk Shun – Ms. Got The Body
Yes, we’re back in the ‘80s.  I would say I’m sorry but I’m not because this song is the truth.  It’s R&B, funk, disco, and just the right amount of ridiculous.  I mean, one of the lines is “She’s a freak, candy-sweet” so we’re not exactly talking Mozart here. But to be fair, you’re drinking a Bud Light while waving a pointy mascara wand dangerously close to your eyeball, so…who’s to judge?  This jam will bring out your inner Ms. Got The Body and, someday, you’ll thank me for it.

Drake – Shut It Down
It’s no secret that you, me and everyone we know (except Meek Mill) love Drake.  And with a song like this, how could you not?  Drake spends a smooth 6 whole minutes and 52 seconds (!) telling you how cool you are, how great your outfit is tonight and requesting that you dance in the mirror (like you weren’t already), all set over a hot laid back beat.  I am not ashamed to admit that I listen to this song every single time I’m getting ready to go out.

Rihanna – Phresh Out The Runway
This is the pinnacle. The ultimate. Thee best getting ready song. Why? Because it has all of the essential elements: Rihanna. Bass, lots of it. Lyrics about being the best, feeling so fresh and looking so good it’s like you just stepped off the runway. Danceable as hell. More Rihanna.

It is the perfect pre-going out song. Period.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I trust that it’ll do the trick.
(And I’m always looking for new getting ready/going out songs so let me know what I’m missing!)

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