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Awesome Music / Grand Theft Auto V

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Licensed Music

From original seventh-gen release:

  • Franklin's trailer has "Hood Gone Love It" by Jay Rock feat Kendrick Lamar.
  • Michael's trailer has "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen.
  • To finish the trifecta, Trevor's trailer has "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon Jennings, perfectly encapsulating how bat-shit insane Trevor is.
  • The TV spot (as well as the end credits for option B) has "Sleepwalking" by The Chain Gang of 1974, regarded by many fans as the best song in the game. Yes, it's that glorious.
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  • "A.D.H.D." by Kendrick Lamar, a very catchy and atmospheric track that's perfect to play while driving around Los Santos at dusk. Hearing it doubles as a Funny Moment on the Xbox versions: Microsoft is apparently so petty that they made Rockstar censor Kendrick's mention of a Playstation.
  • The N.W.A's "Appetite For Destruction" is the first licensed song you hear in the game, playing as you joyride in the repossessed vehicles with Lamar. It serves as the perfect introduction to the city of Los Santos.
  • Would you believe they've got a song from Pee-wee's Big Adventure in there? A warped version of Danny Elfman's "Clown Dream" plays while Trevor battles clowns to escape his Mushroom Samba. In a similar sense, a warped version of "V-I-S-I-T-O-R-S" plays while Michael battles aliens in his Mushroom Samba.
  • The songs in the end credits count just to enjoy the epic conclusion of the story mode:
    • The Set-Up, performed by Favored Nations. It plays when you choose Option C.
  • Really, Radio Mirror Park in general is an entire radio station full of awesome music (notably, some of the three ending songs and the opening theme for GTA Online - "Change of Coast" by Neon Indian - all come from this station). With notable examples being the aforementioned "Sleepwalking", "Shine a Light (Flight Facilities Remix)" by The C90s, "So Many Details" by Toro y Moi, "Don't Come Close" by Yeasayer, "Feel The Same" by Battle Tapes, and "Sometimes" by Miami Horror, a large number of series fans have declared it the best GTA Radio station ever.
  • CW McCall's legendary hit Convoy.
  • Johnny Cash's "The General Lee". Beyond the simple fact that you're listening to the Man in Black, it fits tearing through Blaine County in Trevor's Bodhi like a glove. Never mind that it's about a totally different car.
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  • How do you get around the problem of getting current, non-dated pop music for your game that won't come out for another year? Make it an anthology station! Non-Stop Pop FM serves as a history lesson on pop music, from classic songs like Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" and Wham's "Everything She Wants", to 90's dance hits like Corona's "Rhythm of the Night" and Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You", ending with close-to-present day songs like Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World". All this comes together to provide the perfect backdrop for the glamour and heartbreaks of Los Santos.
  • FlyLo FM is a mix of experimental and eclectic electronic music, including Hudson Mohawke's monstrous "100HM", Thundercat's smooth "Oh Sheit It's X" and Tyler, The Creator's haunting "Garbage". It also includes a few classic tracks such as Outkast's "Elevators (Me & You)" and Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker" for good measure.
  • For hip-hop fans, especially fans of the original Radio Los Santos, West Coast Classics is a gold mine. With tracks like the aforementioned "Appetite for Destruction", 2Pac's "Ambitionz az a Ridah", Ice Cube's "You Know How We Do It", Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "The Next Episode", Geto Boys' "My Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me", Too $hort's "So You Want To Be a Gangster", DJ Quik's "Dollaz & Sense", and MC Eiht's "Streiht-Up Menace", and even a few obscure bangers like Kausion's "What You Wanna Do?", you're always guaranteed a great song when you switch to this station.
  • The new Radio Los Santos is no slouch either. RLS is chock-full of bangers from some of the biggest names in LA and the rap game overall.
  • But if you think both the new and old rap stations are too heavy or not to your liking, there's the recently added The Lab. The Lab is a host of alternative rap music, like Ab-Soul and Aloe Blacc's "Trouble," or King Avriel and ASAP Ferg's "20's 50's 100's," or Gangrene's (they even host the station!) "Play it Cool" with Samuel T. Herring and Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future, or the famous "Welcome to Los Santos." However, the station is also home to Dancehall ("Fast Life" by Vybz Kartel and "Born Bad" by Popcaan and Freddie Gibbs) and even some experimental music (Phantogram, Little Dragon, Wavves, and more!).
  • Los Santos Rock Radio really deserves a mention, as it too is a popular radio station among players. Hell, go to any favorite radio station thread on any forum, and chances are every other reply is Los Santos Rock Radio. Helping its case is that much of the public considers classic rock as Awesome Music in general, and hearing big name bands like Queen ("Radio Ga Ga"), Chicago ("If You Leave Me Now"), and Foreigner ("Dirty White Boy") is sure to satisfy anyone looking for their dose of classic rock. And for the sweet cherry on top, the DJ is none other than the legendary Captain Loggins. And the station just gets better with new songs added to the eighth generation and PC releases.
  • "El Sonidito" by Hechizeros Band (that one song on East Los FM with the beeping) has practically ascended to meme status among the GTA fandom. Hail a taxi in Los Santos, and that song is almost assured to be playing by the time it arrives.

Added in eighth-gen and PC release:

  • The eighth-gen/PC version adds even more to the mix, with Non-Stop Pop getting several classic pop hits from each era, eventually making it the largest radio station in GTA historynote , with 42 songs. Whether it be the 80s with Bronski Beat's LGBT anthem "Smalltown Boy", Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack, the 90s with the Backstreet Boys' infectious Signature Song "I Want It That Way", Sneaker Pimps' somber "6 Underground", the Turn of the Millennium with Gorillaz' genre-defying "Feel Good Inc.", Cassie's R&B number "Me & U", or modern pop hits ranging from Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera's club anthem "Moves Like Jagger", or legendary tracks like Lorde's artistic, alternative "Tennis Court" off the already-legendary Pure Heroine and M83 "Midnight City". There is literally something for everyone to enjoy on this station.
  • Captain Loggins is adding another one of his hits to the Los Santos Rock Radio setlist, and you'll want to make up Archer for online and grab a P-996 LAZER jet from Fort Zancudo for this one: "Danger Zone". Even more awesome is when after you destroy the jets while flying or protecting the HYDRA during the "Humane Labs Heist" setup, this plays out of nowhere. Special mention to "Roundabout" by Yes.
  • Radio Mirror Park was not missed out by Rockstar for the remastered version of GTA V, and had its tracklist almost doubled in size, it becoming the second-largest radio station in the franchise's history with 40 songs. Good examples include Neon Indian's melodic and catchy "Polish Girl", the 7-minute-long "Flutes" by Hot Chip, the cruise-friendly "Strangers in the Wind" by Cut Copy, the infectiously funky "Hold On" by Holy Ghost!, Little Dragon's eerie "Crystalfilm", "Always" by Panama, and the originally cut song "One Girl/One Boy" by !!!, the single most well-liked GTA V radio station has gotten even better.
  • To mark the release of GTA V on PC, MC Eiht, Freddie Gibbs, and Kokane came together to give us "Welcome to Los Santos", an epic rap track that clicks absolutely perfectly with the theme of the game. Special mention goes to the radio station, The Lab, for its amazing tracks.
  • blonded Los Santos 97.8 FM, added in the Doomsday Heist update, is widely touted as one of the absolute best radio stations not just in the game, but in the entire series history. Frank Ocean's hyper-snarky commentary and lampshades about the series's notorious cruelty potential are backed up by a maelstrom of r&b (both modern and old-school), trap, and dance music. Highlights include "Provider", "Nights", "Ivy" and "Chanel" by Frank himself, "Man Don't Care" by Jme and Giggs, "For Real" by Lil Uzi Vert, "So In Love" by Curtis Mayfield, "Dead Presidents" by Jay-Z, "IZ-US" by Aphex Twin, and "Mr Noah" by Panda Bear.
  • The "After Hours" update for GTA Online adds a new radio station, Los Santos Underground Radio, or LS-UR for short, made as a sort-of apology for not adding any new music tracks on Soulwax FM, since it plays similar kinds of house and techno on there. The station has not one, not two, but four mixes from Solomun, Tale of Us, Dixon and the Black Madonna, and has a total of 65 songs, beating Non-Stop-Pop FM's record of being the largest radio station in GTA history. Plus, two of the songs on the Black Madonna's mix, Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" and Art of Noise's "Beat Box", make a return from the respective games that took place in Vice City.
  • The Diamond Casino Heist update marks the debut of iFruit Radio, hosted by none other than Danny Brown himself. It can be best described as a combination of Radio Los Santos, WorldWide FM and FlyLo FM, with extremely modern bangers such as "Hot (Remix)" by Young Thug, Gunna and Travis Scott, "Cash Shit" by Megan Thee Stallion and Dababy, "Dance in the Water" by Danny Brown, "Highest in the Room" by Travis Scott and "Crime Pays" by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. If you're into modern rap, this radio station is right up your alley.
  • The Cayo Perico Heist adds another couple of bangers to the list, including the brand new station Music Locker Radio, featuring music from the Music Locker with artists like Moodymann, Keinemusik and Palms Trax. The big winner is, once again, FlyLo FM, featuring the downbeat and melancholy "Road of the Lonely Ones" by Madlib with samples from "Lost in A Lonely World" by The Ethics, the absolutely incredible hip-hop-jazz-fusion blend "The Chocolate Conquistadores" by MF Doom, and arguably one of the greatest prog-rock compositions of all time, "In The Wake of Poseidon", by one of the most legendary prog-rock bands of all time, King Crimson. FlyLo FM continues to be the station that makes no sense or has any right to be this damn good, but does so anyway.

Original Music

  • Given that Tangerine Dream and the DJ duo Gangrene were involved in composing the instrumental OST, it's no surprise that there's some very cool synth on display.
    • Both of the themes for Trevor's Rampages - the former is pumped-up, furious biker rock, and the latter actually sounds like some kind of alien attack on the city.
    • "Fresh Meat", played during the mission of the same name. The perfect accompaniment for rampaging through a slaughterhouse to rescue Michael from the Chinese.
    • "We Were Set Up" and "Hood Safari", two tracks that are equal parts cool and menacing, and make your encounters with the Ballas that much more memorable. "Hood Safari" eventually got a full song, called "Lock and Load", which is used during the PC trailer for GTA V.
    • "Mr. Philips", a crazy, raging electric guitar heavy track with a quieter, but still menacing, subdued portion that's the perfect theme for Trevor's first proper mission.
    • North Yankton Memories and its muted counterparts, which show up throughout the game's heists. It's electric, but oddly calming for the shootouts.
    • "Minor Turbulence", played during the mission of the same name. An upbeat, rocking track that transitions into a quiet and beautiful piano section makes an already great mission even better. The full extended cut turns it up to eleven.
    • If you're flying in a plane, helicopter or blimp and turn off the radio, this plays. It's basically an alternate version of the aforementioned "We Were Set Up", but is much more mellow and relaxing, and makes flying so much more atmospheric. Get in your blimp at around dark, keep the radio off, fly over Los Santos, and just sit back and chill out over the city lights.
    • The Epsilon Program's theme, played on their website and in a few of their missions. It somehow manages to be both soothing and unnerving at the same time.
    • Pacific Standard's Finale music...It's the kind of song that plays just in the right moment, when you know you just did something amazing.
    • If you've been on the Pause Menu for some time, you can hear this playing faintly in the background. It's oddly calming and tranquil; almost makes you want to "pause" and think about what you've done in the past.
    • The music that plays during the mission "Nervous Ron" is pretty damn breathtaking, regardless of which mix of it you hear.
    • "The Agency Heist", which plays during "Marriage Counseling" and "I Fought the Law...". Fitting, since both missions involve car chases, and this is the perfect music for a chase.
    • "Derailed". Playing during the eponymous mission, where Trevor and Michael show up CJ by hijacking and robbing a courier train run by Merrywether. This stars off as a sort of foreboding piece, but it then explodes, like it was building up to the awesome, with hard rock chords basting throughout.
    • "The Third Way", played during Option C, the Golden Ending. It's an intense, adrenaline-inducing pseudo-metal track, which perfectly suits the situation: the three protagonists and Lamar giving a massive "fuck you" to Devin, Haines, and the former's Sadistic Choice in the form of unleashing hell on both the FIB and Merryweather. And given that this is also a remix of one of the Wanted Level background tracks, it can also be considered as a Theme Music Power-Up for both the Merryweather and the FIB. It's no longer just a chase - it's a full-on war.
    • "Something Sensible", played during Option A. It's a hectic, menacing beat, with an air of tragedy to it, given that in this mission Steve Haines is on the verge of victory, and Trevor's trust in Franklin and Michael is ruined, and can only resort to just speeding away from them.
    • "The Time's Come", played during Option B. It's mainly the same as "Something Sensible", but it's at a slower pace, and is more electric. It still has a tragic sense to it, since Michael had just reconciled with his family, only to be betrayed and hunted down by Franklin as Devin Weston nears victory.
  • The Power Play adversary mode music. It's all this very 80s electronic futuristic video game-ish sounding like melodies that are very fitting for the game mode.