I’d like to think that I know associate sports editor Graham Dietz better than anyone else.
Whether we’re walking around the Res between classes or aimlessly wandering the streets of the Lower East Side in New York City—Graham’s hometown—I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know this football fanatic.
Despite the fact that I can probably list more facts about Graham than I can about any other person or topic, there is one thing that has always eluded me: how in the world to describe his music taste.
Sometimes, I’d call it sporadic. This word feels like the best fit in the moments when Graham opts to listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” rather than a Drake or Kanye track.
More than once, Graham has thrown around the word “peculiar” when discussing his song selection, which might actually be a plausible explanation for why Graham has never taken over aux for his fellow Heights editors at production on Sundays.
After listening to his iEdit playlist, though, I think I understand Graham’s preference for sound more clearly. Carefully stitched together by powerful beats and clever rap lyrics, Graham’s iEdit is not a playlist suited for any one time or any place. Instead, it’s an ode to life’s moments on the go.
While the ground beneath Graham’s feet never stops moving, he will always find a new adventure to head toward without losing sight of the places he comes from.
Graham’s first track, “Everlong” by Foo Fighters, transports me to his childhood, which was filled with early-morning car rides with his dad getting hyped up before his youth hockey games. The song is the perfect chaotic and angsty opener for someone like Graham, who always steers away from subtlety.
Kicking off with an anthem of Graham’s family roots, a smooth fade of Dave Grohl’s resonant voice leads us to a road trip must-listen, “Black Spiderman” by Logic and Damian Lemar Hudson.
Whether Graham is strapping up for a long day cruising down I-95 or just playing golf at the Newton Commonwealth Golf Course, this song speaks to his open-arms outlook on life, giving him confidence to unapologetically be himself and to celebrate others to push the boundaries.
“And I’m not scared of the people who tell me I should be,” Logic sings. “Do what you love, and don’t ever wonder what it could be.”
Graham gives a shout out to the West Coast (and by extension, me) with the zippy tunes of J. Cole’s “No Role Modelz,” and Dr. Dre makes a cameo with “Forgot About Dre. But, as a true product of “Zoo York,” Graham always brings it back around to Jay-Z—one of his favorite artists and a perfect image of how life alongside the East River is the best of the best.
Moving through the playlist, the fluid complements of dreamy piano ballads and R&B beats flood through the speakers in Kanye West’s and Rick Ross’ “Devil In A New Dress.”
This song makes me imagine Graham speeding down a winding road, whizzing by enticing landmarks but heading toward his goals in “the magic hour” that West raps about. During the roadtrip of his life, Graham is not afraid of the sun going down. He’s a true night owl, and he stays true to his charisma and itch for change.
With the addition of more Jay-Z and J. Cole songs, Graham’s playlist reminds me that when he finds music he likes, he remains loyal to it.
The words of “Crooked Smile” by J. Cole and TLC prepare me for whatever hurdles might come my way with similar upbeat messages to “Black SpiderMan.” Just as J. Cole sings, Graham has “somethin’ that the eyes can’t see”—a heart bigger than most and a unique magnetism that makes anyone feel comfortable.
Wrapping up his road trip-like soundtrack, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd sets the scene of Graham’s everlasting hours on the road. Graham feels the most alive when his hands are touching the wheel of his black Jeep, cruising toward the sunset and remembering that at the end of the day, he’s “as free as a bird.”
And as much as he hates when I use clichés, I believe Graham’s playlist—filled with rich character and triumphant melodies—is the epitome of one of my favorite sayings: “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”