Rodney Scott’s BBQ Mixtape

A pit house playlist

Photo: Denny Culbert

At Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina, and Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, the workweek starts with a chainsaw’s buzz. Owner Rodney Scott and a network of cousins and uncles cut oak and hickory trees, burn the logs down to coals, and shovel those embers under whole hogs. This is real-deal barbecue, and the pit house is filled with a soundscape of crackling heat and sizzling pig fat.


But those aren’t the only sounds emanating from the pit. To keep him going during the stamina-sapping work, Rodney, son of founder Rosie, creates pit house playlists that stream from a grease-shrouded stereo rigged to an iPod (hidden in, what else, a Styrofoam take-out container).

Denny Culbert

Beginning at 4 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and running for the next dozen hours, Rodney’s aural wanderings stretch from the Chitlin’ Circuit to Nashville rockabilly to Bronx party anthems. He enjoys “old-sounding songs” that complement his family’s “old style of barbecue,” and though the playlists typically include more than 200 selections, he’s narrowed it down to his 27 favorites, which, according to Rodney, are crowd-pleasing enough that “your mother wouldn’t say anything but ‘turn it down.’”

Here then is Rodney Scott’s definitive BBQ Mixtape. It should keep you in good spirits whether you’re slow-cooking your own whole hog or just grilling a couple of chops for dinner.

The Gap Band—”Outstanding”
One Way—”Cutie Pie”
Jeff Floyd—”I Found Love (On A Lonely Highway)”
The Notorious B.I.G.—”Hypnotize” (Amended Album Version)
The O’Jays—”I Love Music”
Daryl Hall & John Oates—”I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
KC & The Sunshine Band—”Get Down Tonight”
Tyrone Davis—”Can I Change My Mind”
James Brown—”Nature, Part 1″
KC & The Sunshine Band—”I’m Your Boogie Man”
Technotronic—”Pump Up the Jam” (Edit)
Barry White—”Practice What You Preach” (Single Version)
DMX—”Party Up” (Edited)
LL Cool J—”Rock The Bells”
McFadden & Whitehead— “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Mel Waiters —”Got My Whiskey”
Naughty By Nature —”O.P.P”
Rick James —”Bustin’ Out (On Funk)”
Slick Rick—”Children’s Story”
Special Ed—”I Got It Made” (Re-Recorded/Remastered)
Junior Walker & The All-Stars—”Shotgun”
Jerry Reed—”East Bound and Down”
Johnnie Taylor —”Slide On”
Wyclef Jean—”We Trying to Stay Alive”
Sam Cooke —”Tennessee Waltz”
Ice Cube—”It Was A Good Day” (Remix/Edited)
Chuck Brown—”Block Party”