Finding new music that fits your tastes can be tough.
Recommendations from friends will often fall flat, while playlists chosen by algorithm can sometimes test your patience to the point where you just go back and listen to the same tunes you loved 10 years ago.
Sometimes you need a human touch, but not from someone who knows you too well.
This is where TJ Jones, a driver for Uber and Lyft, comes into the picture.
Jones is a prolific Spotify playlist-maker, with 100 and counting at the time of writing, but we’re only interested in nine of their creations.
You might think it’s impossible to identify someone’s taste in music just by looking at them, and it’s surely impossible to put everyone into one of just 11 categories, but Jones has given it the old college try.
“So I just started driving for Uber and Lyft and I’ve been getting a lot more compliments on my music since generalizing my passengers by one of these 11 playlists,” Jones tweeted [two of the 11 appear to be reposts].
And the categories, including ‘quiet ppl’, ‘fucking hipsters’ and ‘white dudes who look like they like rap’ are so on-point that they’ve been praised widely – even by those who don’t even live in the same city as Jones, but have just been giving the playlists a listen on their own.
I’m sorry but these playlists are so good and I’m so shook. quiet, hipster and heady are all bops i can’t.— * ·˚.✫ * ✧ .⋆ ✵ * ✧✷ ·. ⊹˚* ·✵.˚. ✫ •✷· ✵ ˚ ·*˚✺ (@erinmarieisaac) February 26, 2018
I looked at this and thought "30+" that's a bit generalist, then played it "Do you remember the 21st night of September?" Dude that's EWF and it's my birthday - you got me pegged!— platinum pixie (@platinumpixienz) February 26, 2018
Judging off the cover thumbnails...how’d u get the categories so perfect??— Galactic Star (@NF4awesome) February 26, 2018
So, if you’re still here you’re probably wondering what these playlists look like.
Here we go then, one at a time, beginning with ‘heady bros’, itself a (ahem) heady mix of classics from Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix and more recent releases from the likes of Tame Impala.
What do ‘white dudes who look like they like rap’ like? A lot of Chance the Rapper, Drake and Kanye, by the looks of it.
You might initially be offended by being pegged as ‘basic 20s-30s’, but who doesn’t like Fleetwood Mac and Lorde?
The ‘30+’ playlist gives you yet more Fleetwood Mac, plus classics from timeless legends like The Cure and Hall & Oates.
It can be a tougher task picking for ‘quiet ppl’, but the answer seems to be ‘A lot of Frankie Cosmos’.
Jones’ ‘POC’ playlist goes big on Kid Cudi, while there’s more Kanye… but different Kanye.
You already knew the ‘fucking hipsters’ playlist would include Neutral Milk Hotel, didn’t you?
Hall & Oates are back for ‘WM early 20s’, along with teen movie staples like Blink-182’s ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and Pixies’ ‘Here Comes Your Man’.
Finally, ’early 20s fem’ get a different selection to men of the same age, with strong female-fronted acts like Haim and Waxahatchee.
Of course, if you happen to find yourself getting picked up by Jones and don’t feel you fall into any of these categories, you can always ask for one of their four different Sufjan Stevens playlists.
Where’s the fun in that, though?