On August 19th, you and thousands of your peers will parade around the brick-paved labyrinth known as North Carolina State University. In between trips to the bookstore, the library and class, you’ll find that many students choose to listen to music for both entertainment and motivation. Furthermore, being a campus DJ, I’m always listening music, whether it’s just for fun or in preparation for my next big gig. So, with that being said, here are several songs that you should add to your playlists, guaranteed to help you survive long and sometimes agonizing walks to class.
Future – Commas
It’s hard to name an artist that has been hotter than Future over the past year. With the release of three consecutive mixtapes (Monster, Beast Mode and 56 Nights) as well as his third studio album Dirty Sprite 2, Future has continued to rack in hit after hit with tracks such as “March Madness”, “Trap N*ggas” and “Commas”. I chose Commas as an appropriate song for this playlist because not only is it the most commercially successful of the three, but it is also a club anthem tailored to those ready to blow their latest check. It is perfect for college students preparing for graduation, as they explore the crowded job market.
Kevin Gates – I Don’t Get Tired
Although still considered an “underground artist” by some, Kevin Gates has consistently pieced together solid bodies of work over the past few years and his singles are no different. His hit single “I Don’t Get Tired” was released in late 2014 and became his most successful record to date and revolves around one of his most popular phrases: “I Don’t Get Tired.” This record is a great tool for students that find themselves on the seventh floor of DH Hill every night, completing assignments and studying for exams.
Future Feat. Drake – Where Ya At
Circling back to Future, this song is one of the many highlights from Dirty Sprite 2 and features the self-proclaimed “6 God” himself, Drake. It is the only feature on the album and does not disappoint. Future and Drake sound right at home on this energetic track aimed at calling out those that were nowhere to be found during hardship and struggle. All college students can relate, seeing as college is a never ending challenge that exposes you to who is truly there for you and who is not.
Drake – Charged Up
At the end of July, Meek Mill “shook the world” when he took at aim at Drake via Twitter. He accused Drake of “not writing his own raps” and having a ghost writer named Quentin Miller. In the following days, alleged reference tracks would leak, seemingly revealing that Meek’s accusations were indeed valid and turning all eyes to Drake. In the past, Drake has not been quick to respond to any accusations, but this time he decided to address the situation and releasing a response track titled “Charged Up”. The track takes shots at Meek and anyone that dares to question his penmanship. It is a mellow, yet effective track that can act as motivation to students when it seems like the world is against you.
Drake – Back to Back
Four days after Drake released “Charged Up” he released a second response track titled: “Back to Back”. This track sped up the tempo a little bit and showcased a more abrasive side of Drake, which really helped to turn the attention to Meek, who had yet to respond to Drake’s first diss track. This song is useful for walks to class because once you get past the fact that it is technically a diss track, it is a classic Drake song that consists of Drake talking tough (whether he can back it up or not) over stellar production and dropping one-liners that are sure to dominate pop culture for months to come. This makes for a high energy, celebratory track that will make you feel unstoppable, no matter what challenges you may face in the classroom and beyond.
Kendrick Lamar – Alright
One of my favorite albums from this past year is Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and the song “Alright:” is definitely one of the best songs on the album. Kendrick is considered by many to be the conscious of Hip-Hop. Here, he delivers a catchy anthem that in the face of controversial issues like racism and police brutality guarantees that, “we gon’ be alllllright!” Which can be viewed as somewhat of a rallying call for college students whom often serve as catalysts for social change and progress.
Migos – Spray the Champagne
Whether you’re in the club or not, you cannot go to many places without hearing the rap trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff (Migos). Moreover, with the recent release of their debut album Young Rich Nation, the track “Spray the Champagne” follows the proven Migos formula, consisting of a catchy hook paired with their unique flow and delivery. This track celebrates success in the rap game, but really can be applied to anything. Quavo’s triumphant requests to “Spray the Champagne!” is enough to make any college student want to make a toast and celebrate their accomplishments.
Fetty Wap Feat. Drake – My Way (Remix)
Another one of the hottest artists of the year is Fetty Wap. In the spring, his second major single “My Way” got a facelift via a remix featuring Drake and has reached astronomical heights. Outside of class and parties, college students experience the highs and lows of relationships. This song is a fitting dedication to that special someone in your calculus class and serves as a cry for him or her to finally come your way.
Cool Amerika – Make Sum’ Shake and K. Camp – Po’ Up & Go Up
At the end of the week, it is always time to unwind. You have been trapped in DH Hill and your dorm rooms studying for exams and writing essays all week and come Friday, you are ready to turn up and let loose. These two songs serve as the perfect escape from your stressful academic life. The upstart duo Cool Amerika has polarized the south with their strip club anthem “Make Sum’ Shake”, which doubles to provide motivation as it declares that regardless of what life throws your way, you have the ability to “make sum’ shake” (or make the best out of a situation). In addition, K. Camp adds to his impressive catalog with this club-ready cut, inviting all comers to pour up cups of their favorite “beverages” and proceed to take the turn up to a higher level. These songs are work great on Friday walks to class as you gear up for whatever your resident DJ (DJ Fredo) may have in store for you that weekend.