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By Laura DeLuca

I think we can all agree that this semester is extraordinarily challenging. Between COVID-19 and the upcoming election, it feels like we are all surviving 10 simultaneous apocalypses. On top of all of that, midterms are quickly approaching. Here are 5 new tracks ranging from rap to R&B to get you through it. 

  1. “Siri” — Lil Wayne

Anyone who knows me would not be surprised that a recent drop by Lil Wayne would be my #1 pick. Lil Wayne dropped Tha Carter 5 (Deluxe) on September 25, 2020. This was one of the bonus tracks. Per usual, there is a clear, entertaining (and undeniably humorous) storyline here, where Lil Wayne accuses Siri of trying to seduce him: “Cause I can’t trust my iPhone, I can’t trust my SIM card / I got Siri talkin’ dirty to me.” He later incessantly accuses Siri of being “the feds” — although this is funny, I think we can all agree based on the near-universal experience of having Instagram and Facebook ads show us things we were just talking about that there is some sort of truth to this.

Although the topic is undeniably absurd, Lil Wayne is quite clever in his diction: “Haters praying for my downfall, at least they’re religious.” This is my FAVORITE line, praising his haters for implying that they are religious. If you appreciate lyrics that are simultaneously clever and hilarious, I recommend this song.

  1. “RIP Luv” — 21 Savage

I know what you’re thinking: “21 Savage, really? He’s trash.” He may be trash. But I love his trash. Don’t let this choice deter you from this playlist. I promise, it’s worth sticking around for. This isn’t my favorite 21 Savage song, but it is certainly catchy. He released SAVAGE MODE II with Metro Boomin on October 2nd. 

The chorus is to a chill, slow beat as he expresses his disillusionment with regard to romance: “Rest in peace to love, I gave up a long time ago / Hard times, everybody left, I’m the one you counted on / My shoulder took a lot of tears, woulda swore it was a fountain on / I be cryin’ on the inside and smilin’ when the cameras on.” Although his other “trap” songs may have some awful, repetitive lyrics, I find his somber songs to be relaxing and enjoyable. Not to mention, Morgan Freeman is featured as the outro: “Truly genuine love never really dies / But lust, infatuation, and unrevealed attraction are all things that over time rarely survive.” Simply iconic.

  1. “Oshun” — Spillage Village, EARTHGANG, and 6LACK ft. Jurdan Bryant

On September 25, Spilligion was dropped by Spillage Village, JID, and EARTHGANG. This song is chill and catchy, separating rap verses with a catchy, singsongy chorus. This song is a clever meshing of rap and R&B elements. 

Verse 2 by Doctur Dot has some lyrics I particularly enjoy: “I just hope you never leave me hopeless / People talkin’ gossip, slander, tryna hurt your reputation / What they say don’t matter, they don’t know us.” I think there’s something nice about the sentiment being conveyed: at the end of the day, if you are happy with your partner, that is all that matters, because no one knows your relationship better than you do. My favorite line in this song comes later, in verse 3 as sung by Jurdan Bryant: “This how it s’posed to be, I think my soul agree / She make my soul eclipse.” It’s definitely refreshing to have some poetic elements incorporated into a rap song; the idea that a woman eclipses his soul in a way that feels just right is a very profound idea, perhaps suggesting that she takes over his earthly desires and betters him as a man. 

  1. “Stuck on You” — Giveon

Here’s another one for my R&B fans. Giveon just dropped an EP, When it’s All Said and Done on October 2nd. This song is poignant, with profound lyrics and a beautiful piano progression in the background.

My favorite piece of the chorus has to be: “It took some time but I realized /  You do me wrong, but it feels right.” I think we’ve all been in toxic relationships and situations in which you know in your heart that the circumstances shouldn’t be happening, even if you are willing to suffer for someone else. He conveys this beautifully.

  1. “Things Change” — Bryson Tiller

Finally, Bryson Tiller released ANNIVERSARY on October 2nd, on the 5th anniversary of his album TRAP SOUL. “Things Change” is one of the more catchy, upbeat R&B songs on this album.

Tiller ends the song with the line: “But you ain’t slowin’ me down either way” which is such a powerful statement, refusing to let a tumultuous relationship with a woman take over his emotions and hold him back from success in life. If you’re looking for some new R&B, I highly recommend this song.

Ultimately, wherever you are, I hope you’re enduring the apocalypses and surviving midterms as best as you can. I hope the undeniable wit of Lil Wayne (don’t fight me on this), the iconic trash that is the music of 21 Savage (I’ll admit it, it’s trash), the catchy tunes of Spillage Village, JID, and EARTHGANG, the soothing voice of Giveon, and the chill melodies of Bryson Tiller help you get through this insane time in history (and stressful time in school).

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