10 Songs to Beat Back to School Blues
Class is back in session. You may or may not have accepted the fact that summer is done and a long grueling winter of school work, tests, unfair group projects, extracurricular activities and jobs are ahead. Before you panic at the thought, let’s keep things in perspective. Tuition is too damn high to waste time, and college only lasts four or five years — or maybe six — but the time flies, so you might as well make the best of it. We’re here to help. TheDrop.fm has a soundtrack to keep you sane when that professor has you wanting to pull your hair out. Here’s 10 Songs to Beat Back to School Blues.
‘Crooked Smile,’ J. Cole
On ‘Crooked Smile,’ by J. Cole featuring TLC, the rapper cracks conventional beauty expectations and tells the people they can go further without falling for the hype. “A perfect smile is more appealing but it’s funny how / My s— is crooked look at how far I done got without it / I keep my twisted grill, just to show the kids it’s real / We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still,” he raps. Point blank, don’t feel pressure to conform to society’s superficial standards. The gospel vibes give the song an uplifting finish. A good getting ready morning track.
‘Diamonds’ is a mellow, dreamy, love song, but the lyrics could equally be an anthem calling attention to the beauty within everyone. “So shine bright tonight, you and I / We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky / Eye to eye, so alive / We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky,” she sings. Rihanna invites the listener to let go and light up the world with their inner beams. Play this on those days you need a reminder that you’re not a forgotten number on campus.
‘So Ambitious,’ Jay Z feat. Pharrell Williams
Jay Z and Pharrell Williams joined together for ‘So Ambitious,’ a motivational track that reminds us that none of those haters, who are waiting for you to flunk out, have a hand in your success. “Dreams seem dumb, they said wise up / How many guys-a, you see makin it from here / The world don’t like us, is that not clear? Alright but I’m different, I can’t base what I’m gon’ be / Offa what everybody isn’t,” raps Jay Z on the second verse. It’s clear Jigga is focused on his vision, not the distractions and you should be too.
‘Moment 4 Life,’ Nicki Minaj
On ‘Moment 4 Life,’ Nicki Minaj speaks her success into existence. “And I will retire with the crown, yes / No, I’m not lucky / I’m blessed, yes / Clap for the heavyweight champ, me / But I couldn’t do it all alone, we,” raps Nicki. She acknowledges the folks that raised her up — South Side, Jamaica, Queens and her Young Money crew. On the track, the raptress points out that just because “you’re living, doesn’t mean you’re alive.” So yeah, sometimes, it’s OK to take a break from the books and look back on progress thus far.
‘The World Is Yours,’ Nas
This classic 1994 track by Nas reminds you that your campus bubble is only a small dot on the big map of the world. The track provides visual storytelling of Nas in his hood, facing many obstacles as he writes in his book of rhymes on ‘The World is Yours': “I keep falling, but never falling six feet deep / I’m out for presidents to represent me (Say what?) / I’m out for presidents to represent me (Say what?) / I’m out for dead presidents to represent me.” In the future, Nasir is looking to rise up out of his current situation. Money may not bring all the happiness, but it could ease some frustrations.
On ‘Closer,’ singer Goapele provides an inspirational testimony of knocking down the roadblocks in her path. “Some times you just have to let it go (Let it go, let it go) / Leaving all my fears to burn down,” she sings. She knows that she can’t be too afraid of the future, as she’s on the road to great things. On the mellow cut, Goapele’s voice floats as she declares her confidence. This is the perfect track as you reflect at the end of the day — and maybe release some stress to.
‘Started From the Bottom,’ Drake
Drake‘s finally famous anthem is fitting for those folks about to wrap up their final year of school. You passed the first confusing three or four years successfully and now its time to finish strong. “And my uncle calling me like ‘Where ya at? / I gave you the keys told ya bring it right back’ / N—-, I just think its funny how it goes /Now I’m on the road, half a million for a show and we…,” Drake raps. He’s overcome his obstacles and now its time to ball out. When you get heavy cases of senioritis, play this and envision graduation.
‘Doo Wop (That Thing),’ Lauryn Hill
‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ is a blueprint for young men and women to do better in life. The self-love anthem also cautions you to watch out for folks who are only about “that thing” and who can potentially kill your vibe. Lauryn Hill raps to the ladies: “You know I only say it ’cause I’m truly genuine / Don’t be a hardrock when you’re really a gem.” She then instructs the guys to quit playing games. “The sneaky silent men the punk domestic violence men / The quick to shoot the s— men stop acting like boys and be men,” she spits. This track is a reminder that at some point, your childish ways won’t cut it anymore.
‘Good Life,’ Kanye West
Kanye West fans could easily argue that ‘Graduation’ includes some of the rapper’s more uplifting tracks. One of those songs is the high energy tune ‘Good Life’ featuring T-Pain. On the record, the rapper paints a picture of some of his favorite things. “The good life, let’s go on a living’ spree / S— they say the best things in life are free / The good life, it feel like Atlanta / it feel like L.A., it feel like Miami,” he raps. Essentially, everything isn’t perfect, but because Kanye says he’s living the good life, that’s enough for him to believe it’s perfect the way it is.
‘Survivor,’ Destiny’s Child
After Destiny’s Child experienced several member changes, business had gotten a little messy and everyone was wondering what was going on with the group. Their single, ‘Survivor,’ proved that the trio wasn’t giving up. “Thought I wouldn’t sell without you, sold nine million,” Beyonce sings. Ten years later, Bey, Michelle and Kelly are still on top of the world. Follow their lead and stay focused, block out the haters and you’ll be just fine. After all, you were built to survive.