30/30 Playlist: Songs That Got Me Through the Semester

Playlist bannerDuring the each semester, or periods in my life in general, there is always music to help me get through it. Certain songs when played will always take me back to the time period in my life where those songs were on repeat. Everyone should have those.

So this past semester, these few songs were released, and it helped me get through Fall 2014 with a little more ease.

Note to readers: I am a very eclectic guy when it comes to my music taste. Despite my dislike for edm and country, expect a variety of styles on this playlist!


Dirty Heads: Silence

This song was released on the reggae rock band’s sophomore LP Sound of Change, and it was the one that stuck out to me the most. It has that perfect blend of their rap style with the use of some minor chords and a hard hitting chorus that had me playing this song on repeat. Their rapping has definitely improved since their debut album. The chorus starts off soft, with the a melodic croon, then hits hard, going full band. I was extremely happy when I saw them play this live at Ace of Spades in October. This made the breaks between classes and work much more enjoyable.

But the silence is deafening!


The Kooks: Sweet Emotion

This song was from their latest release, Listen, and man, this is definitely a change of pace from their older stuff. I’m not upset about that at all though, because this song is amazing. It was the very last track on the album, which made for a great closer. The album as a whole was pretty good in my opinion, but when this song came up, it made the album waaay better. This song has that effect. It starts off with the catchy guitar riff and the voice. Then throughout the song, more instruments keep coming into the mix and it just gets better. This song made me extremely happy whenever I played it, and helped me get through a lot of tedious work for some of my classes. So soulful, so great.

Everytime you’re near mee!


Childish Gambino: All Y’all

Childish Gambino dropped his two part project, Mixtape STN MTN & EP Kuai, this past semester with good reception. While the EP was more on his singing side, the mixtape was full of rap that only Childish Gambino can deliver. He surprisingly rapped over and remixed a lot of old tracks, including Timbaland’s “All Y’all”. What stuck out to me was his verses and flow on this track. Gambino has been changing his style up for awhile now, especially since Because the Internet was more of a concept album. But on this track, it reminded me of his older stuff with his updated skill now. He delivered the funny pop culture punch lines, sped up and slowed down his flow, threw in some minimal singing, and more. The content was also very camp and cul de sac esque. Although it is not self produced, the beat suited him well. All of this made it my favorite out of the mixtape and EP, making it a song I can always go to in high stress situations.

We were born free, that’s my God given


Four Year Strong: Go Down in History EP

So this is the only band i’ve bought every album for and that isn’t changing anytime soon. When this was released, I had to go to Dimple and buy the EP. From their last album, it was very refreshing to hear them go more towards their routes, while still growing as a band. This whole EP gave me something to stomp my feet to and hit my chest with my fist towards. I hope you get the imagery because that’s exactly what I wanted to do while listening.. I am extremely bummed I didn’t get to see them when they came to Slim’s SF for their tour. But the five track EP still gave me great hardcore pop punk to listen to, and I was extremely happy with this purchase. I definitely need to mosh to these guys soon.. They need to release an LP and go on tour for that! Great for the skates from the apartment to the school!

I couldn’t find the words to.. So read the writing on the walls!


Kendrick Lamar: i

With this release, came the mixed reviews, including from myself.. I am a huge fan of Kendrick Lamar and TDE as a whole, so with this release compared to the others,  came confusion. Why would this hard hitting skilled rapper release this “pop” song?? Especially with the album art and tweets talking about it before it came out. I was kind of disappointed. As were many others, but the thing is, I didn’t get it at first. I couldn’t comprehend this because we as a generation of listeners isn’t use to this anymore. And when we hear it, it automatically gets put under pop or mainstream. But when I watched the music video, I understood it a little more. I knew there was something different, and that it wasn’t the regular mainstream pop song. Then I saw his performance on SNL.. and it blew me away. I instantly got it. He was bringing the soul, funk, and rock and roll back into the black culture and music as a whole. At least that’s what I saw, his performance could of been different; it could’ve been a mainstream puppet running around on stage with endorsement deals all around his outfit, screaming into the mic while running around trying to hype the crowd. But it wasn’t. So I watched interviews, and he basically said what I thought. About bringing the soul back, incorporating it into hip-hop. With such a positive message as well, it is a well done and executed song. I grew on me instantly when I saw the visuals, which is kind of sad to say. But hey, definitely a feel good song that got me through the hectic weeks. *starts doing kendrick dance






Joey Bada$$: Christ Conscious

With every semester comes a hard hitting hitting rap song that I can bump and listen to while walking around. This is that song for me. Joey Bada$$ is releasing his debut album B4.DA.$$ in January, but for now he’s dropping singles, each of which being hip-hop gold. In my opinion. With the classic boom-bap style with his hard hitting verses and flow, this made a great song to ride around to. Especially since he premiered the song with the video, it made me instantly wanting to walk the streets of Sac and start rapping. lol This guy is younger than me, but his talent with rapping is greater than most now a days. Definitely an album i’m anticipating, but for now, i have the three singles, including this.

Got dragon balls like my name was Vegeta!!


So these were the songs. Some of you may not like the choices, but each of these struck a chord within me, making me want to listen to them more. Comment your mini playlist that got you through the semester below, that would be dope!

Each person feels different music and music differently, just saying.

Jerel is a DJ at KSSU So like listen and stuff.


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