Beats n’ Stuff #13: The semester’s almost over, stop stressin’

I’m the worst at not being stressed out. At this point in my college career, I think being stressed out is ingrained in my every day life, coupled with sleep depravity and a worrisome caffeine addiction that would make a doctor’s head spin. The one thing that keeps me from not going insane is music and a nightly episode of Friends on Netflix.

Right now, it’s nearing the end of the semester. Everyone’s stressed out. Instead of tearing your eyes out about the three five-page papers you have due on the same day, sit back, grab a soda and snack, and listen to these lovely, positive tunes.

You’ll get through this tough time, just as you did last semester. Stay strong. I believe in you.


5.) “trUe thang” by I LOVE MAKONNEN

The “Tuesday” warbler is one of the most weirdest success stories in recent hip-hop. Drake found his track, rapped on it, and then signed I LOVE MAKONNEN to his own label October’s Very Own, or so the story goes. Makonnen’s newest mixtape Have Some Water 5 further demonstrates his bizarre sensibilities in r&b. The track “trUe thang” has a serene-area-in-a-JRPG-vibe that baffles and delights. Perhaps Makonnen will become the first purveyor of hybrid genre dream-pop-r&b.

4.) “くるかな” by Especia

Especia has been dubbed as the first “vapor wave idol group,” but their idol pop melodies translate far beyond the oversaturated and yawn-inducing genre of vapor wave. Especia’s music is reminiscent of Western 80s pop, and you’ll be humming along whether you like it or not. In addition to a far different aesthetic to other J-Pop idol groups, the girls of Especia are easily one of the most stylish idol groups around.

3.) “LIFE IS GOOD (feat. Jay Park)” by Epik High

Korean hip-hop group Epik High’s been around since 2001, and their most recent album SHOEBOX was their best record yet. Epik High’s going to be playing at the Warfield in May, but unfortunately it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of shelling out nearly $100 to see them, one’s probably better suited to watching their amazingly colorful vertical video for track “Born Hater.” Note: watch it on an iPad or iPhone for the best effect.

2.) “SO WHAT! (feat. Seira Kariya)” by tofubeats

I’m surprised that I haven’t thrown this song on a playlist before, but tofubeats’ positive, enjoyable forays into pop and hip-hop are among my favorite tunes of the past couple years. “SO WHAT!” features 21-year-old singer Seira Kariya and evokes a throwback-pop sound, much like the afore-featured Especia. Tofubeats’ genre of choice sways, but his sense of structure and melody is unmatched in the electronic scene in Japan.

1.) “Wishes (feat. Tkay Maidza)” by Swick & Lewis Cancut

Swick & Lewis Cancut was featured on Ryan Hemsworth’s first Shhh Secret Songs compilation, themed after the color pink (which also features my favorite Kero Kero Bonito song, “Flamingo”). Singer Tkay Maidza’s a cross between Charli XCX and Santigold, bubblegum pop vocals with attitude. “Wishes” is a track to play at a party to get pumped up, or just to dance around your room while doing your very, very late spring cleaning.