The album cover of Westside Gunn’s album Pray for Paris, released via Griselda Records.

Social Media Music

By Mekenzie Primm
Music Journalist

With the current living conditions courtesy of Miss Rona, I am spending an insane amount of time on social media (much more than I’d care to share) and I keep seeing all of these challenges. While most of them are just straight up annoying, the one that I’m always interested in are the “30 day song challenge” posts or someone even posting a song to their story from Spotify.

I’m certainly guilty of posting many song suggestions on my Instagram Stories but every time I post another song I always wonder, do people actually listen to these? If I had to guess, the answer would be no, but today I’m changing that. Today I’m going to open my Instagram Stories and listen to the first five songs that I see and I’m gonna tell you about it. 

“327” by Westside Gunn & Joey Bada$$ (feat. Tyler, the Creator & Billie Essco)

Um, I don’t love it. I’ve never heard anything by Westside Gunn before but I was not really expecting what I just heard. With heavy hitters like Tyler, the Creator and Joey Bada$$, I expected the song to be a little bit more than a beefed up lofi hip hop beat track with some halfway witty raps over it.

The hook is catchy and melodic and I think that Joey Bada$$’s voice is smooth and pleasing to the ears but Westside Gunn’s voice is, well, interesting. He sounds exactly like Action Bronson and I just can’t listen to this song without imagining Action Bronson rapping with Tyler, the Creator. That’s a cursed image.

Overall I give this song a 6/10. It would be a 5/10 but Tyler’s verse brings something more spicy to the table therefore it bumps it up a notch. Who knows, maybe my opinion will change later. 

“Tomboy” by Princess Nokia

This is that Billie Razor song. If any of you are like me, you must’ve seen the ads about these razors on YouTube. I always thought the song in the ad was pretty cool and now I know what it is thanks to Instagram Stories. This is definitely a turn UP song and unfortunately, I don’t think I’m in the turn up mood right now.

The beat is unique and piercing due to the high pitched whistle that’s sustained throughout the song but the lyrics leave some room for improvement. While the lyrics about body positivity and female empowerment are raw and gripping, if I’m gonna be busting it down to a rebel anthem I might need some more lyrical depth for it to be considered a feminist anthem in my book.

Overall I give it a 6/10. It’s average. Like I said before, I think the beat is cool but beyond 45 seconds, it’s a little much for me to be listening to at eight o’clock on a Sunday evening. If you’re looking for a new girl power anthem, I suggest you check this song out. 

“Diamond Diary” by Tangerine Dream 

This song is off of the score for the 1981 film “Thief” directed by Michael Mann and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the guy who produces “The Amazing Race.” Not really important but I thought that was funny. The soundtrack was composed by the German techno supergroup Tangerine Dream and “Diamond Diary” runs a cool 10 minutes long.

It’s an interesting track and sounds very much like ‘80s techno but there isn’t much progression in the song melodically. To be fair, this is a soundtrack to a movie so it’s only supposed to support the scene on screen but I think that movies such as “Blade Runner” and “Videodrome” really capture the essence of film-noir ‘80s synth. However, Thief came first so would there even be a “Blade Runner” soundtrack like the one we have now without “Thief?” Who knows.

I give this one a 7/10. It’s historical relevance and sonically futuristic drive make this my favorite so far. Oh, and Willie Nelson is in this movie. Thank you to KTSW’s very own DJ Sidefx for this one. 

“Without You” by David Guetta 

Ok, wow. I kinda forgot how much I like this song. It aggressively reminds me of elementary/middle school but in kinda all the best ways. I don’t think anyone is gonna come out and say that this song is a musical masterpiece but it’s not trying to be. It’s a fun song and I think it perfectly captures the 2010’s dance-pop scene. Moody synth chords are layered with Usher’s debonair vocals until the chorus pops off with the hook of a lifetime.

I also really love that this is a song that someone put on their Instagram Story. Usually people like to flex their music taste on social media, but not this girl. You know what, I respect that and I should start being more like her.

Overall this is a 6/10. Similarly to our first song, I was gonna give it a 5/10 because it really isn’t that great of a song but it got bumped up one point for nostalgia. Also the music video for this song is really something else. Please watch it if you haven’t seen it, it made me laugh really hard. 

“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush 

I’ve never really understood the hype around Kate Bush but now I think I’m starting to get it. I guess the only other song I know by Kate Bush is “Wuthering Heights” and it’s either a hit or miss for me with that one. “Hounds of Love” however is really distinctive. It opens with a loud drum beat, warning that something is in the trees and it’s coming. The continued drum beat is almost tribal, acting as a heartbeat and driving force for the song while Bush’s notoriously ethereal vocals float effortlessly over the commotion of the music below.

This is another ‘80s song and I think that the use of synth is perfect in this song. Where I felt “Diamond Diary” was lacking direction I think that this song is a perfect example of a song with drive but no direction. Even Pitchfork agrees; they gave Bush’s 1985 album Hounds of Love a 10. Move over Fiona Apple, you’re not the only woman who can earn a rating of 10 on an album. I’m just kidding.

All jokes aside however, I give this song a 8.75/10. It sounds like the perfect song for a coming of age film plus it was written by Bush who paved the way for so many amazingly unique singer-songwriters like Grimes and St. Vincent. 

Featured image via Westside Gunn and Griselda Records.

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