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  • Gaang Choi

5 Song Recommendations For This Summer!

Cover Art: Alex Chen

The summer of 2021 has promised to be a season of freedom. After a year stuck inside, eyes glued to silver screens, reopenings and vaccines have revived bucket lists of Six Flags escapades, beach volleyball, and long road trips that have lived exclusively in dreams. But every adventure needs a soundtrack that isn’t just RapCaviar or the radio. For everybody looking to craft the playlist for their perfect life this summer, below are five recommendations to make you feel good, whether you’re listening with headphones or a speaker with others.

Slide (feat. Frank Ocean and Migos) by Calvin Harris

Four years ago, producer Calvin Harris released a beach-ready pop hit that sounded just as refined and timeless as it was hype. A rare Frank Ocean feature carried an effortless sense of elegance throughout the song: “Put some spotlight on the slide/Whatever comes, comes through clear,” he croons on the hook. Quavo and Offset of Migos come in with a sense of purpose, contributing what feels like one extended verse of glamorous boasts—Quavo’s lighter, slicker voice seamlessly transitions into Offset’s dexterous and graceful triplets before coming back to that beautiful chorus.

good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo

Whether you are on a road trip with your friends or vibing at home by yourself, you will definitely need a head bopper of a song to belt out at the top of your lungs this summer. “good 4 u” is that song—a banger of a pop song with a chorus that spreads like wildfire throughout your body, telling you to release those repressed emotions. There’s no other song out right now that can make you as gleefully excited about expressing the petty rage of heartbreak. Plus, if you are a teenager, all of your friends probably know the lyrics too, and that’s definitely a benefit, because there’s no better bonding than screaming along together to the same song on the speaker.

Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure

This timeless classic is over thirty years old at this point yet it is still refreshing, full of the fireworks that made it such a hit when it came out. Its quirky high school rom-com vibes are so naturally charming, with an earworm guitar loop like a theme song in the way it injects main character energy into your brain. The sharpness and refreshing shine of this song made me, a hip-hop head who almost exclusively listens to 2010s music and old Kanye, convinced that 80s music isn’t so bad after all.

No Problem (feat. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne) by Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper’s 2016 hit “No Problem” is an explosion of pure joy. The amazingly spiritual soul sample and the chorus detailing the most good-natured threats ever creates an infectious aura of invincibility that will make you feel just as unstoppable as Chance, who would go on to release an excellent album and win a Grammy later that year. Featuring two bouncy verses full of innovative boasts from 2 Chainz (“Run shit like diarrhea”) and Lil Wayne (“Fuck the watch, I buy a new arm”), this song is a guaranteed way to make your day better.

Best I Ever Had by Drake

Drake does not miss, and in fact, has not missed since his career started. The artist of the 2010s’ breakout single, “Best I Ever Had,” brings back a nostalgia only few songs can conjure. “And you don't even have to ask twice/You could have my heart or we could share it like the last slice,” he raps, with a genuine, boyish aura that is guaranteed to cause smiles, especially if you are singing along (which you should be). “Best I Ever Had” is excellent at getting you sentimental, but it’s also excellent at getting everyone to participate in carpool karaoke.

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