Each week, Arts & Entertainment staff members compile a list of their current favorite tracks to help readers find their new go-to jam. Look out for occasional themed playlists and solid tracks from a wide range of genres every week. In honor of Thursday’s special issue, this week’s theme is “Diversity and Inclusion.”
1. “Survival” by Adult Mom
"I don't know if my mom loves me anymore." This is the first line of this track written by queer folk that exhibits sunny but somber indie tones. Get into this band and their raucous yet accessible LP “Momentary Lapse of Happily” today. Today? Today.
2. “Personality (feat. T-Pain)” by Lil Dicky
Lil Dicky's general comedic style and rap name are the antithesis of the typical rapper. In "Personality," he illustrates his unique rap style through comedic self-deprecating lyrics and how it is his personality that allows him to interact with women, differing significantly from the majority of rappers today.
3. “Where Is The Love” by The Black Eyed Peas
An absolute throwback to our middle school dance days, "Where Is The Love" hits many bases in terms of diversity, inclusion and nondiscrimination. The Black Eyed Peas communicate a message of welcoming that will make anybody feel the love.
4. “The Anthem – Unreleased Extended Version” by Onra
In 2006, Parisian hip-hop producer Onra explored his heritage (his grandparents are Vietnamese) by traveling to Asia to collect Vietnamese and Chinese samples. This resulted in “Chinoiseries,” a distinctly unusual and unexpected album. The blend of hip-hop and various East Asian language samples will have your head bopping through every song. “The Anthem” is satisfyingly choppy, and its Chinese vocal sample, combined with huge beat, succeed in appealing to everyone regardless of culture. Berkeley-based rapper G-Eazy sampled this song for his 2011 song “Fried Rice,” but the original is significantly more interesting.
5. “Spectrum” by GoldLink
GoldLink, an up-and-coming artist from Northern Virginia, displays a distinct and pleasant sound. This fresh track features a woman melodiously speaking in Tagalog (a language of the Philippines) about her increasing affection for someone. GoldLink’s creative inclusion of this sound bite offers listeners exposure to a unique and beautiful culture.
6. “Svo Hljótt” by Sigur Rós
Hailing from Iceland, Sigur Rós is a band that rarely features English lyrics. At times, lead singer Jónsi sings in Icelandic, and sometimes he even sings in the band’s meaningless made-up language, “Hopelandic.” While the majority of the lyrics are indecipherable to the average American listener, Jónsi’s voice is still often the highlight of their music, boasting a falsetto that would make Brian Wilson blush. “Svo Hljótt” from their 2005 album “Takk…” is equal parts atmospheric and epic.
7. “The Men That Drive Me Places” by Ben Rector
This piano-driven tribute to taxi drivers is an emotional storytelling about humility and inclusion. Rector sings about how though he may be a singer, his accomplishments deserve no more recognition than those of these "working class heroes," as John Lennon would say. The simplistic composition is just as impressive as the theme, and Rector demonstrates true kindness and vulnerability each time he sings: "I'm half the man of the men that drive me places."
Listen to the full playlist below or on the Arts & Entertainment section’s Spotify page at CavalierDailyAE. Tune in next Friday for our next installment.