Things you need to listen to during the month of september

Ricky Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

Summer is gone. It’s quite literally packing its bags and heading off into its temporary beach house – yes, it’s in Southern California. The only place most of us will find comfort this chilly fall is in our camera rolls, in our private spotify playlists,; in the screenshot folder as we relive what could’ve been. 

How do we tap into that nostalgia? How should we go about and make sure we preserve that limited joy and give ourselves the extra layer of warmth we need to survive those lonely walks back from Bull Run? 

We immerse ourselves in art. 

There are so many artists in those little apps of yours waiting to make you feel something – good. Make you feel like you’re levitating — no Dua Lipa and inspired to take on anything this long semester has in store for you. Especially if you’re a senior. Especially if you’re in the middle of figuring your life out. Especially if you know having to pay your own phone bill and making your own appointments is something that scares you to death. 

So…are you ready? Are you fully prepared to discover musical artists that’ll make you want to stay on Townie’s dance floor a little longer? 

Let’s go. 

Here are my top picks for THE September of a Lifetime playlist *purple heart emoji*: 

  1. Woodlawn – Aminé 
  2. Superstar – Lauryn Hill 
  3. Nena – Melii 
  4. BPW – Jazmine Sullivan 
  5. This Will Do – Giveon
  6. Vixen – Miguel 
  7. Pink Matter – Frank Ocean 
  8. fue mejor – Kali Uchis ft. SZA 
  9. Party – Beyoncé ft. Andre 3000 
  10. Issues/Hold On – Teyana Taylor 
  11. Cuff It – Beyoncé 
  12. Jungle – HER 
  13. KU LO SA (A COLORS SHOW) – Oxlade 
  14. Disturbia – Rihanna 


Aminé, in my opinion, deserves more recognition. He’s collaborated with so many well-known artists and created cohesive albums that sound and feel very unique. ‘Woodlawnis one of my favorite songs from him — it takes you through his background, inspirations, and ambitions. Not to mention Aminé has real flow and an ability to make a solid impression on his audience with his distinguishable tracks. 

Lauryn Hill is THE artist of ALL generations. I said it. A mastermind in every way, her esteemed album, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is the contemporary person’s guide to life, grief and dealing with everything that can possibly trouble a person. ‘Superstarmakes you feel good; it reminds the listener and gatekeepers of music that music — hip-hop specifically — is not something that’s meant to be defined or claimed by one single person. 

Melii gets it. Melii knows that there are people out there that say the most and do the very least. She knows that her listener needs that push—that loud reminder that they are in fact that b—-, that they should have suitors lined up out the door begging for a first date. ‘Nenabrings forth power, in more than one language, and the experience so many baddies today and age often face. She centers the wonderful thing it is to be a bad b—-. 

Jazmine Sullivan. WHERE DO I BEGIN? Other than being a lyrical genius…she can sing. She can absolutely electrify, empower, and bring inspiration to any crowd she’s in front of. Her words quite literally cut into your soul and remind you that you are capable of otherworldly love…and it’s okay if you gave that love to someone that didn’t deserve it. Her music is there to help you heal and reflect. ‘BPWis the reminder all women & femmes need to reclaim who they are and remember they have it all — and it’s the other person’s fault if they can’t see the magic right in front of them. 

Giveon is also aware of the culture and expectations surrounding dating nowadays. He knows what being in a situationship does to a person and how that can affect even the most composed person/artist. ‘This Will Dois perfect in the sense that it captures the toxicity that so many people mistake for love and desire worth pursuing. It sets the stage and lets you relive those encounters that remind you of that one person that made you feel everything…while giving you nothing at all. 

MIGUEL. Yes, Miguel. He knows what he’s doing to us. ‘Vixenis that song you remember listening to growing up but never fully understood because you were a child and you were preoccupied with watching SpongeBob on televison. Vixen is the song that comes on when you press shuffle and reminds you that sex is in fact real and it’s something you do enjoy — with the right person and with full consent

Frank. Ocean. *sigh* What has he not accomplished? Who’s heart does he have yet to conquer? When is the listening party and can I have an invite? ‘Channel Orange, Ocean’s vastly-praised album, set the tone for what music should be. ‘Pink Matterspecifically praises women and their inherent God-given glory. ‘Pink Matter’ praises women the way they need to be praised on the daily; it centers pleasure and the highs that come with it without overcompensating. The song and that whole album are everything. 

Kali Uchis? SZA? On ONE track? You have got to be kidding me. It does not matter what chores you have to do – this song will make you feel so good you’ll clean your room twice just for funsies. The soft blend of English and Spanish, the melody, and the overall vibe Kali & SZA are able to put together is something magical. This song definitely needs to be added to your “getting ready to go out <3” playlist. 

Beyoncé. Oh my lord. She is timeless. She is grace. She is, in fact, the queen bee. There’s no debate Beyoncé has had a massive impact on anyone and everyone. ‘Partyis that song that randomly comes on and makes your day better. It reminds you that being young and beautiful is something that no one can take away from you. This song reminds you to take a break and sway your arms side to side for a bit. 

Teyana Taylor. More people need to give her credit and MONEY. Teyana Taylor writes songs that you know will be there for you on your worst days. ‘Issues/Hold Onreminds you that you are worth every single ounce of love and respect. 

BEYONCÉ!!!! Why are my hips moving every time I listen to this song??? ‘Cuff Itis everything – just in case the first two sentences didn’t make it obvious. Beyoncé has brought house music to people that have never before experienced it. Beyoncé has made the album of the summer and ‘Cuff Itwill have you dancing for hours on end. 

H.E.R. is a genius. If I had to describe her music in one word it would be cathartic. The melodies and the overall delivery of truths we’re too scared to tell ourselves; ,truths we’re too afraid to acknowledge—especially when they have to do with relationships—is what makes this song so special. ‘Jungleis the perfect song if you’re dealing with a special someone that’s not acting like that special someone lately. Take a walk and reflect with H.E.R. 

Oxlade will also make you want to dance and move your hips like you’ve never moved them before. KU LO SA (A COLORS SHOW)’ is so much more than a trending song on tiktok. It’s a love note. It’s a direct yell into the infinite abyss; a yell that’s saying: “come here, I miss you bae”. Something so many of us are afraid to even utter. 

Miss Riri Miss Fenty Beauty Miss ENTREPRENEURRRR. Rihanna is timeless. If you disagree, make sure to talk about it with your therapist. ‘Disturbia’ is the song that every grocery store should play once the clock strikes the hour. ‘Disturbiais the one song that should be embedded within the United States’ common core curriculum. ‘Disturbiais the song we should all stop and dance to. Everyday. 

So that’s my playlist. That is my love letter to you, music-loving students. Take it or leave it. I’m actually typing this portion of my article while on my way to class and can already tell so many of you would benefit from some hip-moving therapy. 

Let me know what you think. 

Mucho Amor. 

Ricky Rodriguez (they/them/theirs)

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