The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Yo, this song goes hard!

For those of you who have read my past articles, you might have caught on to my love for music. From diving into tunes to exploring Kid Cudi’s INSANO album and the variety of playlists I’ve curated, music content is a big part of what I write about. My taste in music is pretty broad, except for one genre—country music just doesn’t do it for me. Everything else, though, I’m all for. But when it comes to music for studying, it’s not quite the vibe you want when you’re cruising down the street on a bike with no brakes. You need something hype, something that goes hard.

A bunch of tracks come to mind when I think about this vibe, like ‘The Other Side of Paradise’ by Glass Animals, ‘N95’ by Kendrick Lamar, ‘goosebumps’ by Travis Scott, or ‘family ties’ by Baby Keem. There are plenty more songs like these on my playlist, but these were the first ones that came up when I hit shuffle. So, what makes these songs hit so hard? And can we find others with these same traits?

The first thing they all have in common is intense instrumentals. This is something I’m always looking for in music and several songs on my playlist made it in just because of their interesting instrumentals.

Take ‘family ties’, for example. It has these loud horns that blast through the first half of the song, giving it this grand feel. I remember blasting it during one of my labs last week and someone turned around and said, “I better not be hearing those horns right now—that song goes hard.” It just goes to show how recognizable this song is right from the start. Another thing about the instrumental is the snares, kick drums, or 808s used. The whole vibe of a song can change if just one of these things is different.

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‘N95’ is a great example of this. The snare and drums switch up throughout the song, sometimes dropping out at certain points. This makes it switch from hitting hard to having a chill vibe and then back again, making it hit even harder.

This leads me to the next thing that makes a song hit hard – the drop. ‘The Other Side of Paradise’ has this epic build-up from 3:20 until 4:05 that really amps up the song and makes it more fulfilling. I’ve found myself stepping on the gas a bit harder from a stop sign if I time it right with the drop in this song. It just goes to show how much a drop can make or break a song. Like, there are some songs where I’m like, “Eh, the instrumental’s okay, the lyrics and performance are nothing special,” but then the drop hits and it’s like, “Whoa, this song is fire.”

‘Painting Greys’ by Emmit Fenn is a perfect example. It starts off with just a deep piano note and some deeper vocals, and then it adds in a beefy kick drum and snappy snare. But then it gets to the beat drop, where everything but the piano drops out, and then it hits. I highly recommend giving it a listen. It’s my go-to for testing out new speakers or headphones because the drop hits so hard. I literally think the only reason it’s on my playlist is because of the drop.

Lastly, there are just some songs that go hard because you can sing along to them. No matter how off-key you are or if you’re screaming the lyrics, they still hit. This is where the classic gym song comes in. There’s really only one that comes to mind, and if I describe it a bit, you can probably guess it. The gritty electric guitar, the powerful kick drum and the vocal samples all come together to make it a banger. There are some words I can’t say in the song, but after just a few listens, you can at least nail the chorus. “No one man should have all that powerrrrrr!” Yes, I’m talking about ‘Power’ by Kanye West. While there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the rapper, one simply can’t deny that his music goes hard. ‘Power’ is a prime example of a hype song. Just that one line I mentioned earlier says it all. I used to listen to this song when I was running cross country in high school and I think it subconsciously made me run faster.

But that’s the cool thing about music – it’s totally up to how the listener interprets it. Two artists with good songs that I think go hard but don’t fit into any of the categories I mentioned are Two Feet and Grandson. Give them a listen if you want to be pleasantly surprised. Also, I’ve been thinking about making a playlist (I know, breaking my oneplaylist rule) for songs that just hit hard. So if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know!

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