By Nyengo Mtawali (not the dude in the picture above)
I love music. I LOVE it. I literally can’t live without it (probably). I love it for a bunch of reasons, but one of the things that draws me to it most is that it’s a form of expression. Sometimes you’re going through something or feeling something that you really can’t express. Luckily though someone much more talented than you has gone through that exact same thing and decided to make a song out of it, so you can just listen to it. Or you can send it to someone if you’re at a loss for words. Or just steal the lyrics and pretend you thought of them yourself (I have absolutely, positively, totally never done this…probably).
But what about those situations that no one, absolutely no one but you has gone through? Well, none of those exists. Really. Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought you’re special, but not a single thing you’re going through is new. You just haven’t heard the song for it yet. See, I believe there’s a song for every occasion/feeling/situation. And to illustrate that (inspired by this post), here are a series of songs for your not-so-everyday feelings/situations:
1. When It’s The Morning After and It’s Time To Send Your One Night Stand Packing:
Walk of Shame by Slaughterhouse (Album: welcome to: OUR HOUSE)
Your one night stand should go something like this: you hook up, have your fun, get your recommended daily dose of dopamine and then part ways, no strings attached. But what if your midnight mercenary overstays their welcome? You could be rude and kick them out verbally, or you could be even ruder and kick them out musically! The entire song is literally made just for that, with a whole lot of clever wordplay and even a sample saying “you gotta go” running in the background throughout the entire song.
2. When You’re in a Toxic Situationship and Totally Loving it:
Diet Mountain Dew by Lana Del Rey (Album: Born to Die: The Paradise Edition) or Drugs by Anderson. Paak (Album: Venice)
These contrast each other as their names would suggest. “Diet Mountain Dew” is more subtle, with a guilty pleasure vibe you can engage in somewhat publicly, like soda, chocolate cake, or Telemundo. Everyone knows it’s not good for you, but if they see you partake they’ll just shake their heads and go on with their lives. “Drugs”, on the other hand, is a lot more explicit and, well, drug-like. Just like if someone responsible (read: a party pooper) found you doing cocaine they’d most likely stop you, anyone finds you listening to this and relating to it will probably sit you down and have a serious talk with you about the state of your heart. Then they’d do a couple of lines with you, because who doesn’t like drugs right?
3. When You’re High On Love But Low on Cash:
Pay My Rent by DNCE (Album: DNCE)
“How can you love me right, love me right, if you don’t get your money right?” Good question Joe. I ask myself the same question all the time. Yeah, my love don’t cost a thing, but the least you can do is show some appreciation by making sure I have a nice place to love you in. Plus, the good thing about this song is it’s multifaceted, so you can use it as a love song, a song to show you know your worth or just something to dance to (I’ve only used it for one of those things, so far).
4. When You’re Cheating On Your Wife, With Someone Who’s Cheating On Her Husband (And Also Being Cheated on By Your Wife):
Headfirst Slide Into Coopertown on a Bad Bet by Fall Boy (Album: Folie à Deux)
Who hasn’t been here right? Found yourself caught in a little love pentagon cause karma is taking no prisoners. The song even encourages you to keep a calendar so you can track your misdemeanours. So not only does it help you organise your thoughts and feelings in this mess of a scenario, it helps you organise your life! I’d call that killing two cheetahs with one stone (I know that was terrible, but I couldn’t help myself).
5. When You’re A Prostitute and Want Your Client To Get Their Money’s Worth:
Get Some by Lykki Li (Album: Wounded Rhymes)
You might think I’m making some of these up or misinterpreting the lyrics for some of these. But for this, if you think I am, please tell me what the lyrics “like a shotgun needs an outcome, I’m your prostitute, you gon’ get some” could mean. The song might not strictly be used for sexual scenarios (I first heard it in an ad for a Batman video game, go figure) but it definitely goes well with them. Lykki Li has got a beautifully dark and seductive voice which melds perfectly with the hard drums to make this a banger (again, couldn’t help myself).
6. When You’re 2 Much For These Niggas and 3 Much For These Hoes:
Michael Jordan by Kendrick Lamar (Album: Overly Dedicated)
Sometimes you’ve got the juice, sometimes you’ve got the sauce and sometimes you’ve REALLY got the sauce. And no one REALLY had the sauce like the GOAT (MJ of course, not LeBron). Be warned, the lyrics are kind of explicit, with a lot of talk about engaging in coitus with your rival’s significant other. But chances are, if you’re in the zone you won’t give a damn and it will only amp you up. SO when you’re feeling as unguardable as Mr. 23 himself (again, not LeBron) you can throw this on and let your emotions take over. Also, if you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say sauce, then you haven’t got the sauce.
7. When You’re Tired of Being Led On By An Indecisive Crush:
Do You Want Me (Dead?) by All Time Low (Album: Dirty Work)
When it comes down to it, someone either likes you or they don’t. They either want to be with you or they don’t. They either want you or they want you dead. Okay maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but not by much. I mean there’s really not a lot of middle ground with these things. A good friend of mine likes to say something like “mixed messages are a message on their own.” So while you could ask them how they feel about you point-blank, you could also give them a musical ultimatum. And if they don’t say they want you, then respect their wishes and ghost.
8. When You’re A Nobody and Loving It:
I’m Not Famous by AJR (Album: The Click)
Who really likes fame anyway? Fortune, yes, we all want a little extra money. But fame? Being chased around by the paparazzi and having your every move watched? That sucks! I mean I’m assuming, I’ve never experienced it cause guess what, I’m not famous! And if you’re reading this, chances are you aren’t either (if you are, I’d really appreciate you sharing this). So let’s celebrate our anonymity with some pop music.
9. When It’s Time to Play Wingman And Help Your Friend Get With Someone:
Take One For The Team by Kanye West feat. Keri Hilson, Pusha T and Cyhi Tha Prynce
Some days you’re a pass-first point guard, some days you’re out there to get buckets. (Sidenote: I also feel there’s a basketball analogy for everything). Whether you’re the one scoring or assisting, there’s something for you here. With Kanye being his usual selfish self and Cyhi talking about calling Sean over to entertain “that” friend. In an unusual turn, Pusha T is the most passive one here, letting his GOOD Music family take into the hoop. And if even he can play the role of wingman, so can you, so give this a listen before your next night out.
10. When You’ve Got to Remind Your Trophy Husband/Wife What’s Up:
Play Your Part by Wale feat. Rick Ross, Meek Mill and D.A. (Album: Self Made Vol. 1)
Let’s say you’re in a transactional relationship. And for whatever reason, your mate loses sight of what you’re both there for. Maybe they think they’re playing you for a fool and can get anything they want out of you, regardless of what they put in. Or worse, may they got caught up in all that nonsense like feelings and intimacy. This song will remind will help remind them what you’re both there for. You bring the money, they do their part, everyone is happy. They don’t, and you have to start looking for a new trophy for the cabinet.
I wrote this sometime in March 2019 but never posted it because reasons. Now that it’s August 2020 and we’re in the middle of a global pandemic I decided to include a couple on entries relevant to what’s going on right now.
11. When You’re Lonely and It Has Everything to Do With Social Distancing:
Set Fire To The Third Bar by Snow Patrol (Album: Eyes Open)
As someone who’s no stranger to long-distance relationships, I know the value music has in helping you feel connected to your special someone (or someones if you’re sneaky like that). This song is all about an emotion we can all related: longing. It’s about that deep desire to be with your person when you’re about, and knowing nothing will quench until the day you’re reunited. At a time like this when even people in the same city suddenly find themselves separated because of a lockdown or other safety measures, this is the perfect song to put words to that yearning.
12. When You’re Lonely and it Has Nothing to Do With Social Distancing:
Alone/With You by Daughter (Album: Not to Disappear)
This might as well be the loneliness anthem. It’s about both hating being alone and being with “you”. Whoever that you is isn’t stated (I like to think she’s singing to herself in the second person). Regardless, by the time the song’s over, it’s clear the vocalist’s problems don’t come from simply in solitude. The feelings of isolation run deep and wouldn’t be fixed with just come company. If you can relate to this I suggest you through some headphones on and give it a listen (then seek some professional help once you can leave the house).
PS: Check out my previous posts for Pastiche Mode