Quarantine vibez

Tobili Hatcher, Staff Reporter

Playlist 1: Reflection on April 2020

Spotify URL: spotify:playlist:5JyTLhTRGKWloZAgyCE83v 

As I sit here and try to figure out where the 21st century version of the Roaring ’20s went wrong, I can’t help but point the finger towards the month of April. I’m not gonna lie, they had us in the first half, even with that rocky start with Kobe Bryant’s passing and Donald Trump’s acquittal. Was it rocky? Sure. But January and February have nothing on the month of April. 30 painstakingly long days that left us all scratching our heads and asking “what the hell?” I mean truly, what kind of let down is this?  The novel coronavirus has us counting down the days until our stay-at-home orders will be lifted, and I, for one, am going out of my mind trying to cope with this “new normal.” Although I’m sick of being inside 22 hours a day, it’s nice knowing that I’m doing my part to help #flattenthecurve. 

Now, I know that we’re already in May, and I’m over here writing about April, but my feelings towards last month were just too strong to be ignored for any longer. So, with all my free time at home, I’ve decided to create and dedicate a playlist to the travesty that was April 2020. If I ever feel better or get over the fact that COVID-19 killed my senior year, I’ll be back in June with a playlist that exudes much more positive vibes. Until that day comes, it’s been real and I hope you enjoy this playlist of carefully curated hits. 

“What the Hell?” by Sik-K

There’s truly no one else who does an angry rap song better than Sik-K. Whether he’s telling literally everyone in existence to “f**k off ”or trying to make it make sense, Sik-K is one of the best Korean rappers at delivering emotive yet thought-provoking songs over and over again. This is the perfect song for this playlist, because he asks the number one question we all have about the months in virtual quarantine—“what the hell?” Although in this song, Sik-K is rapping about the trials and tribulations that he’s been going through in a relationship, the lyrics are pretty transferable to the current situation we have on our hands right now. Although this song is supposed to be angry, and you’re also most likely angry about how April came and went, there’s still a sense of calm that can be felt throughout the song. My favorite part of the song is definitely how you’re able to ride the beat and vibe along with it, while also feeling the passion behind the lyrics. When the beat slows just enough for him to let out, “Girl  나는 할 말이 없어 Babe”(which translates to “Girl, I have nothing to say, babe”), I felt that in my chest. This is the perfect song to vibe out to as you try to wrap your head around one helluva month.

“Let Down” by Gingerlys  

The Brooklyn-based indie band starts the song off strong with a heavy guitar riff that lets you know that they mean business.  Giving off heavy indie and twee pop vibes, this call-and-response style song is a love story that’s just itching for a sad ending. In a conversation set to music, lead vocalist Jackie Mendoza and sub-vocalist Colin O’Neill lend their voices to the ’50s-inspired melodies and airy echoes that can be heard through the song. Something about this song that always makes me smirk sarcastically is how almost every other line in each of the verses is “I was waiting to be let down.” It’s almost as if this song knew what we had coming to us. Another key point that I love about this song is the instrumental break that takes place after the second chorus and eventually ends the song. The drum fill along with the semi-hollow sound of the guitar and bass riffs complement each other really well and give the song the perfect mix of having a day-dreaming quality yet also grounding you back to earth with its full sound. The guitars and vocals, mixed with the sound engineering, really give the song a nostalgic tang that hits the spot.

“It’s Real” by Real Estate  

Indie rock band Real Estate is always there to provide the “calm before the storm” track to help get you through your day. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the reality of the situation you’re facing, much like it’s been hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around the severity of the COVID crisis that we’re facing now. But sometimes, you just have to sit back and realize that it’s real. This song comes from their third studio album, “Atlas,” and is one of the last tracks that features founding member and lead guitarist Matt Mondanile. 

The instrumentals and lyrics in “It’s Real” exude strong feelings of melancholy, yet also evoke nostalgic memories from simpler times. One of the main reasons why the lyrics feel empty is because they are so vague. “I don’t know who’s behind the wheel / Sometimes I feel like I don’t know the deal / But when I tell you how I feel / Believe me when I say it’s real.” The lyrics are just simple enough that whoever listens is able to associate their own thoughts and memories to them to go along with the song. Additionally, the instrumentals on this track have the ability to wrap you into a warm hug. In a melody that sounds familiar yet was not pulled from a sample, one of my favorite parts from this track is the open air feeling of the chorus. It gives off the feeling of being set free and liberated, which can also be seen in the corresponding music video featuring a golden retriever running through an open field with members of the band. This is a song that’ll make you face the tough reality of what’s going on and make you feel nostalgic for happier times. But it’ll also make you feel like you’re not in this crisis alone and that you’ll be able to make it out alive. 

“Counting” by GroovyRoom & Leellamarz 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting down the days until we’re free from the confines of our homes and adding up the number of days we’ve been locked inside. Although not the exact same theme that Leellamarz and company had in mind when they made this song, the sentiment is still there, somewhere, if you look hard enough. “Counting” is the last song on this collaboration album and leaves fans with a relaxed trap song. Leellamarz does a great job at rapping over the simple beat by varying up the speed of his rhymes. The song is complemented by veteran rappers the Quiett and Kid Milli. If I have to be honest, my favorite verse on the song goes to Kid Milli because he adds a certain level of fire and urgency to the song that Leellamarz and the Quiett don’t seem to have. This is the vibed out Korean trap song that you’ve been waiting for. 

“I’m Sick” (band version) by Giriboy (ft. Young B, YUNHWAY, Lil tachi, Han Yo Han, JUSTHIS, Swings) 

The band version of Giriboy’s 2019 hit track hits all of the right notes as seven of Korea’s hottest rappers and rockers come together to create this masterpiece of a song. The band version was made specially for the song to be performed live at many end-of-the-year music award shows last year. I prefer this version to the original studio rap version due to the fact that it incorporates more live instruments and has a grungier feeling. The heavy sound of the drums helps bring the song to life and move it towards the electrifying mini guitar solos that often come at the end of the rapper’s verses. Han Yo Han’s voice seems to best compliment the rock feel of the song, as he chooses to rap-sing in the style of a rock star compared to the more traditional style rap verses sung by the other featured artists.. My favorite verse on this track would have to be YUNHWAY’s, simply due to the fact that she’s able to perfectly match her nonchalant and carefree attitude and voice to the beat so well that it comes off nearly flawless. This song wouldn’t have been made possible if not for the producing and mixing work done by Giriboy, himself, who also lends his voice to the catchy chorus of the five-minute-long song.

“Out of my Mind” by Peejay (ft. G2, Kid Ash)

A slow jam produced by Peejay, “Out of my Mind” is a sensual masterpiece that packs a powerful lyrical punch. Starting off with a languid, eerie instrumental, the song slowly picks up the pace as the beat drops along with G2’s booming voice to deliver the first line. One of the song’s best qualities is the call-and-response technique that G2 and Kid Ash use throughout the song as they rap with each other. The two are able to complement yet contrast each other through the song on Peejay’s beat. It’s a treat to be able to hear G2 start off the song in his baritone voice as he raps about taking a ride on a “f**king cruise ship,” which is followed up by a slightly higher tone in Kid Ash’s voice as he raps about the good life and how he was able to achieve it through being a musician. The best part about this song is the different bridges that are layered into to transition between the two rappers. Usually slowed down in tempo, hooks help flow into the fast pace rap that takes over most of the song. Peejay chose to mix an uncomplicated beat that’s easy on the ears, yet still complex enough to find something new in each listen. The reverbed beat and relaxed flow of lyrics are the perfect combination that make this song fun to listen to. 

“If I Ever Feel Better” by Phoenix 

Will I ever feel better? Will I ever get over the travesty that was April, and now May 2020? Most likely, I will, with a little help from French indie rock band, Phoenix. The song “If I Ever Feel Better” comes from the band’s debut album, “United.” This song is equal parts chill and fast-paced, as there is an underlying sense of urgency that can be felt in the overall drum beat and moving baseline. One of my favorite parts of the song is the walking bassline, performed by Deck d’Arcy. It’s playful and funky, giving just that little bit of extra attitude to the song that takes it to the next level. I also think that the lyrics really match the overall vibe of the song, as they’re describing the various emotions and ways to get over the hardships one might be facing. Thomas Mars lends his vocals in an attempt to reach the soul of the listener as he explains “… I don’t want to be clever / To be brilliant or superior.” He’s just a normal guy trying to get through the day. An overall very chill song to help you relax and look forward to a hopefully less intense month of May.

Playlist 2: Quarantine & Chill 

All of these songs can be found on YouTube or Spotify.

Spotify URI: spotify:playlist:0injd6XyYJyDjMvYRR7sWA 

So, you’ve stared up at your ceiling for as long as humanly possible and have done all of the self-reflecting you can handle. Now that the boredom has subsided, you’re left feeling other things. Like wanting to experience a real sense of human connection that goes beyond your broadband server or the ability to go out on a date that isn’t confined to a webcam and decent lighting. While some people may argue that there are more important things to be focusing on, I want you to know that it’s completely valid to be feeling horny, craving physical affection and wanting someone else to talk to besides your stuffed animal collection. From testing positive for missing the homies, wanting to share just one last kiss with that special someone and thinking about the absolute shitshow that might have been your last relationship, what you need is a collection of songs that perfectly describes how you’re feeling. This is why I’ve created the ultimate “Quarantine & Chill” playlist to get you through all of the different feels you’ve been going through over the past few weeks. Whether you’re boo’ed up or riding this wave of social distancing completely solo, here are three tracks that everyone can relate to, regardless of your current relationship status. 

Horny on Main

“Thirsty” by NO:EL

It’s been a long time in isolation, and this time cooped up has made a few of us parched for a lot of different things, the main one being human companionship and someone to nestle up next to during these long days on the couch. In this slowed down track by NO:EL, he croons and raps about just how thirsty he is. NO:EL kept things simple by repeating the chorus six times throughout the song, in between the three original verses. Although the song is very forward in what it’s saying, “I’m thirsty as a hell, undercover on my body / Thirsty as a hell, 이쁜 누나 on my 바지” (which loosely translates to “pretty older girl on my pants”—take that as you will). The carefree strums on the guitar and relaxed drum beat create an easygoing vibe that’ll make you bop your head to the music. 

“Pick Up Your Phone” by GroovyRoom & Leellamarz (ft. MOON)  

There are songs that make you miss someone, and then there are songs that make you really miss someone. This slow jam is all about longing after someone you want but can’t necessarily have. The song explores the idea of hoping that the person on the other end of the line will pick up your call, even if you two aren’t meant to be together. Produced by GroovyRoom, the song opens with a melancholy beat that instantly makes you start missing someone you didn’t even know you were missing. That ex from cuffing season, the guy from chem class with the cute smile, heck, you’re even starting to miss the girl next door and you just saw her on the porch yesterday. MOON’s sultry voice then takes over, singing about how she’d rather be with the guy she likes than be alone at a lame party. As the song progresses, we reach my favorite part, which is the hook. The hook is all the things forbidden romances are made of. Suddenly, Leellamarz and MOON both go to confess that they’ve been holding back their true feelings for each other, but whenever they try to connect, the other can’t be reached. Brings me to literal tears. The sentimental lyrics, backed with GroovyRoom’s calming beat, make for the perfect background music for your next video chat with someone special.

“Do You Wanna” by the Kooks

If there’s one thing that the Kooks have always been good at, it’s getting straight to the point. There’s no such thing as beating around the bush in this English indie rock band’s 2008 smash hit, “Do You Wanna.” With its fast-paced guitar riffs and grungy baseline, this song brings back not only late 2000s nostalgia vibes, but also brings out your inner rocker spirit. This song is one of my favorites because not only does it make me feel like a total boss, it also reinforces the practice of asking for consent before engaging in sexual activity. We stan these Brighton rockers. 


 So, you’ve entered this time of self-isolation solo? It’s OK. In fact, it’s better than OK. Honestly, with the rapid spread of ‘rona going around, do you really want to be around people who’ve been God knows where with God knows who? Whether you came into this shelter in place stag from the get-go or you’re going through a gut-wrenching breakup (#sadboivibes), below are three songs to help you get through this time.  


The first thing that may come to mind when you hear this song is doing the iconic TikTok dance that goes along with it. Completely valid. I, too, am guilty of learning and posting my own version of the dance on the internet. However, when you listen deeper to what the song is saying and break it down just that little bit further, it’s hard not to include BROCKHAMPTON’s hit single “Sugar” in this “Quarantine & Chill” playlist. With voices almost as sweet as sugar, this self-described boy band and musical collective lay their hearts out for their fans as they sing about what it’s like to long for somebody and want them to be right by your side. Now, normally, I’m not all for love songs, especially ones that can bring a tear to my eye and make me think of that one special someone I thought I had (notice, here, past tense) before all of this craziness with ‘rona began. However, it’s important to validate that it’s OK to not be OK and to let your feelings flow. One set of lyrics that always hits me in the chest are the opening lines: “Spending all my nights alone, waiting for you to call me / You’re the only one I want by my side when I fall asleep.” Honestly, it gets me every time, even more so now because we’re in a time where physical connection can be hard to come by. Another standout verse in this song comes from Dom McLennon’s raw rap about how he’s trying to figure out his demons and not do everything alone. This song may be heavy on the feels, but it’s well worth the listen. 

 “It Ain’t Love” (사랑이 아냐) by Paloalto 

Paloalto is one of the few veteran rap artists in the Korean rap game and he brings the heat in every song he puts out. “사랑이 아냐,” translated to “It Ain’t Love,” is one of the harshest songs about love that he has in his collection. He starts off the song in a booming voice that begins to tell the story about how the relationship that he’s in doesn’t exhibit true qualities of love. He is overly-passionate, if not angry, as he confesses about how he wants to distance himself from his one and only? From everyone? because he’s feeling suffocated and being transformed into a man that isn’t him. It’s nice to see Paloalto’s no-nonsense attitude come across so boldly in this track, as it serves as a reminder to not settle for anything less than what you’re worth and, if something’s not working out, don’t try to force it. Another reason why I think this song is top notch is due the heavy-hitting beat. It’s not the dirtiest beat out there, but it pushes the song along and pairs perfectly with Paloalto’s smooth voice. 

“Yo Perreo Sola” by Bad Bunny 

Everyone’s playlist needs a club banger, and, in this case, it comes in the form of Bad Bunny’s new hit single off of the album “YHLQMDLG” called “Yo Perreo Sola.” Spanish for “I twerk alone,” this Puerto Rican club anthem is all about those who desire to dance at the club alone, and that’s on, period. Featuring vocals by an up-and-coming artist, Nesi, the two come together to create a song about female empowerment. This song serves as a cautionary tale that sexual harassment is not to be tolertated and that we should all respect people’s rights, especially women’s rights when they speak up for what they want. If you’re compelled to watch the music video for this catchy tune, you’ll be able to see Bad Bunny go full-on drag, as he continues to break down gender stereotypes that surround machismo men. Never one to shy away from making a political statement, Bad Bunny dons traditionally feminine outfits with confidence and grace as he proudly twerks alone in the video. He also includes several other women in the video who are shown having a carefree time and enjoying the trap Latin and reggaeton beat. This song will have you feeling hot and sexy and remind you that you don’t need to have anybody to dance with to feel special. You’re special in your own right. Keep on twerkin’ in your room. Amen to that.

Oracular Sextacular

And you over there who’s sheltering in place with bae, you guys doing alright? While we all may not be so lucky (or unlucky, if you got stuck with an ex), being quarantined with your special someone can have some perks. If you two are feeling in the mood, here are some songs to help move things along. Before things get hot and heavy, make sure to do a vibe check with your partner so you both agree to any sensual acts that may ensue. 

“Don’t Be Shy” by Crush (ft. Sik-K)

If there’s one thing that Crush knows how to do, it’s deliver a summertime bop. “Don’t Be Shy” is a sexy R&B track that is enough to stop anyone in their tracks and make them blush. This song gives off major summertime late-night vibes, but in a way that’s less cringe-worthy due to the fact that the song sounds a lot more modern than its ‘90s counterparts. The beat to this song is strong, but not overbearing, much like Crush’s smooth voice rapping over it. Although the song is mainly rapped in Korean, the catchy English hook of “Don’t be shy girl / Baby don’t be shy” will be stuck in your head for many steamy nights to come. But the fun doesn’t stop there, as Crush finds sexy ways to “sing-rap” what you and your partner might be getting yourself into as you listen. Filled with confidence, body and soul, Crush is able to balance out his risqué lyrics with Sik-K’s energetic rap. His deep voice goes perfectly with well-played-off lyrics about, well, you know. One of the major takeaways of this song that can’t go unnoticed is the obvious charm and energy that Crush and Sik-k are able to bring to this track, as it’s clear that they give off f**kboi vibes, but charming f**kboi vibes that are hard to resist. This duo’s song can serve as the perfect slow jam to get the festivities goin’. 

“U Say” by GoldLink (ft. Tyler, the Creator, Jay Prince) 

Serving as the third title track to GoldLink’s second studio album “Diaspora,” “U Say” is a sleek and sexy track that instantly makes you want to get down and do the, well, you know. The song exudes summer vibes with its strong Afro-Carribean beat, string-heavy instrumentals and tropical percussion overlay that transports you to the coast. While the  instrumentation is reminiscent of a night of exploration out on the beach, the lyrics are equally as stimulating as GoldLink’s smooth voice sings about the friends with benefits situation he hopes to find. Although I’m not usually one for lyrics that talk about sex so openly, GoldLink, Tyler, the Creator and Jay Prince do so in such a way that is thrilling to listen to. “U Say” has all of the drama and action of a good summer kickback which can now be channeled and played in the bedroom. Prince’s catchy hook of “So why waste time?” is one way to get the conversation started with your partner(s) about what you all have in store for the night ahead. Some standout lyrics come from the first verse, where GoldLink rap-sings, “Wanna love you, but I do not wanna commit / So I dance with ya with the thought of us f**kin’/ … You grabbin’ me close and closer ’til you get a kiss.” Combined with the laid-back beat, when I hear these lines, it reminds me of how young people just want to let loose and have fun—see where the night takes you. As someone with commitment issues, it’s nice to be reminded that you can still leave your options open and meet someone who can match that same energy. If you’re looking for a song that can help raise the sexual tension in the room, this is the song for you. 

“Wet the Bed” (침대노래 ) by Sik-K & Coogie 

Now, there are songs about sex, and then there’s Sik-K’s version of songs about sex. And let me tell you, this song will have you feeling all different types of ways. Never in my life did I think I’d hear a song that explores so many different ways about how one would like to have sex and explicitly tell me what they’re going to do to their partner, but Sik-K and Coogie are here to bare it all and describe it to the masses. Arguably one of the most uncensored songs about sex in the Korean music world, the song is still tasteful.When Sik-K starts his verse,  the Korean lyrics deliver a wide range of graphic, yet poetic, similes about what they’re going to do to with their respective partners. In an interesting change of pace from some of the other songs that are on the same album, this song takes on a slow and sexy vibe that lets the listener, or listeners, groove to the beat at their own pace. This remains one of my favorite songs from the duo due to the well-produced beat and the perfect backdrop to the fun that’s bound to kick off after listening to it. You’re able to ride the beat (no pun intended), but not feel like you’re being rushed at any time, which is perfect, because things like this can’t be rushed, or so I’m told.