During the strenuous end of semesters everywhere, holiday season pressure to feel jolly, and ever-decreasing daylight daily, it can be difficult to feel at your best all the time. Instead of listening to sad music that feeds into the negative emotions you might be feeling, these vibrant artists will ground you back to a strong headspace.
Auditory adrenaline has never sounded so good! M.I.A. creatively wields samples of bubbles, sitar music, and the metallic clashing of swords in her album AIM. Her exciting, ever-upbeat tracks never fail to bring an instant endorphin rush. M.I.A.'s powerful voice quasi-rapping over extraordinary bass drops and beats built for the club makes it feel as though there is nothing you cannot do. "Go Off" carries carefree exhilaration, feeling automatically stimulating. Best known for her song "Paper Planes," featuring the distinct audio sample of three gunshots being fired, M.I.A.'s album Kala deserves feel-good attention too, blasting high-energy sounds throughout. "Bamboo Banga" brings strong bass and a newfound sense of empowerment.
New York royalty, Princess Nokia excels at bringing out the young, mischievous troublemaker in all of us. In her debut album 1992 Deluxe, she cooly raps about being growing up being just that in "Bart Simpson," appealing to the high school miscreant we all once felt like. On "Saggy Denim," she pays tribute to 90's punk inspirations, saying "Ima listen to Sublime, drink that 40 oz. to freedom 'til the day that I die." While 1992 Deluxe feels like walking through a less-than-spotless alley, Princess Nokia's 2020 duo albums Everything is Beautiful and Everything Sucks sound like all things fun and bubbly and a strobe lights haunted house, respectively. On "Soul Food y Adobo" she talks about her family's love of preparing food and how seasoning your chicken is a must. "Balenciaga" speaks on how you don't need to buy your wardrobe new to look good- secondhand is just as striking.
Queen of screamo rap Rico Nasty carries a definitive and incredibly respectable "Don't mess with me, I'll step on you" attitude that shines clearly through all of her music. Her 2019 album "Anger Management" does just that- a release of any and all tension you might have been holding on to. Even better, the album carries certain contagious courage to it- any doubts you may be feeling about yourself will vanish the moment you hear the unmistakable jingle marking the beginning of "Big Titties." Debut album Tales of Tacobella tells honest stories of dishonesty. On "Block List," she shamelessly recounts how he "told me he loved me but I stole his wallet." Screaming generally feels frowned upon in most cases, but Rico Nasty gives you the best excuse in the world to let it all out- just sing along!
Upbeat and exciting music can be used to combat all sorts of unfortunate emotions, and these women graciously offer their own personal experiences and rawly unique voices for our disposable. Give any or all of them a listen, you might carry your head just a bit higher today.