Spotify: A Millenial's Love Story

Spotify: A Millenial's Love Story

You can't stop the music. Nobody can stop the music. (Unless you make me deactivate my account)

So I'm going to admit one of my deepest darkest secrets to you right now... I'm an unremorseful Spotify addict. I seek no pity, but I do seek understanding. Perhaps there are others out there like me who have been wooed by this beautiful Heaven-sent Hulk-colored music-streaming app. Perhaps I'm the only one. And that's okay. I've long accepted my fate. But is it such a horrible fate?

My relationship with Spotify began about 8 months ago when I finally received my much-anticipated Princeton NetID. Now with my new student email address, I could take full advantage of the wonderful student discounts offered by a variety of online sites and services. Yay. I had actually known for some time that Spotify offered a pretty fair discount for college students ($9.99 if I remember correctly), so I had easily chosen that as my first victim. I typed in Spotify in the Google search bar. Clicked the first result. The page loaded. I waited. It loaded some more. I waited some more. Finally, there it was. Its vibrant home page in all its glory. My eyes stared intently at the words before me.

The heavens opened. The trumpets blared. The voices of the angelic choir resounded throughout my house. In that moment, God spoke to me. Okay, maybe not. But come on, you have to agree that was an incredibly sweet deal. Three months for less than a dollar? I didn't even need to use my student discount! As you can imagine, I jumped on that faster than you can say "Follow my Graduation Party 2016 playlist. You won't regret it. And no, this isn't my shameless attempt at advertising myself."

Fast forward three months. The summer is winding down. The days are getting shorter and shorter. The unmistakable taste of a new academic year is in the air. And most importantly, my Spotify subscription is coming to an end. After weeks of jamming out to my favorite tunes and racking up a thousand followers on one of my playlists, I begin to realize my time with this app is growing increasingly short. The thought of finally saying adieu is just too much to bear. So, in an act of outright rebellion, I subscribe to another month (using the student discount, of course). What I didn't realize, however, was that unless I directly canceled my subscription, Spotify will keep auto-renewing every single month for eternity. Either I didn't realize it or I pretended not to. Well, suffice to say, I've been pretty darn good at deceiving myself. As I am currently writing this piece, I have Spotify running unapologetically in the background. What am I listening to? The soundtrack to La La Land of course. But that's a completely different article for a completely different time.

So what is it about Spotify that appeals to me so much? That's a very good question. Thanks for asking. Well, I don't really know, to be quite honest. I'm sure most of us can agree that music is an integral part of our lives. We may listen to some smooth jazz or Lady Gaga (is she still a thing?) as we procrastinate our essays. We most likely have our earbuds popped in as we tackle five miles on a treadmill. And what's a party without some hot fire music? It seems as if we're discovering a new song every week. We have our favorite artists and albums. There are songs we relate to, songs that make us smile and laugh, songs that incite the waterworks. Whether you like it or not, music is here to stay. And I think that's why I love Spotify so much. It recognizes that music has a place in virtually every facet of our lives. Do you need to focus on your studies but want some musical ambiance? Spotify's got you covered. Craving a high-intensity jammin' workout? Look no further, Spotify has all the perfect playlists for you. Are you hosting a Latin dance party? Check out Spotify's fine collection of merengue, salsa, bachata, and reggaeton. Want to know the hottest songs of 2016 (let's just pretend for a moment that 2016 did indeed happen)? There's a Spotify station for that. Or two. You want more of Ed Sheeran? Well, so does Spotify. Imagine how much would be lacking in our daily lives without the magic of music. Just think for a moment. Scary, right?

I'm not here to say that Spotify is the best and only music-streaming service out there. There are a ton of services that may be of the same or better quality. What I am saying, though, is that having access to thousands upon thousands of songs at your fingertips that are tailored to your specific needs, moods, and interests certainly satisfies man's primal appetite for music. Sure, there are the YouTubes and Pandoras and Google Play Musics and Amazon Prime Musics and what have yous, but there are also the Spotifys. While you may choose to get your music from another source, I choose that green and black app. And while you may choose to be shamelessly addicted to Nilla wafers, I choose to be shamelessly addicted to that app that starts with the S. Not because it stands out in some extraordinary way, but because all it does — all it ever hopes to do — is bring to us the simple joys and pleasures of life. It gives us music. Our way.

If that doesn't get me through college, I don't know what will.

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The Logan Paul Fiasco Is Just A Symptom Of A Much Larger Problem

In the wake of Logan Paul's suicide forest debacle, I decided to explore how this could even happen in the first place.

Wow, 2018 sure has started off with a bang, hasn't it? First, Donald Trump seemingly threatens North Korea with nuclear annihilation. Then, all these stupid memes about tide pods and Knuckles the echidna circulate across the web, and finally, Logan Paul decided that he would not be outdone.

Yes, the YouTube star decided to vlog in Japan, and every foreigner who has ever hated American tourists for their arrogance and ignorance has been validated. When he arrived in the country, Paul stated that Japanese culture was all about respect. He then proceeded to run around streets in traditional Japanese attire, buy a Game Boy Color from a store only to immediately spike it on the road like a football, and oh yeah, went to the suicide forest, and decided to film the body of a man they found who had recently hung himself in the forest.

Yep, Logan Paul found a dead body and decided to post it on YouTube. I imagine this is what the end of "Stand By Me" would've looked like if it were written today, and by a trash person. Paul has since apologized after lots of backlashes.

Logan Paul is one of, if not the fastest growing star on YouTube, and this controversy has barely affected his ascent in subscribers, some of which defended his actions, and even sent threats to those who didn't. Also, I feel I am justified in saying that both Logan and his brother Jake Paul (a former Disney channel actor turned YouTuber) are both arrogant pricks who make their livings messing with people and being an overall nuisance to anyone they encounter and have no concept of consequences for their actions, but this article isn't about them.

I believe that their popularity is only a result of several fundamental problems with YouTube.

First, I want to get into YouTube's algorithms. It's how the site decides what videos are recommended for you, and more importantly to this story, what videos are on the trending page. Logan Paul's suicide forest video, the one with the dead body in the thumbnail, and the one with the words "dead body" in the title was NUMBER 1 on trending.

YouTube's algorithm exposed millions of people to this deplorable video.

YouTube wasn't even able to take the video down; this was a video that had to have been flagged thousands of times, and it was only removed because Logan Paul himself took it down after all of the backlashes. YouTube was simply unable to do anything about this, and there have to be changed to ensure that they don't let things like this slip through the cracks again.

The real question, at least to me, is why even make a video this ridiculous and ignorant and disrespectful in the first place?

The answer, of course, is for the content. Unfortunately, this is not new. YouTubers have been doing shocking things to get views for years now, and this has led to the bar being raised. Many things that were shocking before simply aren't anymore. We've seen it so many times we get numb, so creators come up with even crazier things to do. Eventually, it becomes normalized, and the cycle continues on and on until we have people filming dead bodies in haunted forests.

YouTubers are trying to get a rise out of us so that we click on their videos, and they're seeing how much they can get away with. It seems that on the internet, no matter which site you go to, the loudest, most obnoxious, most divisive voices always rise to the top, but they don't have to. We can resist that knee-jerk angry share that they want from us.

We don't have to give these idiots the light of day, and we can tell them that we have had enough of their crap, not with our voices, but with our views, because once those go away, they'll have no choice but to listen up.

Cover Image Credit: Esther Vargas

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"Reputation" Brings Taylor Back From The Dead

10 verses that assert Taylor's dominance.

Taylor is NOT dead. In fact, she's come back harder and stronger than she ever has in her 2017 album, "Reputation". This album is full of disses and self-confidence as she points out those that have wronged her as well as she has asserted her dominance. She is one of the most talked about celebrities in popular media as she's one of the most controversial and drama-filled artists as well.

Here is a list of the best kick-ass verses from each song off of "Reputation". The old innocent Taylor evolves anew as fierce and fiery Taylor. Here are the top ten badass verses that assert Taylor's dominance and fierce flare.

1. …Ready for it?

“Every love I’ve ever known in comparison is a failure// I forget their names now, I’m so very tame now// Never be the same now, now”

This song is perfect to put as #1 because it shows Taylor's new rocker vibe as well as her fight against all those who have doubted her.

2. End Game (feat. Ed Sheeran and Future)

“I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me// And I can’t let you go, your handprints on my soul”

Here's Taylor asserting her dominance in the guy she hopes to end up with. She not only sells herself to be valuable but also confident which is something that everyone should look up to.

3. I Did Something Bad

“I never trust a playboy but they love me// and so I fly ‘em all over the world// And I let them think they saved me// They never see it coming what I do next// This is how the world works// You gotta leave before you get left”

Taylor sings proudly of her conquers of the guys she's hurt over her life.

This is the perfect anthem for doing what the f*** you want to do because there's always going to be someone who doubts you anyways. In the end, you have to do what makes you happy.

4. Don’t Blame Me

“I’ve been breaking hearts a long time// And toying with them older guys// Just playthings for me to use// Something happened for the first time// In the darkest little paradise// Shakin’, pacin’, I just need you”

I think I can say for all of us who have experienced a love that it has made us do crazy things and think crazy thoughts from time to time. Falling in love is one of the most addicting times which is why Taylor refers to her love as a drug.

5. Delicate

“Sometimes I wonder when you sleep, are you ever dreaming of me?”

This song is about finding a new love to spend your time and energy on. It's about seeing the person that you daydream over, even if it was lust at first sight.

6. Look What You Made Me Do

“But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time// Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time”

On the reputation Album Release Party, Taylor revealed that “Look What You Made Me Do” started out as a poem:

It actually started with just a poem that I wrote about my feelings, and it’s basically about realizing that you couldn’t trust certain people, but realizing you appreciate the people you can trust. Realizing that you can’t just let everyone in, but the ones you can let in, you need to cherish. And it had all the verses in it, just basically as is.

7. So It Goes…

“cause we break down a little, but when you get me alone, it’s so simple// cause baby, I know what you know, and we can feel it”

This song is about Taylor's relationship being strong enough to withstand even the publicity and circumstances thrown their way. She's so infatuated with her beau that she even talks about how they met and the way he makes her feel. This song is definitely for you if you need some loving.

8. Gorgeous

“And I got a boyfriend he’s older than us// he’s in the club doing I don’t know what”

This song is about lusting after someone that you see at the bar and you want to talk to but you are too nervous to. This song is the song to listen to in order to gather up the nerves to talk to that attractive stranger that you see across from you but are too nervous to say hi to.

9. Getaway Car

“But you weren’t thinking, and I was just thinking”

This song is about being in an intense and romance-filled relationship that is crashing and has red flags all along. Sometimes relationships are fun rides but they come to a point where they crash.

10. King of My Heart

“Up on the rooftop with a schoolgirl crush// drinking beer out of plastic cups”

We often fool ourselves by saying we're fine by our own until a cute boy walks into our lives and begin to consume our thoughts and desires. It's that boy that makes you feel youthful and fulfilled despite all of the walls you've put up since you've been hurt so many times before.

11. Dancing With Our Hands Tied

“So baby, can we dance? Oh, through an avalanche? And say, say that we got it// I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted// Oh, cause it’s gravity, oh keeping you with me, I could’ve spent forever with your hands in my pocket”

That one love that you would be willing to climb mountains for, as long as it meant you got to be with them.

12. Dress

Flashback to my mistakes, my rebounds, my earthquake// Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me// And I woke up just in time// Now I wake up by your side// My one and only, my lifeline’’

Sometimes, it takes a friend or a lover to make us feel better. Regardless of whatever your past may be, you can always be born again.

13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

“There I was, giving you a second chance// But then you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand”

To that one love that you don't necessarily want to trust in the first place and they end up letting you down like you expected. Yeah, we see you. And no, you don't get a second chance.

14. Call It What You Want To

“You don’t need to save me, but would you run away with me?”

During the iHeartRadio reputation release party, a clip of Taylor saying the following at a reputation Secret Session was played:

The way I feel the album is, as far as a storyline, is I feel like it starts with just getting out any kind of rebellion, or anger, or angst, or whatever. And then, like, falling in love, and realizing that you kind of settle into what your priorities are, and your life changes, but you welcome it because it’s something that matters to you. And this last part of the album feels like settling into where I am now. So it started with where I was when I started making the album, and ends with kind of my emotional state now. And this song, I think, really reflects that probably the best on the album, and it’s called “Call It What You Want.

15. New Year’s Day

“Don’t read the last page// But I stay when it’s hard or it’s wrong// But I’ll be cleaning up the

bottles with you on New Years Day”

During the iHeartRadio reputation Release Party, a clip of Taylor saying the following at an earlier Secret Session for select fans was played:

We threw a big New Year’s Eve party in London this year, and I was thinking about how everybody talks and thinks about who you kiss at midnight. Like it’s this big romantic idea of like, ‘Who are you gonna kiss at midnight, like ring in the New Year.’ And I think that is very romantic. But I think there’s something even more romantic about who’s gonna deal with you on New Year’s Day. Who’s willing to give you Advil and clean up the house. I think that states more of a permanence. So I was thinking about that, and I wrote this song called ‘New Year’s Day.’ There are two lines in this song that I had been saving for a long time, for the right moment, and I had picked them for this song, and I’m really excited about them. The first one is, ‘Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere.’ And the other one is, ‘Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.’
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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