Student Journalism at San Rafael High School

Off the Leash

Off the Leash

Off the Leash

Songs of Our Year: 2024

What’s been in our headphones?

Welcome to the 2024 edition of Songs of Our Year.

This assignment required staff writers to consider a song that has been in frequent rotation during the 2023-24 school year, not a favorite song, period, kind of song, but maybe the current trending ear-worm, the one you can’t stop listening to in the car, on the way to school, or before the game. Writers didn’t review these tracks. Instead, they wrote about why they’re good and why they matter, whether on a personal level or for artistic quality or both.

Enjoy the mini-essays and the accompanying playlist!


“All My Friends”

Sound of Silver

LCD Soundsystem


As the weekends roll by, there’s a song that replays in my head— a song about friends, a song about aging, about the just-out-of-reach texture of life. “All My Friends” follows the theme that friends are something you have always been able to return to, something pure and perfect and shining. But it’s 

coming apart. With age, the space between you grows, or maybe it just becomes more pronounced. “All My Friends” is about how things will never feel the same as when you were young, but maybe because of that, they are even better. James Murphy, the mastermind of LCD, sings in a strong and provocative voice: “If you trip and the plan comes apart in your hands,” in a way that opens you up to all the love and loss of the passing of time. 

When LCD says, “You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again,” I can’t help but think of their inspiration and collaborator David Bowie. “All My Friends”’ mentions of “five years” portray a kind of sonic hourglass, a feeling that time is a valuable foreign currency worth its weight in gold. In “Five Years”, off his iconic album Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie agonizingly laments,“I never thought I’d need so many people,” and, “I wanted to get back there” [the past]. This song too is about things coming apart. Towards the end of the song, the strings, so neat and orchestrated, begin to spiral into an unintelligible cacophony that truly sounds like life itself. The two songs are the perfect pair which attempt to explain that feeling of things changing in a way you can’t quite articulate.

“All My Friends” is a song of paradoxes, one that sprawls through music and years and faces in the crowd. It makes you feel delectably young and yet it forces you to carry the weight of your years. It’s the song you play as you head out in fading light to pick up your best friends, and it’s also the song you play staring at the ceiling after the night has run its course. It’s the feeling of being paralyzed by your own potential while also soaring forward too fast to slow down. It makes you feel dance-drunk and at the same time too sober to be able to process anything. The repetition of the same chord for the duration of the entire song donates a feeling of doing something over and over again, quickly, beautifully. “Oh, you’re talking forty-five turns just as fast as you can,” shouts Murphy. The record will continue to spin and your friends will always be there, but as the song says, you never know when it will be the last time.

-Sarah Pledger



Watch the Throne

JAY-Z & Kanye West


If you feel the need to wake up, the need to get excited, the need to move, Watch the Throne is the album to play. “Primetime” is just one of its many bangers. There’s something about Kanye yelling in your ears about his reign of excellence. He rants about limitless power and exceeding expectations. His lyrics have no moral bounds. In “Primetime,” he raps, “Cause they don’t want nobody that’s colored out of line/so I’m late as a mother****er, colored people time.” He doesn’t have any filter. In my opinion, no music has the same level of passion and authenticity as a beat by Kanye West. 

His reputation off the record is terrible and a lot of the things he says about history and social issues are quite indefensible, but what he has produced as an artist is amazing. His ability to sample and synthesize songs with his producing skills is unmatched. “Primetime” has a beautiful, hooking rhythm. The blaring piano gives off tons of energy and gets your blood flowing. It awakens the soul. Not many things match the high of an auditory masterpiece bumping through your car’s radio, filling your head with waves of sound that can be felt more than heard.

Whether it be a rough morning getting ready for school or a pregame warmup routine for the biggest game of my life, I can always count on “Primetime” to get me right in the moment. This song and others from Watch the Throne are essential hype songs to millions around the world, connecting us. One play at a time.

-Oscar Jordan-Shamis


 “What Once Was”



It was a hot August night in my hometown of Arizona. Madi (my best friend), and I went on a late-night drive to get our favorite drinks from Dutch Bros (a regular occurrence). Madi was shuffling through a playlist while I was rolling the windows down to get some fresh air. The song “What Once Was” by the band Her’s came on, and we immediately started vibing. The wind was blowing through the car, and the melodies were making everything seem so surreal and simple. I had never gained a deeper connection to a song until listening to this one. My favorite part of the song is 2:32. The song goes into a pause of words and all that’s left is the background track playing, and while listening, I could see my whole life as memories pass by me, like I was also reliving those 16 years of life through a 40 second part of this song.

A couple months passed, and the song was still a constant. I listened before school and after work. This song had embedded its way into my life, and I had never loved screaming a song at the top of my lungs more than ever. Its simplicity and vibe made me feel so many things at once. I didn’t relate to the song in the slightest bit. I just really loved how it made me feel.

In February of 2022, my mom told me we were moving to California. It was going to be my junior year of high school, and moving States was not what I had envisioned. Fast forward to a year. School had started, and I still loved this song, but now I could connect with it on a deeper level. The chorus says, “And now I’m still hanging on, I was at the end of every tether waiting for what once was.” Many people can connect on that in a personal manner, relationships, and breakups, but for me, it was moving, leaving everything behind and holding on to my past life in Arizona, hoping that what once was would come back. The band Her’s died in a car accident on March 27th, 2019. Their music didn’t rise to fame until after they had passed. The songs they put out are so significant to me and my life, and I will forever be grateful that I was able to listen to the 

songs they left behind.

-Taylor Brown


“Age of Consent”

Power, Corruption, and Lies

New Order


It was a warm Sunday morning in 2014. Music and the smell of breakfast filled my house. I sat on a stool watching my dad flip the eggs and poke the bacon while listening to whatever the 80s rock radio station had on at the moment. The recognizable and rhythmic guitar riff paired with steady drums in the intro to “Age of Consent” began to play. My dad smiled at me to say: great song!

This song washes my early memories of music with my dad in a sticky-sweet golden haze. I inherited much of his music taste, sharing a love for artists such as Radiohead, The Cure, and Billy Idol, to name a few. “Age of Consent” reminds me of my youth, but also of my teenage years. It has been stuck on my “On Repeat” playlist on Spotify for years. Spotify must be thinking, I’m exhausted from playing this one, can’t you find a new favorite song?

In 2022, my dad and I went to the Chase Center to see New Order live. Seeing a beloved song with that personal history live was incredible. The deep bass booming off the walls of the Chase Center and the catchy upbeat synth brought my dad and I to our feet to dance, and in that moment, nothing else mattered.

I spent a good amount of money on a vinyl copy of Power, Corruption, and Lies at Rasputin Music in Berkeley. The album cover, a bouquet of muted-color roses spilling out of a basket, now hangs on my wall. I can thank my older brother, Carter, for getting me into record collecting. The day I came home with my new vinyl, I immediately put it on the turntable and “Age of Consent” drifted through the house, reminding me of those slow Sunday mornings eating breakfast with my dad.

-Paige Bussi

“Leave You Alone” 

™:103 Hustlerz Ambition

Jeezy and Ne-Yo 


I fell in love with this song at the beginning of February of 2024. I had just started listening to the artist Ne-Yo and loved the way his voice sounded. When I heard this song I memorized it immediately. 

One night after a long softball game against Novato High School, I took a few teammates on a drive to get food and celebrate our win against the Hornets. That night we blasted a handful of songs as we drove on 101 South. I remember our voices syncing as we screamed. The sunset was beautiful, smeared with bright orange and light pink. We all crammed into my car and sang our hearts out for what felt like hours. My friends took dozens of videos and pictures of us all together with the song playing in the background. 

I remember alternating verses with my friends, but we all knew to sing the chorus. Our passion only grew more when we heard Ne-Yo’s voice. Once off the highway, we rolled our windows down, and paid no mind to the pedestrians overhearing the music and our cracked voices. We pulled into Tender Tenders, ordered our food and were eager to get into the car and resume our drive. Since that day, my teammates and I have made numerous plans to relive the feelings we had that night. 

Everytime I hear “Leave You Alone,” I reminisce about all my friends and that night. We sang our hearts out to a song we may or may not relate to. The song is about a girl who keeps coming back to a guy. But we enjoyed singing together. Regardless of all the stares and concerned faces of those around us, we had a great time and looked forward to doing it all again.

-Angel Amesa


“Isn’t It a Pity (Version 2)”

All Things Must Pass 

George Harrison


A couple years back when I was visiting the state of Washington, I was laying on a bed mindlessly watching a bunch of YouTube videos, most likely eating something really unhealthy. I then got bored and clicked on a YouTube playlist of songs from the Beatles. 

From that one playlist, I was exposed to a huge catalog of their music. I vividly remember listening to a song for like 30 seconds before fast-forwarding to the next. That’s how I discovered “Isn’t It a Pity” by George Harrison. I didn’t think much at all of the song when I first listened to it. However, I weirdly remembered the word “pity,” which was how I rediscovered the song, by typing the word on the search bar on Spotify. 

“Isn’t It a Pity” is from George Harrsion’s solo album All Things Must Pass. The album was released in November of 1970, a couple of months after the Beatles infamously announced to the world that they would split up. I believe that this song can be interpreted as a symbolic message of the end of the group. 

This song excels with the lyrical structure. It carries a sad and somber feeling when you listen to it. It feels like being in a dream while being forced into a state of reflection. Harrison says that the core message of the song is that, in the end of a relationship, both parties usually carry some fault. 

I really dig this song because the meaning I get out of it. For me, it is about how cruel a lot of people can be towards others without even realizing it. However, no one is immune to this as everyone has faults. It is a song about compassion and understanding and how we need to work a little bit more on treating each other better.   

I don’t typically like preachy songs like this but I believe Harrison is genuine about his message. It’s far from being the best song in my opinion. However, it is a really nice song to have on to reflect on life while driving back home.

-Daniel Calderon


“You’re Gonna Go Far”

Noah Kahan with Brandi Carlile


As a senior in high school, I will have lots of things change next year: I get to live out of the house, I get to leave my parents, I get to make my own decisions, I get to meet new people, I get to leave the town I’ve spent 14 years in, I get to go far. 

This song says, “The college kids are getting so young, ain’t they?” As I grew up, it seemed like college kids were so old – they made their own decisions, lived away from home. Now, I’m the one about to go to college, and who knows if it’s the right time or not. 

Kahan’s folk song has a tone of longing mixed with hope… almost like nostalgia. It is like the artist is holding onto a memory but wants to move forward as he carries it.

Brandi Carlile, a guest on this song, sings, “Who the hell likes livin’ just to die?” This reminds me of a quote that I saw on a t-shirt: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” 

Change is necessary and powerful, but not comfortable. 

In this song, Kahan merges the pain and hope that comes with this change. He captures the comfort of those memories that won’t just disappear. Your current daily lifestyle, your comfort, and even the people you’re closest to get taken by change, but the memories and the feelings connected with them will not be. It lends a strong feeling of hope and peace as they talk about this not being the last time seeing someone they love. Yet, it keeps the bittersweet feeling of having someone leave, and of life changing whether you think it’s the right time or not. “We’ll all be here forever,” the song goes. 

Together in ways that are stronger than proximity, stronger than time, stronger than memory.

-Hannah Chamberlain






A cool ocean breeze that carries the scent of spilled beer, garlic fries, and hotdogs floats through Oracle Park on a nice September night. The 2021 93-51 Giants are one game away from clinching the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Giants end up with a 8-1 lead, meaning the song “Lights” will be sung throughout the stadium as is tradition for a lead going into the bottom of the eighth. 

As the first few chords ring out across the stadium fans start to link arms and sway side to side as they sing along to the lyrics that many know by heart. As I am singing along with friends and fellow bleachers, I took a second to look around and appreciate the atmosphere of shining lights, perfectly cut grass, smooth yet coarse dirt, the happy faces only concerned about their team, and the strength of community brought together by one song. A song

 written by a band that originated in San Francisco, a song that brings you back to 2010, the first time Steve Perry sang “Lights” at game two of that World Series. 

When I looked out onto the field during this time I remembered all the great things that this team has accomplished throughout the years. Three World Series, four no-hitters, one perfect game and countless classic moments. “Lights” to the Giants fan base including myself is so much more than a song to sing while we’re winning. It’s a staple for bringing everyone together and bringing back all the amazing memories of being a Giants fan. The line “when the lights go out in the city and the sun shines on the bay” will always remind me of the beautiful docks and bridges surrounding the orange-red bricks enclosing the greatest stadium in the major leagues. 

-Nico Clark


“Don’t Fear the Reaper”

Agents of Fortune

Blue Oyster Cult


As a young adult in 2024 who is obsessed with 70’s rock, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult stands as a timeless testament to the purpose of music. During any playback of the song, it is impossible not to be sucked into an intense concert in my car passionately singing along with its fathomless lyrics. 

For a song released during an experimental era in music, this song still resonates deeply, like an echo from the past. Its opening guitar riff is instantly recognizable, and invokes a sense of nostalgia even if you grew up in a different era. This type of rock brings me instantly back to childhood. Its brilliant use of electric guitars and synths makes time feel like it’s standing still while it’s on aux.

Sonically, the song is masterclass in restraint and atmosphere. The combination of guitars, bass, and drums creates a beat that is sure to tingle the dopamine in your brain. For the most part, there are no flashy solos or bombastic crescendos. Just a steady, hypnotic rhythm that draws listeners in and holds them captive until the very last note fades away. However, around halfway through the song, the song does a complete 180 and switches its smooth fast vibe for a dark and punk rock theme, where the tempo is slowed and the dynamics increase from mezzo-forte to a fortissimo.

When originally writing the song, Buck Dharma wondered how it would feel to die at a young age, and that’s how the song ends up feeling uncomfortable and weird in the lyrics but deeply astral in its vibe. “Don’t be afraid, come on baby, don’t fear the reaper” while eerie, perfectly encapsulates the rest of the song and its mood.

As I listen to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in the present day, I am amazed by its immunity to time. When I listen, I can’t help but imagine myself in a swimming video with this as the background. Similar to any hardcore rap or drill, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” has a hype-up element that has me hooked. Last year it was my third most listened song with 159 plays at 798 minutes. My #3 listened to song, however my #1 favorite of all time.

-Niko Dumitrescu



Frank Ocean 



During middle school, my two best friends and I would take the bus to each other’s houses and on our way home, we would listen to this song. We were all in a stage of change and obstacles but every time this song came on, it connected us and for a second we would forget every challenge we were going through with the smooth tone and deep meaning behind it. 

Frank Ocean is a songwriter, singer, and rapper and his main genre is R&B. Before becoming a huge fan of his for his song “Godspeed,” he had already become a part of my childhood with the song “Thinkin Bout You,” through the reference of the Vine video that sung “a potato flew around my room before you came.” 

Most of the songs that Frank Ocean makes, he mentions either love, hardships, depression, and raw emotions. Strike Magazines, a cultivating community on college campuses, that inspire and motivate young artists to explore their creativity in a collaborative and safe environment, adds on that Frank Ocean uses metaphors and imagery in his music that allow the audience to vividly visualize the story behind the songs that Ocean is singing. 

For this reason, Frank Ocean was one of my top favorite artists before and still to this day because of how much connection you can feel to his music. In “Godspeed” specifically, it is about appreciating the past but letting go and moving forward in what is to come in the future. But, at the same time it is a love song that I connect it back to with my trio that I will always have a special place in my heart for. 

Therefore, every time “Godspeed” comes on, I feel a sense of peace. This song brings me to a place of nostalgia, remembering the good moments in the past, but also at peace with the present and what is to come in the future. It also just reminds me to love those who came and made me learn a lesson in life but also to appreciate those who are still in my life.

-Martha Gonsalez Contreras


“Un Beso” 

God’s Project



I grew up listening to a lot of different music. A lot of the music I enjoy comes from songs that I used to hear growing up from my family. My brother showed me a lot of Paramore, Fallout Boys, and Twenty Pilots. My dad showed me Caifanes, Enanitos Verdes, and Hombres G. My mother, on the other hand, showed me Vicente Fernandez, Luis Miguel, and of course, Aventura.

Un Beso is a song sung in Spanish. Aventura is a Hispanic group that formed in 1993. Their members were Lenny Santos, Max Santos, Henry Santos and Romeo Santos. They became really popular around the 2000’s for all of them being incredibly handsome. A lot of the songs they produced are about “toxic love.” With lots of songs like “Obsession, Her and I, and My Little Heart.” After they disbanded, only one of them continued to make hits, the main singer Romeo Santos. His genre stayed the same, the young toxic love between couples. I never really cared for the lyrics; it’s the way the song makes you feel like you want to dance all night. 

“Un Beso”, is just the complete opposite of the type of songs usually made by Aventura. Instead of it mainly focusing on affairs and sneaky love, it’s the sweet and beautiful side of love. The music video shows Romeo falling in love with a dancing woman at first sight. They share a kiss and fall in love. The harmonic sound of the guitar begins the opening of the song. It creates this quick and fast rhythm when it comes to being in love. The chorus hits you with, “With only one kiss, you can fall in love.” The whole entire song is about how “a kiss from the right woman can make men go crazy.” The rest of the song turns into a beat you feel like dancing too, a song to dance with someone you love.

-Isabella Mazariegos Jimenes


“Love Yourz”

Forest Hills Drive

J. Cole


At age eight, I was first introduced to J. Cole’s music listening to “No Role Modelz” on the car radio. I thought he was just another rapper trying to get big. It wasn’t until 7th grade that I stumbled across his music again, but this time I was actually listening to the lyrics and sound of instruments, which seemed to bring me peace. He was not rapping nonsense, instead he was storytelling. He was storytelling his personal life, the events he had gone through, and the individuals who made him the person he is today.

I searched for the song that first introduced me to him and came to find out that the song was part of an album filled with other songs. One particular song that stood out to me in the Forest Hills Drive album was “Love Yourz.” Maybe because of the way the song was titled, I had slight knowledge of what the song would already be referring to, but I actually wasn’t prepared for the variety of feelings that would arise out of me. Listening to this song for the first time made me cry, maybe because I was at an age where I was struggling to find peace and happiness within myself or having to go through tons of hardships that no adolescent at my age should have been going through. 

In the song, J. Cole tells his personal life and discusses how he had always compared his lifestyle to those above him, not realizing that there were others, struggling more than he ever had. He realized that having money and the best accessories one could own was not the true meaning of life, but the people who surrounded him and kept him happy while going through his struggles was the real beauty of life. At the same time, I was always comparing myself to others and wishing my life was different, not realizing that those moments would push me to the best of myself. I realized that the people around me were the true beauty of life and that I shouldn’t have wanted my life any other way. Listening to the song for years now, especially in times where I really need to put on the track, has become a huge aspect of my life and has led me into wanting to get the song name tattooed all because of its message.

The world has seemed to normalize many things over happiness and that if you’re not successful, then you’re nothing. J. Cole instead has shown me that there is “no such thing as a life that’s better than yours.”

-Ana Rodriguez Chavez


“Look What You’ve Done”

Take Care



This song brings a lot of healing energy for me and how the struggles of life have made me who I am today and how it only gets better in the future. It reminds me to be thankful for those around me and not let pride and ego take over, because at the end of the day, it is everyone’s first time living as well. It also makes me feel nostalgic and brings me back to my childhood too where it was only me and my dad and both of us looking at cool cars in the city. Overall this song makes me feel motivated to keep going and that there are reasons for family and god, no matter how hard life hardships can get.

The way Drake sings and tells his life story and the struggles he went through with his mom in only 5 minutes is something very beautiful to me and very well done musically. He also includes a voicemail from his grandmother that puts extra sentiment on the song where his grandmother tells him how proud he is of him. By just feeling the beat and harmony, you can tell and feel that he meant every word towards his mom and family. Drake truly gave a touching tribute to his mother. This song is great at describing who shaped Drake for the man he is today. We may not always find time to give thanks to those who deserve it but this song will remind you that without those people we wouldn’t be where we are today. 

Although it may feel sad listening to it, it just goes to show that not everything in life will be perfect but at some point you do reach your peak and the best version of yourself, it also gives you that hope and desire to give back to those around you.

-Analy Ramos Bonilla


Skee Yee

Sexy Redd 


Many people mistakenly believe that I am constantly out and about with my friends, enjoying various activities. However, the truth is that I have spent all of my past summers either indoors or exploring local spots around the Bay with my two closest friends. When summer 2023 finally arrived, we had no idea what to expect, but one thing was certain: we were outside.Three weeks into the summer, my homegirls and I stumbled upon a party where we had the chance to meet another group of friends who instantly reminded us of ourselves.The first time we hung out together since the party,I can vividly recall all of us squeezed into a beamer, blasting music and enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly, one of the guys from the party shouted, “Hey, what’s that one song that goes skee-yee?”

At that moment, my homegirls and I exchanged that look, and we knew our summer would be memorable. It was a group of random teenagers coming together, united by the shared experience of living life to the fullest. The lyrics of the song perfectly captured the carefree and lighthearted spirit of our summer adventures, screaming, “If you see me and you tryna see what’s up (skee-yee).” It was a summer filled with vibrant memories. The song’s playful and unserious nature perfectly mirrored our group of carefree teenagers who were determined to make the most of every moment we spent outside that summer. It’s one of those songs where you can easily remember the lyrics and jam out with others. It was a time of pure enjoyment, where anytime I hear that intro from that song, I am hit with summer 2023 flashbacks.

-Stephanie Alfaro


“Right Now (Na Na Na)” 



How and when did this song appear in my Apple Music playlist for the first time? I guess I will never know. Akon’s music to me is like the seasons. I eventually forget about it then come to find it at another time in my life.  When I do remember this song exists, I try to add it to my playlist, but Apple then says, “This song is already in your playlist.”

I really enjoy Akon’s music as a whole because it’s different, since it is not just R&B or hip-hop. Akon actually mixes R&B vocals with hip-hop grooves, causing his music to stand out. With some of his music, he also incorporates his West African Senegalese roots, merging reggae with African beats and melodies. 

I do not necessarily recall the first time I heard this song but I sure do know that everytime I hear it, it feels like it is the first. The introduction to the song feels as if I am taking a late night drive, with all the car windows rolled down, causing the wind to blow and flow through my hair. No matter how late at night it is, this song will always make me feel the need to get up. 

-Naydelin Lizama Reyes





Peso Pluma 


Playing this song for the first time, I listened to the trombones make a melancholic entrance. The pitch is quite low with a rhythm that is slowly building up. As the singer approaches the melody, he gets in tune with the song. It feels as if everything is put to ease and nothing else matters but what the lyrics say. The themes for this song are personal transformations and embracing what’s next in our lives. This song along with the whole album has made me search and embrace my background and who I want to become. 

This album was released in the summer of 2023. The genre is regional Mexican. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from their home country Guatemala, as many others have before them and after. Growing up in a Hispanic household and going to an American school has challenged me. Being in my household, I learned many principles and values my family brought along with them from their country, and learned Spanish as well. The challenge was going to school and learning the history, laws, and language of this country and being tested on how well I knew it. The only way I could get around in this country or help my parents fill out paperwork was by speaking English. My English was getting better and my Spanish along with my knowledge of my background stayed behind because it was not needed or was ever put to use at school. To succeed in this country, I had to study and learn what this country accomplished, as well as its failures. My parents came to this country to give me and my siblings a better life and with that many challenges have come along the way.  

Through music, I was able to get through many of those challenges. Music is, as for others, a wonderful and powerful frequency that can connect us to a variety of things or just lighten up our mood. “Siempre buena vida me dieron mis padres.” This lyric in the song “always a good life my parents gave me” has taught me that my parents didn’t want me or my siblings to struggle but rather allow us to have what they couldn’t, which is an education and choices to succeed. Every time I listen to this song, I acknowledge my parents for the risks and struggles they took for us to have a better life, and reminds me that anything is possible you just have to have the right mindset. This song connected me more with my roots and taught me more about my background, because my background and who I wanted to become aligned within them.

-Osiel Calderon



Blackpink in your Area



It was the first day of 6th grade, right after lunch, and everyone was being chatty as we entered our fourth period class, Orchestra. Our chatter began to overlap a music video that was displayed on the teacher’s computer on max volume that previously filled the classroom. Once everyone settled, he began introducing himself through his classroom. He showed us all his posters around his classroom and explained to us what each poster was about. One of them was a Blackpink poster. That day, I was introduced to the world of K-pop.

I soon found out that “AS IF IT’S YOUR LAST” was the song that was playing the first day of school. This song was and still is one of my favorites releases from this group, from its recognizable beginning, catchy beats, and synths that gets you up and going. Having me sing and dance along with them despite not knowing any Korean or having any type of fluidity in dancing.

Each member having different types of singing styles is what brings such uniqueness to their songs. That is one thing I love about this group because despite their differences in style it still goes so well together, bringing remarkable diversity and variety to their music. 

After the big synth build-up in the beginning of the song, Jennie comes in with her smooth but sassy vocals. Then comes Jisoo’s rich yet soft tone. And then Rose’s sweet, strong, very melodic voice. Rose perfectly executes the bridge of the song as she always does with her very resonant voice. My personal favorite is Lisa’s powerful, energetic, rapping part of the song. Even in the parts she isn’t particularly rapping, her tone of voice still has that type of swagger feel to it.

Finally, when the song circles back to the chorus in its outro, it is perfectly topped off with one of their most iconic verses, “Blackpink in your Area.”

-Ashley De Leon


“No Hay Ley Parte 2


Kali Uchis & Rauw Alejandro


“No Hay Ley Parte 2”, is a very fun song that for sure hypes people up. It is very groovy and energetic, sung in Spanish with a hint of English. It makes you feel motivated to get up and do something productive whether it is homework or working out. The soothing voices of Kali Uchies and Rauw Alejandro mixed with the rousing Demow and Reggaeton-like beats create a feeling of movement.

Kali Uchis’s music and personality has always been a whole vibe, but when I first heard this song which featured Rauw Alejandro and was a new rendition of her 2022 single, ”No Hay Ley’”, I immediately knew it was a must have in my everyday playlist. Rauw Alejandro, known as the King of Modern Reggaeton introduces himself with his famous saying, “Ra’ Rauw” which smoothly transitions to his section of the song. It 

starts out calm, but tension slowly builds up until the beat finally drops. 

When it does, it unleashes the excitement of the fast beat sounds, high energy tempo and giving off summer vibes.

“No Hay Ley Parte 2” is one of the most liked in Orquideas, Uchis’s recent album and first Spanish album, which was released at the start of this year.

Yet it has sparked my interest in her Spanish music that includes many genres like Latin pop featuring popular artists like Karol G. Even if you don’t understand or speak Spanish this song expands those limitations with enjoyment and excitement.

-Belinda Cardenas


“Could You be loved”


Bob Marley 


My song recommendation is “Could you be Loved” by Bob Marley. This song matters because it has a great message. It reminds the listener to live your life with love for yourself and others. When I listen to this song, it makes me feel both nostalgic for the past and hopeful for the future. The lyrics from “Could you be Loved” tell you to live your life the best way you know how but accept that you are imperfect like everyone else. You shouldn’t judge other people or yourself harshly. 

I was introduced to Bob Marley by my uncle. It reminds me of times when I would ride motorcycles, hang out with my cousins and have fun, laughing with the soundtrack of Bob Marley and the Wailers and other classics. When I was younger, I just listened to rhythms and felt carefree. Now the song both reminds me of simpler times and makes me feel like I can handle the challenges to come. “The road to life is rocky, and you may stumble too,” sings Marley. These words tell us that life is not a straight path and we need to keep moving forward. 

This is a great song because it’s relatable and the musical elements support the message of a shared human experience. “Could you Be Loved” is a simple composition which makes it catchy. It has a faster than normal beat for reggae with more bass which makes it more of a dance song. I saw the Bob Marley movie that was released earlier this year in January. It showed many horrible things and hardships that he faced. Even with those hardships, he was able to spread his message through his songs and bring love to the world. These elements support the message of unity.

-Evey Engelbrecht


“El F “

A Mis 20

Natanael Cano & Junior H 


It was during the pandemic when I started to transition from rap to Mexican music, since I was tired of the same old rap music. After finding some new artists, I found Natanael Cano and instantly liked his music. Natanael Cano had a different style of music compared to other Mexican artists and was the creator of Corridos Tumbados (Trap/Narco Mexican music) and now sings Regional Mexican corridos as well. He is now known as the “King of Corridos Tumbados.”

His music contains all types of different styles, from making cartel music to making love songs, to talking about the struggle and more. In his music you will hear the slapping (a way to play the instrument) of a 4 strings cutaway Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar or double bass.

This song features Junior H who is another big artist right now. This song talks about a powerful man and influential figure in the world of drug trafficking. The lyrics are full of tactics and how highly organized they are in the drug business and how highly respected and feared he is.

Although this song is filled with lyrics of drug trafficking and powerful leaders in the business, you should still listen to it because it has high energy from the beginning until the end.

-Omar Barajas Sanchez

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  • J

    Jose De La RosaApr 16, 2024 at 8:27 am


    • S

      SimmonsApr 16, 2024 at 11:21 am

      Were you able to access it outside of school wifi? It works on my phone!