As a sophomore who may or may not have enough credits to get to junior standing, my cap and gown seem to sit at a remote mountaintop. So for those of you graduating, I can’t say I feel your pain.
But I do know of a few tracks that might help.
You’ve managed to attain your degree. Here’s a list of songs to help you shake off all the anxieties that accompany that last leap into adulthood.
We Major – Kanye West (Ft. Nas & Really Doe)
The neat and upbeat style of Kanye’s self-affirmations, laid against a rising swell of blaring horns, make for a good accompanying soundtrack to wrap your hand around that diploma.
How Much a Dollar Cost – Kendrick Lamar (Ft. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley)
The Compton rapper’s meditation on wealth and the value of a single dollar might hit a little too close to home for some graduates walking off the graduation stage into a life of debt and entry-level salaries.
But it’s also a sobering reminder of the necessity of coin.
Work Remix – ASAP Ferg (Ft. ASAP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad James & Schoolboy Q)
While you may have listened to this song while wall-twerking as a wild-and-out freshman, the explosive, star-studded track might take on a whole new meaning as you prepare yourself for that long and dreaded job search.
Hopefully your job prospects don’t end up so bad that you’ll resort to merchandising dope and other related paraphernalia on Hoover Street.
Kickin’ Back – Mila J
There are songs for the money-driven and eager-to-work graduates, and there are ones for those who stay put on the philosophy that good things come to those who wait.
Also known as Jamila Akiko Aba Chilombo, Mila J says in her song “Kickin’ Back” that the first thing she thinks about when coming home isn’t work; she’s thinking about being anything but productive, doing things like rolling weed and putting her phone on airplane mode.
For graduates who might want to put off the job search and take some time for themselves, putting their phones on airplane mode might be just the thing to do, especially when mom is harping on you over text to find work and start your life.
Dis Generation – A Tribe Called Quest
As a college graduate in a period of both political tumult and technological inspiration, you carry the most promise for world change.
So let Q-Tip, Phife, Ali and Jarobi serve as your guides through this meditation on the millennial generation, when on the path to that change.
Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest
Perhaps an ode to the group’s unbeaten, unstifled and uproarious spirit, this 1990 hit single is titled to ask a very simple question that invites confidence and positivity.
The response to the title, “Yes you can,” then beckons the Tribe to drop some knowledge about their uniqueness and superiority in both rhythm and luxurious guitar strums.
This song is pr obably the best one to start off commencement, a time when conflicted feelings of excitement and vulnerability are at an all-time high.
When in doubt, just repeat the chorus’ mantra to yourself. And be sure to place extra emphasis on the “Yes you can” as you turn your tassel.