Music can make or break a party. From trap and house to teen pop and EDM, a single high-energy song can revive an otherwise dead atmosphere. For this issue on party culture at Penn, the staff at Street share some of their favorite party anthems, including the most overplayed tunes at ceremonies and the most underrated bops at pre-games.
–Evan Qiang, music editor
“Sex on Fire” – Kings of Leon
Fourteen years ago our fathers (Kings of Leon) produced on this continent a song to end all songs (“Sex on Fire”), and the world was never the same again. There is no song like that. I love synth-saturated dance-pop as much, if not more, than the next teen, but something about “Sex on Fire” classic head-butts, hair, and a frenzy of guitars and drums turned hits crazy a deliciously different note.
–Anjali Kishore, ego beat
“Telephone” – Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce
The early 2010s belonged to the one and only Lady Gaga, who released bangers like “Just Dance” and “Born That Way,” but no song captured the audience’s attention more than “Telephone.” The track trades passionate lines about the fear of media suffocation and the inability to relax and have fun on the dance floor without public scrutiny. The icing on the cake is the explosive ten-minute music video in which Beyoncé breaks Gaga out of jail only for the pair to poison unsuspecting customers at a restaurant. Talk about an outlandish statement.
–Derek Wong, rhythm music
“disco boobs” – Tove Lo
Complete with references to hard nipples and getting “high as shit”, Tove Lo’s “disco boobs” embodies everything a pre-game anthem should be. With sexually charged lyrics and clean, campy production, this track is incredibly fun and downright infectious in its confidence. Encapsulating the irreverent haze of getting lost at the club, “disco boobs” set the stage for the perfect night out.
–Kira Wang, Editor-in-Chief
“Buttons” – The Pussycat Dolls ft. Snoop Dogg
Without fail, I ask “Buttons” at every party I go to – and it never disappoints. I always start by discussing its merits with a straight man, but after 20 seconds everyone feels, and after 60 seconds they feel. And this is the power of “buttons”.
–Emily White, Editor-in-Chief
“XR2” – MIA
With little more than a ramshackle drum track, an infectious sample of air raid horn and MIA swag animator, “XR2” can turn any dance floor into a war zone. As debatable as Kalait is– and by extension, Maya Arulpragasam’s politics – has aged, her minimalist, glitchy, globalist bangers have never looked so refreshing. And “XR2,” a delirious rave track with nonsensical lyrics and good cerebral dynamics, is the best argument for this less-is-more approach to club tunes.
–Walden Green, print editor
“Dynamite” – Taio Cruz
–Emma Marks, Editor
“Dance With You” – Arkells, Cœur De Pirate, Aly & AJ
canadian group from Arkels “Dance With You” features a Quebec singer Pirate’s heart and the dynamic American pop duo Aly and AJ. The title is retro, addictive and glamorous. The verses of Cœur De Pirate have this lyrical power that gives the impression of dancing in a Parisian bar.
–Emilee Gu, feature writer
“Después de la Playa” – Bad Bunny
“Después de la Playa” paints a splashy picture of a humid Puerto Rican summer and salty ocean breeze – it’s sure to satisfy cravings for a sexy summer anthem. bad bunny masterfully marries new wave Perreo and classic merengue in this song from his hit album A Verano Sin Ti. This song is a certifiable party soundtrack and is blasting out of your car speakers or onto the dance floor – I just can’t get enough of it.
–Natalia Castillo, editor
“Go Back to Azz Up” – JUVENILE, Lil Wayne, Mannie Fresh
“Go Back to Azz Up” is a timeless triumph of hip-hop, capable of drawing crowds of people onto any dance floor from its instantly recognizable first few seconds. Some say climbing Mount Everest is just as hard as not shaking your ass at this pace.
–Jessa Glassman, Rhythm of the Arts
“Free” – Florence + The Machine
For all your socially awkward friends when it comes to partying, don’t worry – Florence + The Machine wrote a song that’s a metaphor for their anxiety! This song may be our little secret – one that sounds like liquid courage, but for those who listen carefully, is it there to relate when Florence sings, “I’m on fire, but I try not to show it / Like It takes me up, brings me down With the heartbeat of a hummingbird, “Free” is a barefoot dance type song. And I hope that with its one-chorus musical marathon, you too can feel free.
–Emily Maiorano, Rhythm of the Arts
“Hella Good” – Without a Doubt
Everybody loves the queen Gwen Stefaniand although her solo hits have made many appearances at Penn parties, I never hear any songs from her Without a doubt time. ” Damn it “, from the band’s 2001 album Solid as a rock, has all the ingredients to be a party classic: a danceable, high-energy beat and easy-to-sing lyrics (all you need to know is “keep dancing”). It’s funky, it’s loud and it’s fucking sexy.
–Arielle Stranger, Assignments Writer
“Superbass” – Nicki Minaj
Hear Nicki Minaj’s opening beat “Super Bass” is like an instant time machine from ten years ago in the best possible way. Although the song is criminally underplayed now, it feels like everyone still managed to store all the words to Minaj’s rap classic somewhere in the back of their minds. No one can resist its clubby, effervescent dance beat and sweet hook.
–Samara Himmelfarb, musical rhythm
“CUFF IT” – Beyonce
With his long-awaited seventh studio album RENAISSANCE, Beyonce brings together dance pop, house and R&B genres to create a modern homage to black dance music of the 70s and 80s.”LEAD IT” begins with the exclamation, “I feel like falling in love/I’m in the mood to fuck something up”, illustrating the seductive and carefree vibe of the song. Bey released RBIRTH the intention to create a place to “shout out, release, [and] feel the freedom,” and the seductive lyrics and vibrant dance beat of this song perfectly capture that feeling of liberation.
–Naima Small, Style Rhythm
“Affairs of Misery” – Paramore
“Affairs of Misery” will make you want to dye your hair red and yell at your ex in the middle of the dance floor – so a normal sibling party experience, but this time you’re listening to music that’s good.
–Sruthi Srinivas, Concentration Beat
“Dancing Alone” – Robyn
Don’t be fooled by its title—“Dancing Alone” is the perfect party song for everyone to dance together. Although more suited to a house party than a frat basement, the song is about dancing like no one else is watching. From the opening notes of its signature synth beat, “Dancing On My Own” is one of music’s best sad disco anthems.
–Jacob Pollack, Rhythm of Film and Television
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
Ten years after its release, “Call me Maybe” continues to be the defining pop classic of the century. From its sugary energy to its deliciously cheesy music video, Carly Rae Jepsen’s signature track will go down as a nostalgic artifact of the past decade when pungent bubblegum dominated the radios. It’s impossible to ignore the quick wit and infectious vigor of “Call Me Maybe,” making it the perfect escape from reality.
–Evan Qiang, Music Editor