A comprehensive ranking of all 55 songs on my Spotify Time Capsule playlist
I never knew how little I matured since high school until I was forced to confront how my music preferences just simply have not changed. Spotify’s Time Capsule had the gall to put 55 songs in front of my face that are supposed to make me nostalgic and by god, did it work. This Time Capsule playlist reads more like a Friday night in a fraternity basement than those bonfire nights in high school. Anyway, here’s a ranking of all 55 of my Time Capsule songs from least accurate to most, with some multi-way ties.
The ones I’ve never heard of
55. “Johnny Boy”—Twenty One Pilots
I’m not against the Twenty One Pilots (ToP) pick because, to be completely honest, I listened to so much ToP senior year of high school. What I’m against is the song choice. I’m pretty sure I know the words the majority of ToP’s discography and I’ve never heard of “Johnny Boy” before. Give me “Car Radio,” you stupid algorithm.
T- 49. “Under the Bridge”—Red Hot Chili Peppers, “The Scientist”—Coldplay, “Without Me”—Eminem, “Clint Eastwood”—The Gorillaz, “Hol’ Up”—Kendrick Lamar, “Just What I Am”—Kid Cudi
Pretty sure I’ve never listened to any of these songs. Except “Hol’ Up.” But, like, why not pick any other Kendrick Lamar song?
T- 46. “Buzzin’”—Shwayze, “No Faith in Brooklyn”—Hoodie Allen, “Love is Overrated”—Shwayze
LOL freshman year. LOL Hoodie Allen making a jump rope of bras. LOL Shwayze hooking up with a Wash. U. student. LOL college.
There’s actually a fun story behind this one. This summer, I was sent to write a review of a Muse concert in St. Louis having never listened to Muse before in my life. I binge-listened to the band for the three days leading up to the concert just so that I would have a small amount of expertise. I guess that I played “Uprising” so many times in such a short period of time that I convinced Spotify I actually enjoyed Muse and that they once played an integral role in my life. The concert was eh.
T-42. “Kilojoules”—Freelance Whales, “Hey There Delilah”—Plain White T’s, “West Coast”—Coconut Records
When I remember that I had an indie-folk phase.
T-40. “Bump N’ Grind”—R. Kelly, “Ignition Remix”—R. Kelly
R. Kelly has never been an upstanding human being to be sure, but prior to this summer, he seemed to be firmly in the Michael Jackson and Eminem camp of “questionable personal lives with decent music.” Now with all his brainwashing coming to the forefront, I just feel gross seeing these songs on the playlist. But also, LOL freshman year round two.
T-37. “Doses and Mimosas”—Cherub, “Move Along”—The All-American Rejects, “Opposite of Adults”—Chiddy Bang
LOL sophomore year and LOL SPB. You guys try. We appreciate you.
Hip-hop featuring niche Eminem
T-35. “Like Toy Soldiers”—Eminem, “Till I Collapse”—Eminem
For about a year and a half in high school, “Like Toy Soldiers” was my favorite song, and I mean my absolute favorite song. I had a 25-minute drive home after baseball practice and I would play it three times in a row and then cap it off with “‘Till I Collapse” just because I was an angry white boy. I haven’t listened to Eminem since high school. This is less nostalgic and more just worrisome.
T-32. “F—–’ Problems”—A$AP Rocky, “Energy”—Drake, “HYFR”—Drake
Can you tell I rushed Beta Theta Pi?
T-30. “Gold Digger”—Kanye West, “Jesus Walks”—Kanye West
After taking Professor Jeffrey McCune’s class on Kanye West, I have a newfound appreciation for these songs, notably as seminal literary texts on the black male’s American experience. I highly recommend looking into the theory behind Kanye’s Higher Education trilogy, and then comparing that to his newer gospel-focused work and drawing your own conclusions on how society and culture have changed over the course of Kanye’s career, perhaps drawing conclusions on the institutions that people put their faith in these days. Just saying.
Songs that I claim to have listened to in high school, but didn’t
T-28. “Everybody”—Backstreet Boys, “Rock Your Body”—Justin Timberlake
You can tell that I don’t know the difference between these two songs because I transpose the lyrics whenever one or the other comes on. If you hear me humming, “Everybody, rock your body, please don’t walk away,” just know that I’m trying really, really hard to fit in.
27. “Someday”—The Strokes
I literally thought The Shins sang this song until I listened to it to write this article. I’ve been lying about liking The Shins for so long now.
26. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”—Fall Out Boy
Thanks for the memories even if they weren’t so great. Thnks fr th mmrs vn f thy wrnt s grt. A o e eoie ee i e ee o ea.
Fall Out Boy is iconic.
T-24. “Promiscuous”—Nelly Furtado, “Temperature”—Sean Paul
Why couldn’t this be “Hot in Herre” by Nelly and “Fire Burning” by Sean Kingston? I identify much more fully with those songs.
Songs with “on top” in the name
23. “On Top”— Flume
This song was the walkup song of my friend and baseball teammate, Tristan. There is only one story that Tristan will always be remembered for, and that is the time he farted during junior year calculus and more than a fart came out. He then waddled out of the room, only to return a moment later, with boxers in hand. Coach Lanier, our teacher, then looked Tristan in the eye and said, “More fiber might help,” before going back to teaching. Thank you Flume, for making a song that will always remind me of the necessity of fiber.
22. “Love on Top”— Beyonce
The real travesty is this is the only Beyonce song on this entire playlist. No “Drunk in Love,” “Crazy in Love” or “7/11.” Honestly, I feel attacked, Spotify.
Songs that I actually listened to in high school, but pretended I didn’t
T-20. “Pumped Up Kicks”—Foster the People, “What You Know”—Two Door Cinema Club
I went to a Southern, preppy, rich-as-the-day-is-long high school—I couldn’t out myself as a dirty hippy too early.
T-18. “Come a Little Closer”—Cage the Elephant, “Shake Me Down”—Cage the Elephant
Listening to Cage the Elephant in a grungy parking lot with hundreds of St. Louisians dressed in their best festival attire is probably the closest I’ve ever come to fulfilling a childhood dream. Scream-shouting “Not a lot of people left around” from the back of the crowd while everyone else kind of just stood there and nodded their head embodies my personality more than anything else I can think of. Long live Cage the Elephant. Long live awkward high school Wesley.
17. “Kiss Kiss”—Chris Brown
17. “Kiss Kiss”—Chris Brown
Until around sophomore year of college, I could recite the DJ/caller conversation at the beginning of this song from memory. I can’t do that anymore, but I still got all the words to the actual song. It’s the little victories.
Songs that I will hum at any given moment unprompted
T-15. “1985”—Bowling for Soup, “Stacy’s Mom”—Fountains of Wayne
Sometimes I wish I was born in a different decade so I could be that annoying kid who was way too into these songs when they first came out. Like, can you imagine yourself picking up a cassette of “Stacy’s Mom” on release day and just wilding out in your mom’s station wagon? This song would have been straight up risque. You would have been the epitome of edge. No memes needed.
T-13. “Ms. Jackson”—OutKast, “Hey Ya!”— OutKast
LouFest has officially allowed me to see the following artists, in no particular order: Outkast, Snoop Dogg, Arctic Monkeys and Cage the Elephant. If you ever want to claim that LouFest doesn’t know its target audience is annoying college kids who have only barely outgrown their angst, you’re wrong.
I go to Wash. U. I love acronyms. Sue me.
11. “Skinny Love”—Bon Iver
I’m also a sad boy apparently.
How to remind yourself of prom night
10. “My Boo”—Usher
9. “SexyBack”—Justin Timberlake
Not my prom night necessarily, but I’m sure someone’s followed this trajectory of music. Or maybe not. It’s kind of an aggressive sequence of events. And a lot of toxic masculinity, but what’s more high school prom than toxic masculinity. All I know is I will attempt to gyrate uncomfortably in my car whenever these songs come on.
That one time you spent a night on a college campus as a high schooler
7. “I Love College”—Asher Roth
College hasn’t not been like this. It also hasn’t not not been like this. Need more years to continue to evaluate the data. Could I get a research grant for this?
Remembering when you worked out and had stamina
6. “Hips Don’t Lie”— Shakira
5. “Everytime We Touch”— Cascada
4. “American Boy”— Estelle
I love to dance. I know this, you know this, and apparently, Spotify knows this. Of these three songs, I will dance aggressively to every single second, letting the sweat pour and coat the floor until it is of a consistency on which a slip ’n slide can be started. Work will be put in on these three, lack of exercise over the past three years be damned.
The top three
3. “Otherside”—Red Hot Chili Peppers
To this day, I will play “Otherside” on repeat, 14 times in a row when I have a road trip of more than two hours. Fun fact: If your eyes are closed while you scream-sing Red Hot Chili Peppers, the fields of Illinois don’t seem so bad.
2. “X Gon’ Give it To Ya”—DMX
“Alexa! Play ‘X Gon’ Give it To Ya’ by DMX”—Me, circa December 2016 while my roommate was trying to do homework and also every subsequent time someone has owned an Alexa.
1. “Mr. Brightside”—The Killers
Once, in order to stall so that a surprise party could be set up, I played “Mr. Brightside” and the driver of the car pretended to be so caught up in the music that she forgot where she was going and took a 10 minute detour. “Mr. Brightside” is the only song that means anything in my life and will ever mean anything in my life.
Listen to the Spotify Time Capsule below.