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10 songs for your next college rager

Posted on November 14, 2012 by
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By Evan Ross

If you don’t have at least one memory from college that involves a keg/smoke machine/glitter/tight RiR-esque outfits or any combination of those things, your college experience doesn’t really count. (Aside: I guess if you got a degree then it does count, but you had a pretty lame overall experience in my opinion.) And while alcohol (or soda if you’re under 19! *Wink) is probably enough to keep parties going all night, they would be nothing without the music.

I heard Rihanna’s “We Found Love” every single time I went out last year and it was always “the best song everrrrr.” But after a while the same song gets tiring. So, young party goer, what music should you play while hosting your very own rager? Look no further than the list below. The songs appear in the order I think you should play them, meaning I’ve literally done all the work for you.

1. “The Motto” ft. Lil Wayne – Drake

Also known (by me) as “The YOLO Song,” this is one track that at least 75 percent of your guests will know the lyrics to, and nothing loosens people up like a profanity-laced sing-along. Also, it has a great beat that makes even the nerdiest of nerds feel cool (I speak from experience). On three now: YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, THAT’S THE MOTTO N***A YOLO.

Best for: Grinding on some honeys and leaning in a way that suggests you have swag.

2. “When I Was A Youngster” – Rizzle Kicks

This song works as a party track on two levels. First, Rizzle Kicks sample The Clash’s “Revolution Rock,” which will appeal to all the pretentious music snobs at the party (read: people like me). Secondly, the song is dead catchy, and can get even the stiffest of party goers onto the dance floor. As an added bonus, the lyrics are witty and the chorus is ridiculously catchy. It’s super fun to try and singalong using Jordan and Harley’s London accents.

Best for: Dancing manically and pretending you can rap.

3. “Levels” (Skrillex remix) – Avicii

You know that Flo Rida song that you’ve been hearing ad nauseum all summer? Well this much better song is where it originates from. By the time you play this, the party should be in full swing and people will be ready for some hardcore dancing. If this song doesn’t make you want to dance for hours on end then you’re probably a robot. It’s also sure to be a crowd pleaser considering how popular both dubstep and Skrillex have become in the past year and a half.

Best for: Dancing with your hands in the air, dancing while drunk, pleasing techno music snobs. 

4. “Handclaps & Guitars” – Chiddy Bang

Oh, oh, ooooh, oh/I just came to party.” I don’t think there could be a better hook for a song at a house party. The track is off the American rappers’ debut studio album, and is cheerful, upbeat and filled with unbridled joy at being young, which is what a college party should be all about. After all, everyone just came to party

Best for: Dancing with a large group friends.

5. “Laserlight” ft. David Guetta – Jessie J

Normally I wouldn’t like a pop-y anthem like this, but Jessie J’s powerhouse vocals knocked me off my feet when I saw her perform this on the Graham Norton Show. This song is a mix of being upbeat and laid back, which makes it perfect for that middle of the party break; people know during this track that it’s okay to rest those tired feet while still bobbing enthusiastically to the beat.

Best for: Refilling your drink, bathroom breaks, making out with the dude you met in the drinks line.

6. “Sunrise” – Childish Gambino

I can’t stress the importance of good rap enough. If you play enough good rap at a party people will think you’re cool, even if you’ve been secretly writing fan fiction for years (not that I know anybody who does that. Nope. Not at all…). Once people are refreshed and have possibly “made some new friends” throw this track on. This is one of the highest energy songs off of Childish Gambino’s (aka Donald Glover from Community) first studio album Camp. It’s filled with all the cool pop culture references kids love these day (“it’s black rock like a fuckin Lost episode!”). The rock sounding chorus will get everyone back on their feet — even those who are normally intimidated by rap.

Best for: picking up the tempo of the party and getting people into rap.

7. “Punching In A Dream” – The Naked and Famous

College students love indie music. It is known, Khaleesi. New Zealand outfit The Naked and Famous are currently the coolest kids on the indie circuit. Turn this song on and watch every single hipster in attendance glance at each other because they thought they were the only ones who knew this song. There’s something bright about it, which seems to inspire madness. Turn it up, and stand back.

Best for: Raving hardcore and impressing hipsters.

8. “Runaway Love” – Diamond Rings

This song is off Diamond Rings’ second album, which only came out a few weeks ago. It’s new and trendy, something loved by people under 30 everywhere. The song celebrates young love, which will appeal to the couples in the room without making everybody else want to hurl. It’s also sort of inspiring for people who are crushing — so be ready for some spontaneous makeout sessions! Also, Diamond Rings is from Toronto which adds to the cool factor, unless you’re throwing this party outside of Tdot, in which case you should keep that information to yourself.

Best for: Kissing, fornication and dancing awkwardly (or excellently! Singles can cut it too!) by yourself in a corner.

9. “Anything Could Happen” (Blood Diamonds remix) – Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding is another indie darling and has serious party cred since she used to date Skrillex. This song is the most infectious track off her second album Halcyon and it may be the catchiest song she has ever done, which is why I love it. This can be that one last “go hard!” song before everyone’s legs fall off, or people start puking, whichever comes first.

Best for: The final grind on the sexy drinks line guy and dancing your way to the bathroom.

10. “High For This” – The Weeknd

This guy is probably the coolest thing happening in R&B right now, making the fact that he’s from Toronto even more exciting. The track somehow manages to be simultaneously upbeat, chilled out and sexy, and perfectly sets you up for whatever you happen to be doing after the party. Going home with that special someone? You will be halfway out of your clothes by the time this song finishes. Going home alone? This is the perfect come down from a night of hard partying. On the bathroom floor? Perfect jam for writhing around in what you think is a horizontal approximation for dancing. A bona fide people pleaser!

Best for: Flirtatiously suggesting that you share a cab with sexy drinks line guy or girl, singing along in a way that suggests you think you are The Weeknd (this one may be just me).

So there you have it, a list of songs guaranteed to make you the talk of the hangover coffee line/walk of shame crowd. Go forth musical padawan and, as Drizzy would say, make me proud. What are some of your favourite house party songs?

Also see: How to throw a sweet house party.

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