Grooves for the Moves: Lowkey Aggressive Enough to Wake You Up


Kenny Mason performing at Firefly. Source: Reed Renner

Clarise Khan

The only rule I had when going into this semester was no 8 AMs. I am currently taking three. I don’t know about the rest of my classmates, but I cannot stay awake during the walk to campus, especially when waiting to cross Nebraska Ave NW. If you share the same mindset, you need aggressive, lyrical music to get you through the morning. Here are my recommendations for your sometimes loud, lowkey aggressive, perhaps explicit, 8 AM playlist.

Hit – Kenny Mason

If you don’t have a Kenny Mason song in your rotation right now, what are you doing? His lyricism and infectious energy on “Hit” are probably the best parts of my commute right now. Maybe I’m slightly biased after hearing him perform at Firefly, but hear me out. There was a considerable crowd before his set, but during this song, he caught the attention of every single person leaving the festival. The chorus of this song turns into a chant that is impossible not to scream at the top of your lungs (“Oh s**t, bro, we just HIT!”), so try not to bother your other commuters too much.


Santa Monica Blvd – IDK

When the beat instantly kicks in, you know you’re in for a good time. IDK is giving us full energy on this track, which I’d label as a triumphant chant. I personally love the rapid-paced flow that’s punctuated by a punchy hook and bass. He also sprinkles in comedic bars that add another layer of personality to an already personal track about his hard-earned success. My personal favorite?  “Now I got gophers fuckin’ up my lawn, hahaha // That shit is annoying”.


Me (FWM) (feat. A$AP Ferg) – Meek Mill 

Can I be honest with you? When I first heard this track, my initial reaction was “Is that really A$AP Ferg? How is he on this track?” I always felt like Ferg never matched the energy that I wanted him to and I was always pretty disappointed with the outcomes. His performance on this track is NOT the case. I love this track, the piano in the back, the tight snares, Meek’s flow leading up to the signature “coo coo” ad-lib letting the listener know that Ferg’s about to demolish the beat. And he does! This song’s been on repeat, and it’s exclusively due to this energetic, funny, loud verse (sorry Meek).


Fried Rice (with JID) – Bas 

This beat is so texturally interesting. The metallic clanging and melodic hums really set the vibe, and Bas kills it with his first verse. His vibes on the track are crazy, he spits with such an ease that could only be found in Queens, NY. Speaking of flows, the transition between his verse and JID’s is a great change of pace for the new flow. I mean, did we expect JID to give us a bad feature? Personally, his intricate, unique flow makes up for the loudness I would expect to find in an aggressive playlist. Definitely a song that needs to be on your rotation in the early AMs.