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Playlists From Your Peers: Kilcline's Top Motivational Songs

By Owen Kilcline

February 12, 2021

Hello, I’m Owen Kilcline once again, and these are my top 50 motivational songs.

On this playlist I followed the pattern of adding songs that motivate me through my day and keep me moving while I’m taking my 45 minute walk home. While not all of these songs follow the “motivational” song criteria, I tried to keep it very upbeat throughout. Again, I tried to restrain myself to only adding one song per album, but there are a few albums that I love too much to only put ONE song, so the playlist wouldn’t be exactly fifty songs long. If you want the full experience of any of these songs, I suggest listening to literally any of the albums from any of the songs in this playlist.

Personal Favorites:

Gospel For A New Century - Yves Tumor

The song at the beginning of Yves Tumor’s 2020 album, Heaven To A Tortured Mind, starts with soul samples and the verses are full of drawn out and distant sounding vocals, masterfully leading you into the most hard-hitting chorus of 2020. In total, this is absolutely my favorite song of 2020, and it’s extremely easy to see why: the production is heavenly and grand, the pacing is perfect, the way the verse leads into the chorus is extremely satisfying to the ears. Their voice is distinct, grand, awe-inspiring, and above all, incredibly confident. Perfect song.

Runaway - Kanye West

If you know me at all, you knew that Kanye was going to end up in my personal favorites list, so this is not a surprise. Where to start with this song… this is the quintessential Kanye West song. Runaway represents Kanye as a person in all, a mess, and yet still proud of it. After Kanye’s streak of bad publicity before 2010 after his mother’s death took a toll on him, he came back with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Runaway is the 9th track off of MBDTF, and it is huge. Runaway is a 9 minute technological marvel that Kanye made to accept who he is. The song starts off with a singular E note on piano being played in succession for 20 seconds, then it drops octaves and follows a melody for another 18 seconds, then Kanye throws you for a loop and inserts hard hitting drums and synth bass. Most of the song is made off the piano, synth, and drums. “Runaway” in lyrical content is about Kanye owning up to his faults, but at the same time, celebrating this fact. In the chorus of Runaway, Kanye sings,

“Let’s have a toast for the d––––– bags
Let’s have a toast for the a––holes
Let’s have a toast for the s–––bags
Every one of them that I know
Let’s have a toast for the j––– offs
That’ll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Runaway fast as you can”

This song is a disastrous celebration of who he is, and that’s what makes it so good. It’s a plea to himself to be comfortable in his own skin. The song ends with a, stay with me now, three minute long autotuned mess of Kanye humming and mumbling into a microphone supported by an orchestra. Now, I know that sounds really really weird but, trust me on this, listen, and you will get why it is so good.

All Caps - MF DOOM (RIP)

MF DOOM was one of the most gifted rappers/lyricists/MCs/people that have ever stepped on this planet. While he does have a fantastic discography, the best way to get into his music is listening to his Madlib-produced masterpiece, Madvillainy. All Caps is a trip through all of DOOM’s usual tricks. His voice, his production, his lyricism, and his artistry all shine through on this track, with his witty wordplay and the way he plays around the beat standing out the most to me. When listening to anything by MF DOOM, I suggest pulling up the lyrics of the song you’re listening to. It’s really mind-blowing to see how fantastic he was at wordplay, delivery, and style. Not to mention the fact that one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time. Madlib also produced this track along with all of Madvillain MF DOOM tragically left us on October 31st, 2020, but the legacy he left behind is easily one of the greatest discographies of any hip hop artist.

Honorable Mentions:

Be(Intro) - Common

Plug In Baby - Muse

House Of Balloons / Glass Table Girls - The Weeknd

Hope you enjoy the playlist!

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