I’ve been listening to K-pop for about two years now. In that time, I’ve amassed a variety of playlists to fit my every K-pop mood. One such playlist that has been in my heavy rotation as of late is the one that I haphazardly titled in my Spotify as “bangerrrrr.” And yes, it’s all lower case and includes not one “r,” but FIVE. That way you know it’s REAL BANGERS ONLY.

I listen to this playlist when I need a pick-me-up. It’s something that either distracts me from being stressed at work or generally feeling empty inside. On occasion, this is the playlist I listen to when I want to flex on the haters (insert cool sunglasses emoji here).

“Regular-English Ver.” by NCT 127

If you want certified bangers, look no further than NCT 127, particularly their song “Regular.” This song is a total gem with lyrics like “I be walkin’ with the cheese, that’s that queso (Queso, queso)” and “Drippin’, water faucet, splash (Splash).” However, my favorite lyric in this song is “Iced out both my wrists now I can barely see the time.” Is it relatable? Hell no. I barely have ice in my freezer. But do I still feel boss as heck when I accidentally sing that line out loud on my way to class? HELL YES. This song gets additional points because 99% of it is in English so I can actually try to sing along and not stumble over my elementary Korean. Saranghae my friends.

“Ooh La La La” by EXO

Liking EXO’s music is probably the only thing I have in common with Ivanka Trump. I’m still coming to terms with how odd that statement is, but this is our reality now. This song is groovy and smooth, perfect for gliding around the point of failure with sunglasses and a beret. I don’t know why, but whenever I listen to this I just imagine being in a jazz club environment but with fog machines everywhere and super plush velvet couches. Very chill, very confidence-boosting and lots of side-to-side head-bopping action.

“’無限的我 무한적아;LIMITLESS” by NCT 127

Yes, ANOTHER NCT 127 song — I said you could rely on them for straight bangers! “Limitless” is just plain cinematic. This is what you hear in the inspirational training montage of any action movie. So, use this song as the perfect opportunity to feel like you’re in your own movie training session while cramming at 4 a.m. for your exam at 8 a.m. Also, the bonus here is a really cool performance music video that I encourage everyone to watch while procrastinating for said exam. The dancing and the visuals get me HYPE.

“Malibu” by ph-1

This song is my favorite one on the list. It’s perfect in every way. The beat? Groovy and flawless. The flow? Impeccable. The balance of English and Korean lyrics? Very cleverly done! The instrumental is unique with its melodic jazzy riffs juxtaposing heavy hip-hop beats. This song makes me envision being in the car with four of my friends and just head-bopping in unison as we move on down the road in bumper to bumper traffic. Sometimes I want to go drive just so I can listen to this song and live out my dream. But in most of those times, I settle for watching the hilarious music video on repeat when I don’t want to do my homework. Full disclosure: I definitely find the music video funnier than it actually is because it’s a parody on the concept of “The News Station,” and I’m a journalism major. My favorite part is when Mokyo shows us the weather (the only information on the screen being “excessive heat”). I’m considering putting that screenshot on my graduation cap.

The honorable mentions on this playlist include: “BODY” by MINO, “Love Shot” by EXO and a surprise non-k-pop bop “Barbie & Ken” by Jesse (it just fits the overall playlist vibe, I promise).

I hope this playlist gives you that walking-down-the-runway bounce in your step as you saunter off into the new semester. Fighting! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

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