Finals week: a time of despair, anxiety, and countless sleepless nights – but even misery and stress needs a soundtrack, which is why finals week and the accompanying cram sessions call for study jams! Now I’m sure you know what music you like better than anyone, let alone me, but just in case you need some suggestions (who knows, maybe you take a study break to do some music shopping) here’s 18 study jams to listen to while you study for finals! A little disclaimer though: I’m a big fan of metal and hardcore rap, so my ideas about what constitutes as “good” or “study” music might be a smidge different than yours. That’s okay though, the world would be a boring place if we all had the same opinions and tastes wouldn’t it?
Again, this is just my personal preference, I’m just hoping to at the very least give you some ideas to add to your playlist of study jams. My personal preference is this: I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the new music that’s being made by the new hit mumble rappers. I see the draw and appreciate it, it’s just not my thing. What’s more, I’m going to try and stay away from mainstream work in this article, as well as older work for the sake of making new suggestions. And what better way to steer clear of the mainstream than go to hardcore rap? The dark beats and skillful yet often savage (as in, offensive) lyrics make this a great genre for those who like that sort of thing, myself included. Granted, the non-mainstream approach means I won’t be able to talk about Eminem. Furthermore, as much as I’d like to talk about them, I’m going to stay away from my other favorites, Jarren Benton and Hopsin to name a few, as alas they haven’t dropped any new albums that recently (but they’re awesome so I think they at least deserve a mention). Anyways, here are a few artists that do meet the criteria:
Cypress Hill – Elephants On Acid
Here’s an old-school artist making a comeback: Cypress Hill (don’t worry, it’s a good comeback)! This album is a great study jam to have on your phone. Also perfect for cruizing, chillin’, or having a little soiree.
1. Locos: perfect for studying and cruizing around, this dark track is definitely one of the best of the album.
2. Put Em in the Ground: a bit more of a sense of violent intent than Locos but also a great song.
Chris Webby – Wednesday After Next
Chris Webby has time and time again proven himself a great rapper. These study jams are part of his new album where he gives his usual style a bit of a twist. If you’re a fan of skillful precision rapping laden with dope lines, this album has the study jams for you!
3. High Grade, featuring Dizzy Wright & Alandon: This toketastic song gives Chris Webby’s usual skillful lyrical style a reggae twist. If you like these components, then you will be wanting to get this song ASAP!
4. Best Out, Featuring Krizz Kaliko & Bennett: A great song about determination in the face of doubt, this track is a must-have for our study jams. Between Webby’s and Krizz Kaliko’s skillful lyrics and Bennett’s beautiful voice, you can’t go wrong with this one!
Slaine – One Day
Slaine recently dropped an awesome album at the end of last year: One Day. If you’re a Slaine fan or even just a dope lyric enthusiast, this is the album for you. The veteran lyricist has given us once again a dark outlook of urban life and reality itself. If you like to study to badass beats and artful, well-worded lyrics, you’ll at the very least be wanting to peruse these two tracks from the album.
5. The Time Is Now: A song about living in the moment, to “get what’s yours or get got,” and to not let the tragedy of the past or uncertainty of the future interfere. It’s arguably one of the most upbeat tracks on the album, and definitely a must-have for your hardcore rap study jams.
6. Trick The Trap: Another dark one for our study jams; about the futility of trying to outsmart the dangerous game. A perfect tune for the studious hardcore rap enthusiast.
Now I am by no means a metal enthusiast to the point that I know the name of every subgenre by heart, but I do know I love metal and I know what metal sounds good to me. Here are a few new albums that sound good to me, and I certainly hope that you will not only like them but add them to your metal study jams playlist as well!
Atreyu – In Our Wake
Okay fine so this is just the deluxe version of an album that was released in 2018, but still – awesome album, and technically it’s Atreyu’s latest, so it’s going in our study jams! Atreyu is a metal band that hasn’t really changed their style much over the years (like many artists seem to be doing these days, assumedly to appeal to previously untapped demographics). Their latest album, In Our Wake, holds true to their usual style of relatively heavy metal with an emphasis on strong vocals.
7. House of Gold: This track is on the original album, but it’s such an awesome song that I can’t help but share it!
8. Stronger Than Me: A particularly heavy addition to the album in the deluxe edition, and definitely a must-have for our metal study jams playlist!
Bring Me The Horizon – Amo
Bring Me The Horizon is another metal band that has decided to lighten their content up for new demographics. No more is it a simple metal band, but one with twists of pop and electronic stylings to make some music that, quite frankly, would be awesome for an action movie. It’s a very pump-you-up style, and that’s why it’s going in our finals week study jams!
9. Wonderful life, featuring Dani Filth: a song more on the metal side, yet with a dark pop-style.
10. MANTRA: the defining song of Bring Me The Horizon’s turning away from heavier metal – this one’s all electronic and pop style yet dark with notes of the band’s metal soul. Not great for those dedicated to Bring Me The Horizons original style, but perfect for those who like to switch it up as well as new entirely demographics of people whose cup of tea isn’t their previous style.
Coldrain – The Side Effects
The popularity of Japanese culture in the United States has taken a rather drastic increase lately – namely in the forms of anime as well as the correlating music; J-pop, metal, and rock. Coldrain is one of those among them, a Japanese metal band that you can really sing along to, mostly because the lead singer, Masato Hayakawa, sings in perfect English (his mother is American). Anime fans might recognize their songs from the new hit anime Fire Force. If you like this kind of music, or just want to venture outside the box a little, you’ll definitely be wanting to add this album to your study jams playlist!
11. MAYDAY, featuring Ryo: one of the latest songs to intro Fire Force, and really just an all-around awesome metal song for your study jams!
12. Insomnia: a melodic metal song with an eerie intro and bittersweet notes.
I Prevail – Trauma
I Prevail has never been the typical metal band. Now in their new album, they have made a metal masterpiece by throwing in dubby electronics, poppy undertones, and a plethora of synths and mind-blowing riffs that will make you want to air guitar. Definitely a great addition to anyone’s metal study jams. Just maybe don’t take the lyrics about struggling with anxiety and depression to heart too much while you’re trying to study for finals.
13. Bow Down: a song that really stays true to the heavy nature of I Prevail. Between the sick guitar riffs, awesome vocals, and all-around badassness of this track, how can you afford to not have this in your metal study jams playlist?
14. Breaking Down: with heavy dubby electronics, poppy vocals, and metal overtones, this is a great metal song for your study jams playlist. That said, maybe don’t listen to this one while you’re having a finals-related mental breakdown.
EDM is not exactly my forte, however, I am constantly surrounded by aficionados of the genre, and I find that there are some subgenres within that I can listen to that I genuinely enjoy, and what’s more, are great for study jams. EDM is an expansively broad genre; it isn’t all House and filthy head-banging dubstep after all. There’s a lot of EDM that incorporates more soothing factors like funk and old-school hip-hop blends (such as Griz for example), or perhaps more trancy vibes, all of which are awesome for studying. And surely there’s bound to be bass-heads so fierce that they listen to head-bangers while they study – hopefully, I’ll have a little something for you too!
KOAN Sound – Intervals Above EP
In this new EP, Koan Sound seems to have shifted in a slightly different direction than usual. He gives an organic, radiant and chill vibe to his electronics in this album, whilst still maintaining some notes of his usual funkalicious forte. It is these factors precisely that make it a great album to add to your EDM study jams for finals this year!
15. Radiant: relaxing and chill, yet funky and something that you can really get into, Radiant is the perfect addition to your EDM study jams playlist
16. Vibrant: it is as the name suggests, this track is indeed vibrant, organic, and chill. This track is a truly perfect song for finding some electronic zen over finals week
Minnesota – Too Faced EP
Minnesota is all about the trippy electronic mixed with funk vibes and heavy wubs. He’s my last, but definitely not my least favorite addition to our finals week study jams!
17. Too Faced: the song for which the EP was named, this track is an awesome heavy electronic funk with blasts of old-school hip-hop. It’s a song that’s sure to have you bobbing in your seat while you study, assuming you add this to your study jams playlist.
18. Lattice: More heavy on the electronic side than it’s predecessor, but still a great track that will be perfect for your EDM study jam playlist.