Every once in awhile, you may find yourself asking things like "who am I?" "What is the meaning of life?" "What does it even mean to exist?" If you find yourself spiralling into doubt and asking these questions, you may very well be having an existential crisis. Sure, you could sit in silence, freaking out about whether or not the universe has a purpose, but don't you think it'd be more fun with music? I think so! That's why I've compiled this list of songs that will provide the perfect soundtrack for the next time you're having an existential crisis.
1. Watsky - "Tiny Glowing Screens Part 2"
"Tiny Glowing Screens Part 2" is by far my favorite thing Watsky has done. The song is more of a spoken word than a rap, and the poetic skill displayed in this song is incredible. From the very first line, "Tiny Glowing Screens Part 2" will have you questioning everything - "There's 7 billion 46 million people on the planet, and most of us have the audacity to think we matter." Watsky dives right into questioning whether the things we do and care about during our lives really matter in the context of the universe, with lines like "If we could see the context of the universe in which we exist, and we could see how small each one of us is against the vastness of what we don't know, no one would ever audition for a McDonald's commercial again."
2. Kid Cudi - "Pursuit of Happiness"
Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness" is all about trying to find happiness and fulfillment, mainly in things like drugs, alcohol, and generally taking risks, and being unable to find true happiness in these things. Although he never straight up says he's unhappy in the song, and in fact starts off by saying he's "feeling lit, feeling right," it's clear in the chorus that he hasn't found the happiness he's pursuing with the lines "I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know, everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. Hey, I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good." With questions like "what is happiness" and "how do I get it," this song will probably fit well with your own existential crisis.
3. Childish Gambino - "No Exit"
The title of Childish Gambino's song "No Exit" is actually a reference to the play by the same name, written by French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Overall, this song is kind of unsettling, dark, and introspective, making it a perfect song to listen to when you yourself are feeling unsettled, dark, and introspective.
4. Marina and the Diamonds - "Valley of the Dolls"
Marina and the Diamonds' whole Electra Heart
album features an interesting juxtaposition between peppy sounding electro-pop songs and lyrics that reveal sadness and self doubt, but "Valley of the Dolls" has more "existential crisis" vibes than the rest of the songs on the album. The instrumental part of the song is very smooth and kind of cutesy, but the lyrics are dripping with angst. In the pre-chorus, for example, Marina sings "Born with a void, hard to destroy with love or hope. Built with a heart broken from the start, and now, I die slow."
5. Darwin Deez - "Constellations"
"Constellations" by Darwin Deez is definitely more light-hearted than the other songs on the list, but still follows the theme of questioning the meaning of life. He asks questions like "are there patterns in our skies, are patterns only in our eyes?" and "is a constellation just a consolation?" Basically, these collections of stars that we ascribe meaning and stories to, do they really mean anything? "Constellations" is a good song to listen to if your existential crisis is pretty casual and low-key, Existential Crisis LiteTM
, if you will.
6. Vince Staples - "Party People"
In the song "Party People," Vince Staples reveals pain and sadness in the verses, and then repeats a chorus that seems pretty sarcastic in context, "party people yeah, party people I like to see you dance." Like Kid Cudi in "Pursuit of Happiness," Staples tries unsuccessfully to avoid his problems and find happiness in partying. He says in the pre-chorus, "how I'm supposed to have a good time when death and destruction's all I see?" It just goes to show, you can't really party away your problems. Sometimes you just have to sit down, have your existential crisis, and listen to some Vince Staples.
7. Tyler, The Creator - "Boredom"
Tyler, The Creator's new song "Boredom" isn't really about having an existential crisis at all, but the vibes are perfect for accompanying your questioning thoughts. Tyler raps about being alone in his room and wishing his friends would finally hit him up to hang out. The instrumental and the vocals are chill and set the mood for being alone with your thoughts. Tyler, The Creator basically describes the perfect environment for having an existential crisis.