I remember back in middle school when people would say, "Oh, you still listen to that song _________? That's so old!" and the badass response to have was, "The last time I checked music didn't have an expiration date!" before storming off to the lunch line to collect your strawberry milk and probably-not-actually-chicken chicken nuggets. As juvenile as the memory is, the statement still stands. Music doesn't ever expire, although we may forget about certain tracks that we once loved as we get older and our musical interests expand.
The crazy thing is, even after years and years of not hearing a song, you're incredibly likely to remember every word once it starts playing. This is both a blessing and a curse because on one hand, knowing all of the words makes for fun nostalgia-filled drives that feature you singing at the top of your lungs without even taking a break to breathe a little, and on the other hand it's frustrating because you mean to tell me that I still remember every line in "Fergalicious" but I can't remember what I learned in any of my classes last semester? My brain sure does know how to prioritize, huh?
Anyway, the reason I bring up the ever so expanding topic of old songs is because it has been brought to my attention that the forever iconic Kanye West
track "Stronger" turned 10 years old recently. Oddly enough, I can remember the first time I ever heard that song–I was in the car with my mom and older brother when it came on the radio, and at the age of 8 I didn't know much about music, so there was no way I could have known that it would become such an impactful song. I didn't know how huge of an icon Kanye would become, or already was at the time for that matter, and I had no idea who Daft Punk were–I'm actually still not too sure about them. Now that I know who they are I have to ask myself, since I've never seen them without their helmets, do I really know who they are?
The album that "Stronger" comes from, Graduation,
turns 10 this upcoming fall and is still one of Kanye's top 3 albums of all time. Don't even think about arguing, that isn't even an opinion at this point. Graduation
is a masterpiece, this is just the truth. So, in honor of "Stronger"'s tenth year out here in the musical world, here's a list of 9 other iconic songs for which 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of their release... Do you feel old yet?
1. "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne
Not sure how much time you all spend reading conspiracy theory threads on Twitter, and I really do hope that it's less than the alarming amount of time that I do, but I'm pretty sure "Girlfriend" was made pre-imposter Avril Lavigne. I really want to thank Avril for teaching me at the ripe age of 8 that stealing someone's boyfriend is a task requiring very minimal effort or supplies, just some threatening friends and a banging song about my plans to steal him away from his current girlfriend. 10 years later and I still haven't gotten a chance to use the skills I picked up watching this, and I doubt that I ever will, but hey–you never know.
2. "The Great Escape" by Boys Like Girls
The funny thing about this track is that it isn't as old for me as it is for pretty much everyone else. Sadly, I didn't appreciate how much of a banger this song is until I entered my "screw this town!" punk/rock phase in middle school. Still, if it helps, I appreciate the hell out of it now. It has become one of those songs that I barely even considered a throwback at this point because I listen to it so frequently. This song comes in handy more when you're older and actual have a car so you can ride around screaming "WEEEE CANNNNN MAKEEEEE IT RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT" as the person in the car next to you wonders whether or not everything is okay and if you need the attention of a medical professional as soon as possible.
3. "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" by Fall Out Boy
ONE NIGHT! AND! ONE MORE TIME! THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN'T SO GREAT! IT! TASTES LIKE YOU ONLY SWEETEEEEEER!
Oh, Sorry, I got a little carried away. "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" is a timeless classic from our good old emo boys. 2007 was a much simpler time when Patrick Stump could rock a fedora and Pete Wentz could use all of the eyeliner he wanted without anyone saying a word. Also, remember when Kim Kardashian made an appearance in the music video? I had no idea who she was at the time, and boy do I wish I could say that today and it not be a lie. Still, this song is as iconic as ever–right down to its vowelless title.
4. "Misery Business" by Paramore
Oh boy, when I say this song had my teen angst through the roof way before I was even close to being a teenager. I would assume my thought process went a little like this: Even though I'm not angry, I'm listening to this song and she's angry, so maybe that means I should be, too. To be fair, "Once a whore you're nothing more / I'm sorry that'll never change" was, in hindsight, probably not
the best thing to be hearing as a young and impressionable child. The good news is that I didn't know what a whore was until middle school and I grew up to be a very unproblematic individual regardless.
5. "Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
What. An. Iconic. Banger. I was absolutely obsessed with Rihanna when "Umbrella" came out, and I may not be as obsessed now as I was then, but Rihanna is still an absolute queen. I've seen a photoset going around of pictures of Rihanna walking on street grates while wearing heels and everyone wonders how she does it. In the "Umbrella" video she turns into an actual water bender, so why is everyone so surprised? I don't think there's anything she can't do, really. Geez, you guys have to show Rihanna some more respect, all she's ever done is provide for us all. What would we have done if she never invented umbrellas? We'd all have had to choose between being stuck in the house until the rain stopped or going out anyway and ending up soaking wet. So, yeah, think about that the next time you go to question Rihanna's abilities to walk on street grates.
6. "Glamorous" by Fergie
When I used to listen to "Glamorous" frequently, I thought it was so funny. I would sing along laughing, "If you ain't got no money take yo broke ass home!" censored, of course. Now that I'm listening to it as a teenager it isn't as hilarious as I once remembered. Now, the tables have turned and I'm the one taking my broke, $2.17 in the bank having, ass home. Adulthood is rough and no amount of Fergie songs could have prepared me for that, honestly. Also, during the bridge of the song when the aforementioned lyric is being repeated Fergie adds in "My daddy told me so, he let his daughter know." This question has been haunting me for years now: why was her father telling her to take her broke ass home? What kind of wild family dynamic is going on here? That's a little rude, is it not?
7. "No One" by Alicia Keys
This song marks the beginning of my 'stare out of the window while it's raining and pretend I'm in a music video' phase of life. I blame this song and video entirely for how dramatic I've become as I've gotten older. How can you sing along to his and not make a scene out of it? I just don't believe that's possible, sorry. Alicia Keys really had me in my feelings as a kid. Well, my pretend feelings at least, because who was I so head over heels in love with at that age? Danny Phantom? Troy Bolton? Nick Jonas? Actually, that last one is accurate, Nick still has my heart. Nick, honey, if you're reading this–no one, no one, no ooOoOoOne can get in the way of what I feel for you.
8. "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain
All these years later and "Low" is still such a banger, and is truly one of the greatest collaborations of its time. The funniest part about having to find this video is realizing that it's only available in 240p, a terrible quality through which you can barely make out the faces of Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. This track will always be so much fun to dance around to with friends, jokingly or not, but this is another instance, as with "Glamorous," that I have some unanswered questions on my hands. During the chorus, T-Pain sings, "Shawty had them Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the fur. The whole club was looking at her." and then a few lines later he goes on to say that the girl was wearing "baggy sweatpants and then Reeboks with the straps." Now, my question, is he talking about two different girls in the club? Because, if not, how the hell was she wearing two different pairs of pants and two different pairs of shoes? How did she have the sweatpants and the Apple Bottom jeans? The boots with the fur and the Reeboks with the straps? Was this girl some kind of four legged creature? Is this why the whole club was looking at her? I know it's a decade late, but some clarity would be appreciated.
9. "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" by Soulja Boy Tell'em
Alright, before you all start judging me for including this on the list, I want you to take second to think about the fact that, if asked, you would probably be able to perform the dance step by step without fail. No, no, don't even pretend. We have to respect "Crank That" as the classic that it is, Soulja Boy and his toothpaste adorned glasses really did something with this track. Back in my day, ten years ago, we didn't have the wild dance moves these kids are doing today, with their whipping and dabbing. It's odd to think that this song came out so long ago, because imagine what it'll be like another 10 years down the line. Picture this: you're at a family function where this comes on and suddenly everyone in your age range is dancing and the children there are looking at you all like you're insane and in need of medical attention immediately. In that moment, we'll have suddenly become old. Might as well start hitting up the local nursing homes now.