1. "Power Trip" — J. Cole
“Even wrote the song ‘Dreams’ for you”
It might sound sweet that Cole wrote a song for the girl on the seemingly straightforward love ballad, but “Dreams” is actually about killing the boyfriend of a girl he barely knows so that he can conveniently console her and then marry her. This is exactly why you shouldn’t let that girl from your freshman hall read those drunk poems you wrote.
2. "Pumped Up Kicks" — Foster the People
“You better run better run, outrun my gun”
While you probably played this song all summer long back in 2012, you probably never realized it was about a school shooting. “Run better run” isn’t Penn Relay’s encouragement.
3. "Mercy" — Kanye West
“Well it’s a weeping, and a moaning, and a gnashing of teeth”
While the dancehall legend Fuzzy Jones sample that plays throughout may just sound like background noise, it’s actually a reference to a Bible verse “describing the plight of those sent to Hell.” Your weeping in the Van Pelt basement during finals week is close enough.
4. "Every Breath You Take" — The Police
“Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you”
This song gets played at weddings and everyone thinks it’s sweet, but it’s actually about a guy stalking a girl and her every breath. Call it what it is.
5. "Hot Knife" — Fiona Apple
“He’s never gonna need another” / “Maybe I could teach him, too”
Buried in the story of every happy relationship is a hidden fear of non-reciprocation. Fiona Apple shows us that when all else fails, at least we can turn to murder. Maybe this is why so many people at Penn choose not to date.