From wordless EDM you can’t sing along to, to 2010s pop songs that everyone and their mom knows the lyrics to, frat music certainly spans a wide range of genres. For me, music is the component that makes or breaks a night out: if I can’t enjoy whatever tune is pouring out of the speakers—at a volume definitely not safe for human ears—then I’m quick to suggest that we head to a different frat. Read on to see my expert opinion, based on my extensive time halfheartedly pumping my fist in sweaty frat basements, on how all the genres stack up.
Coming in at number one, we have any variety of rap or hip–hop music. As soon as the DJ plays “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame, the dance floor explodes. Everyone can scream along to the lyrics, and with the electric beat underneath, they’re just too easy to dance to. If I’m in a frat that is playing rap or hip–hop music—which tends to be pretty rare—it’s a sure thing that I’ll be staying until the brothers start yelling for close.
Cultural music would be number one, but per the demographics at this school, there tends to be a … lack of appreciation when the DJ puts on “KU LO SA” by Oxlade or anything from Ayo by Wizkid. Still, they’re definitely unmatched for dancing, and it’s always a great time when someone gets in the middle of the dance circle and just does some crazy–impressive move I could never even dream of getting right. Even for the coordination–challenged such as myself, everyone can find some aspect of cultural music to appreciate.
Pop (excluding Taylor Swift)
Hot take, but as catchy as Taylor Swift songs can be, there’s no place for them at a frat party—yet, this genre seems to be by far the most popular. Hearing “Love Story” one more time, as if it’s the slow dance during my sixth grade formal in the gym, could just make me go crazy. However, a well–placed “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna will have me completely in my element. Plus, there’s nothing like a good “Last Friday Night” in a frat basement at midnight—the energy when the DJ pauses the song for the obligatory “T.G.I.F.” chant is electric!
Ranked slightly above EDM, as the songs tend to have just a touch more depth and character, comes house music. I don’t think I (or anybody else) can confidently say that they truly know the words to any of these songs, but with a few confident mumbles, they’ll get the job done in a pinch. I’d give an example, but I can’t say any of these songs have made a distinct enough impression on me to make me remember their names.
After attending frat parties both fall and spring semester, my friends and I have dubbed ourselves “professional untzers.” EDM is good for its fast beat, but there’s only so much variety you can bring to pumping your fist while slightly bouncing up and down. At frats that play exclusively EDM, after barely 30 minutes, there’s little else to think about besides the dull ache in your feet and quiet pounding in your head. However, when frats pair this style of music with some fun strobe light effects, it does become a pretty good time—it’s grown on me a little, if only for the fact that every frat seems to be a little obsessed with having this genre at every party. Call it exposure therapy, I guess.
I thought it was worth dedicating a whole other category to pop remixes. As much as I love TikTok, the trend it has created of putting songs on double—or even triple—speed needs to be stopped. Nothing is more aggravating than when you recognize the opening notes of one of your favorite song, only to hear it transform into an awful remix that physically pains your ears—I’m still scarred from when I heard the opening notes to “N***** in Paris” by Kanye West & JAY-Z, only for it to be pitched up and layered on an EDM–type beat (which, as we know, barely ranks above these horrid remixes in my opinion). It was actually so horrible, that I ended up leaving five minutes after, which I don’t consider an overreaction.
So, student DJs, chronic party goers, and frat brothers yourselves—let this be a call to action to free yourself from the shackles of EDM music. The world of music is much bigger, broader, and brighter than than halfhearted “untzes” on a techno beat. Expand your horizons, try something new, and you might just make the party just that much better for your attendees.
Happy Fratting, everyone!