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Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 11: Escape from Vecna

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Nazeefa Ahmed, Valery Perez, Roog Kubur, Aymen Sherwani, Namratha Badawadagi, Sophia Lopez, June 21 2022

POV: You’re under Vecna’s curse but luckily your friends at the Gauntlet start blasting this kickass mixtape…

The much anticipated Season 4 of Stranger Things is finally here and it brought with it a very unexpected revival of the iconic Kate Bush — whose music apparently has the power to save one character from the clutches of Vecna, the newest monster with which The Upside Down has so graced us.

In an attempt to safeguard against our capture by this indomitable villain, we at the Gauntlet have composed a list of songs we’ve deemed worthy of deliverance. What song would save you? 


“Fergalicious” by Fergie feat. will.i.am

Now this song might feel like a ridiculous choice but from experience, this song has taken me from the depths of unconsciousness to dance one more time before returning to slumber. If this song can’t save me, then maybe the Daft Punk album, Discovery (2001) will do the trick.


“Wait a Minute!” by Willow Smith 

Willow’s voice is very interesting. It has a raspy yet melodic quality to it. During a time where most music is a mix of Auto-Tune and overstimulating beats, it’s nice to hear some basic drums accompanied with meaningful lyrics.


“Rasputin” by Boney M 

The rigorous training I went through as a young adult as I spent hours upon hours perfecting the Just Dance version of this song have engrained it so deep into every fiber of my being that if I were to ever be in a coma or abducted by a creepy slimy alien you bet your ass I would snap out of it real quick and POP POP POP my knee caps all the way to safety.


“Sherlock” by SHINee

The sheer force of that first “SHINee’s back” is enough to not only wake me up but to give me the strength to beat Vecna’s ass myself.


“cardigan – the long pond studio sessions” by Taylor Swift 

Why did I pick this song? What DOESN’T it mean to me, really? This song evokes every vulnerable emotion inside me and somehow makes them feel not so vulnerable. Taylor’s recent albums have all had that effect — croony, vintage-style folk music that resembles the ghost of a tired and vengeful Victorian woman. The long pond studio sessions add a layer of haunting to her vocals, yes, but if I was in The Upside Down this song would be the bridge back to reality.


“I Like to Move It” by Erick Morillo, Sacha Baron Cohen

My first watching of the Madagascar movie was a watershed moment in my development. From the hunger-induced friends-turned-into-steak fantasy, the kaleidoscopic Candyman dance sequence, and the mesmerizing introduction by the Lemur King, this movie has irrevocably changed my life. Forget Vecna, “I Like to Move It” has the power to save me from the grips of hell itself.


“Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

Vecna ain’t got shit on me if this song starts playing — he can forget about it. Aside from the Shrek 2 flashbacks, Funkytown feeds my “ignorance is bliss” fantasy as I forget about all my problems. This song will even have Vecna boogying down.

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