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Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 24: Brain Rot

By Eda Kamal, Jayson Black Kettle, Dianne Miranda, Dylan Carrasco, Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Ansharah Shakil and Daman Singh, May 1 2024—

The academic year is finally coming to an end. This means the last of late-night cramming for finals and the last stretch of trying to finish all of your assignments, projects and papers. We have come to the end of the feeling of being mentally drained, being on the verge of burnout or the intense academic workload. This also means finally having the time to endlessly scroll through TikTok or Instagram, to relax and not have that cloud of the doom that deadlines and due dates bring linger over you. 

The Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 24: Brain Rot is the perfect playlist to allow yourself to be in that state of numbness after eight months of mental exhaustion (unless you’re taking Spring and Summer classes or working to pay those loans off, then there’s no end to the misery of being an academic weapon or victim, and a slave to capitalism). 


  • “Shake It Off (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift
    • Sometimes the greatest act of self care requires listening to the most 2014, pop anthem, earworm of a song you possibly can. And Taylor’s Version isn’t even bad. 
  • “Wake Me Up” by Avicii
    • The incomprehensible amount of sleep I need to catch up on during summer. 
  • “Nobody” by Mitski


  • “Piano Man” by Billy Joel
    • The end of the semester is a good time to relax. I enjoy relaxing with a refreshing drink to this Billy Joel song, especially during the end-of-semester karaoke sessions. 
  • “Smile Like You Mean It” by The Killers
    • The Killers are one of my favorite bands! They’re most famous for Mr. Brightside, but they have a lot of great music. Give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve made it through the semester, and remember to smile!
  • “Fuck Being Sober” by Annika Wells
    • I find this song so relatable, especially when school becomes too stressful. It has been a staple in my playlist since I first heard it back in 2021.


  • “Hand Me My Shovel, I’m Goin In!” by Will Wood and the Tapeworms
    • Nowhere to go but up when you’ve hit rock bottom, right? Digging deep to rot in my bed for two days straight, then crawling back up to do it all over again. 
  • “Welcome to the Internet” by Bo Burnham
    • Brain rot for me manifests through endlessly scrolling through all of my social media, taking me to all of the sides and corners of the internet.
  • “Ballad of Big Nothing” by Elliott Smith
    • “You can do what you want to whenever you want to, you can do what you want to, there’s no one to stop you”. Thank you, Elliott Smith. 


  • “Hole in the Earth” by Deftones
    • If you’re feeling numb, at least listen to the hazy drone of some guitars to match your vibe! 
  • “My Love Mine All Mine” by Mitski
    • After a harsh semester, you deserve to be cradled with affection. Let Mitski’s voice soothe you to sleep, because you’ve lost so much already.  
  • “dickhead blues” by Kara Jackson
    • School can break people down, but don’t ever forget you are top notch! 


  • “SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIN’” by Beyoncé
    • The three mini songs in one song, this is how my brain works all the time.
  • “Around the World” by Daft Punk
    • The beat is good and you only need to know three words.
  • “On and Ever Onward” by Dirty Projectors and Björk
    • The whole album has so much going on for it but it’s also so fun if you want something sonically different.


  • “Good Time” by Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City
    • This is the timeless, stress-free song to celebrate being done your finals. 
  • “American Nights” by The Runaways
    • Perfect for when you’re staying up late.
  • “You Da One” by Rihanna
    • We can only hope that Rihanna will ever release new music. But in the meantime, her discography still has a number of songs that will instantly put you in a good mood.


  • “Father Electricity” by The Voidz
    • It’s been finals season, the brain rot is sonically embodied through the chaos this song is.  Nothing really makes sense here lyrically either so don’t try understanding it because I have never been able to.
  • “Coconut Mall (From “Mario Kart Wii”) by Arcade Player
    • I may subject myself to daily humiliation on AirBuds listening to this but nothing speaks brain rot more than the coconut mall theme song, it’s the best academic pump you can find.
  • “New Born” by Muse
    • Oh Matt Bellamy, the man you are. 

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