5 new albums to get you through UC Berkeley summer sessions

Willow Yang/Senior Staff

The fast-paced nature of UC Berkeley’s summer sessions may appear overwhelming at times — with just three to 10 weeks to get through a semester’s worth of material, it’s easy for students to crack under the pressure of an endless cycle of assignments. Thankfully, the summer months are an amazing time for new music releases. With so many talented and acclaimed artists choosing summer 2018 to drop their work, your study sessions in Berkeley are about to become significantly more enjoyable. Here are some highly anticipated albums to listen to while you pore over your textbooks in the library or when you find yourself in dire need of a break.


Kid Cudi first caught Kanye West’s eye 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until now that the two artists released a collaborative album to the world. Having worked together on 808s & Heartbreak in 2008, their new album is influenced by the synthesizer and electronic drum sounds on their earlier collaboration and provides an uplifting, psychedelic start to the summer. Despite previous conflicts between West and Kid Cudi that nearly tarnished their relationship, as well as internal battles afflicting the mental health of each, Kids See Ghosts offers tangible proof of a rekindled friendship and a path toward personal healing. The natural chemistry of the artists allows for a fun, playful spirit to shine through their verses, even those with darker subject matter. When the difficulty of your summer semester has got you feeling defeated, Kids See Ghost provides messages of positivity to push on through.

Lost & Found — Jorja Smith

Featured on major hits such as Drake’s More Life and Black Panther: The Album, Jorja Smith is securing a name for herself within the industry with her distinct vocals and melodies — her first studio album dropped June 8. Despite being only 21 years old, Lost & Found demonstrates Smith’s proficiency in blending soothing jazz rhythms with catchy pop beats. With a relaxed, delicate vibe lingering in each of her tracks, her work serves as the perfect remedy to the intense pace of summer sessions.

Scorpion — Drake

Last month, Drake took to Instagram to announce his upcoming fifth studio album, Scorpion, through the use of astrology-inspired merch. Scorpion‘s exact release date remains unconfirmed, but it is already a contender for one of the biggest hits of the summer. With recent chart-topping singles such as “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What”, Drake’s upcoming project is sure to follow in success. Although the Toronto native incurred a few setbacks with Pusha T’s string of allegations against him, Scorpion is the prime opportunity to reassert his position at the top of the rap game. When you find your course schedule in critical need of some excitement, Scorpion is guaranteed to deliver a sting.

AstroWorld — Travis Scott

In May, Travis Scott gave fans a preview of his album AstroWorld by dropping his energized single “Watch (feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Kanye West).” Although Scott has kept many new album details confidential, the anticipation for his imminent project is as rife as ever. Named after the now-closed AstroWorld theme park located in Scott’s hometown — Houston, Texas — his latest work is expected to carry on the single’s lively, playful spirit. You can always count on Travis to deliver an album filled with upbeat songs bound to lighten up your arduous workload.

Redemption — Jay Rock

Slated for release on June 15, Jay Rock’s third studio album is about displaying his growth as an artist. The album includes “King’s Dead” from the Black Panther soundtrack and features big names such as J. Cole, SZA and Kendrick Lamar. “WIN”, his second released song from his upcoming project, uses ad-libs from Top Dawg Entertainment labelmate Kendrick Lamar and background trumpet noises to emphasize a message of success and assert his position in the rap game. It’s the perfect motivator to give you the confidence you need to succeed in all your summer courses and endeavors.

Contact Erika Lee at [email protected] .