A better title for this post might be:

“Five Songs Whose Lyrics I’ve Lived Out, Word for Word.”

Or “Five Songs I Either Avoid Listening To, Or That I Listen To On Repeat Until The Lyrics Drive Me Mad.”

All that any of that means is, these are five songs that I relate to so thoroughly and that screw my face up so intensely because vocals or lyrics that I wish I had been the one to inflict that kind of pain on the general public. I have to ration my listens for a few of these songs, just because they send me to such open places emotionally and, if I can avoid staring off into the distance thinking about the past at work, I must. Other songs on this list, I relate to less destructively, thank God. They don’t quite throw me into the abyss, but they do make me wish that I could actually sing, or that I was more cunning and savage lyrically. I either wish I had the songwriting skills, the vocal skills, or the crazy clever rhymes to make these songs mine. But, alas, I have neither of the three (you would absolutely KNOW by now if I could sing), so I sit back and covet the dopeness from afar. Here are five recent songs that I probably really did write and sing in another life.

Hello (Cover) x Savion Wright

Guys. GUYS. What a voice. I know it’s just a cover, but the vocals are so intentional and masterful. It’s been a joy watching Savion grow as an artist. I think Adele would be proud of this here.

Israel (Sparring) x Chance the Rapper & Noname Gypsy

“F*ck the pharaohs and the Pharisees, Moses is back.”

The wordplay here is absolutely offensive. Sparring, as a theme, takes several different forms between the two rappers. Don’t let the laid back, Tribe-esque track fool you, just run it back 2 or 12 times for yourself.

It’s Cool x Jhene Aiko 

This one definitely falls into the “Songs I’ve Lived/Am Living” category. And it sounds so simple, lyrically, which makes me even more upset that I didn’t write this song. Honestly, I probably did write it– I had a lot of good stuff saved on that laptop I lost in ’09.

Forever Don’t Last x Jazmine Sullivan

I mostly blackout whenever I hear anything Jaz sings because, honestly, she could sing me a grocery list ballad and I’d sob on the floor for days. To add insult to injury, she gives both vocals and substance here. Send help.

IJWY x Bobby Earth 

Turns out the coolest way to tell somebody you want them is just to say so. Who knew? File this under “Simple Enough Things To Say That I’d Still Manage To Butcher.” Maybe one day, though…