Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


What Are You Listening To, Magnet?

Listening in on the everyday music of our students

Music remains a powerful force in shaping our moods, attitudes, and day-to-day activities.  In the age of streaming platforms and endless playlists, the variety of genres and artists literally available at our fingertips is astonishing, always contributing to our individual styles and personalities.  I asked a variety of Raptors one simple question as they walked around the campus: What are you listening to right now?  Let’s dive into what I found out.

folklore, Taylor Swift

Although pop music has changed since the genre started to gain traction in the 1950s, it has always maintained that characteristic youthful spirit.  When I asked Warren Cohn (12) what he was listening to, he responded with “Say So” by Doja Cat.  “This song is fire.  It’s heat.  Actual flames,” he says.  Another popular artist in recent years has been Taylor Swift.  Caroline Uram (12) listens to Swift’s song, “Mad Woman.”  Swift is known for her songs’ powerful bridges, and the bridge of Caroline’s song of choice is especially satisfying to her.  Some other seniors have ventured into different areas of popular music.  Ava Irwin (12) discovered “Hot Wings” from the Rio soundtrack on TikTok, and she finds it very inspirational, especially the line, “Imma fly, fly just like a bird.” 

I don’t really know.  It just sounds so good.  That’s why I listen to music.

— Michael Lee

Michael Lee (12) likes his old-school music, with Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.”  His reason is simple but universal: I don’t really know.  It just sounds so good.  That’s why I listen to music.  Aileny Gonzalez (12) enjoys the feel of her sister’s favorite K-pop song, “Hurt” by NewJeans.


Buy Dirt, Jordan Davis

Country music is also popular around our school these days.  For Ford Martin (12), “Buy Dirt” resonates deeply in his heart, and also his alternative black earbuds.  Growing up on a farm, he finds a profound message in the song about preparing for his next steps in life.  Yet Jacob Somsky (11) takes a mellower country route, listening to “Charleston Girl” by Tyler Childers.  He explains, “It’s got a fall vibe, and I’ve been listening to a lot of country music lately.”  Interestingly, Wilson Swenson (12) likes to enjoy a different facet of country/folk music.  “I Will Praise Him – Reprise” by Mountain Faith may not be his usual vibe, but he listens intently as part of his research for his new article, Is Mountain Faith Worth the Listen?  Read more about this interesting musical ensemble under the Arts and Entertainment section of this issue of our newspaper.

The Black Road, Return to Dust

Ashton Fitch (9) discovered “Money Run Low” by The Score on his Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify.  Discover Weekly is unique for every Spotify user and it updates every Monday.  Be sure to check it out.  You never know where you may find your next favorite song.  Hank Mengedoht (11) enjoys the guitar solo in “Cadillac Assembly Line” by Melvin Taylor, and Rylee Anderson (12) is drawn to the introspective lyrics of “Anyway I Die” by Return to Dust.  She says, “I like all of [Return to Dust’s] music…I like the message because nothing in life really matters in the long run.  So that embarrassing thing I did five years ago doesn’t matter.  I’m not telling you what that thing was, though.”

Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman

When schoolwork, extracurriculars, or the daily stresses of life become too difficult to handle, many Magnet students decompress with alternative and indie music.  Laura Dailey (12) likes to tune out to “Cool With You” by Her’s, a song she describes as “good easy listening.”  Max Tippey (10) keeps it simple with “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used)” by Beach Bunny.  Skylar Weiss’ (12) song of choice, “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, pays homage to one of her friends, Caroline Foreman, who added the song to Skylar’s playlist right before she left the Raptor nest to spread her wings at West Ashley High School.  Aubrey Hughes (12) connects with a part of “Self Control” by Frank Ocean.  “I like the beginning part with the “blonded life” lyric and then usually I skip it after that” she comments.  “It says the word ‘blond’ in it and I’m blonde.”

Big Willie Style, Will Smith

Unsurprisingly, hip-hop music is the most popular around our school.  Similarly to Skylar Weiss, “Surround Sound” by JID holds a special place in Judith Suttle’s (9) heart.  It reminds her of her best friend from her old school and the fun times they spent together.  Surprisingly, Rutledge Sander (12) probably would have skipped East Coast classic “Big Poppa” by the Notorious B.I.G., but since it showed up on his personalized hip-hop mix on Spotify, he decided to give it a listen.  Sutton Bates (12) enjoys some 90s hip hop, particularly in “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by now-controversial actor/producer/rapper Will Smith.  Sutton explains, “I like it because it’s very intellectually stimulating.  The beat works and the lyrics he spits are very fire.”  Embre Slack (12) and Elaina Seymour (12) enjoy listening to contemporary rapper 21 Savage.  While Embre listens to “Whole Lot” to prepare her for 21 Savage’s concert in two weeks, Elaina enjoys “Mr. Right Now,” asserting that “any song with Drake is a good song.”  And while Zuriel Nyamutsaka (10) has recently explored the sounds of Freddie Gibbs and A$AP Rocky, specifically “Excuse Me” by the latter artist, Chase Novak (12) finds himself listening to more urban music with “Choppa Pistol 2” by Galeto.  He’s had this song on repeat for the last few days, fascinated with how the beat starts.

Took Her To The O, King Von

Yet perhaps most interestingly, Jordan Burrell (12) immerses herself in King Von’s “Took Her To The O.”  It always gets her “hyped up” in the morning, always adding to the “caffeination” and endorphins.  “That’s why I get to school and I’m already energized.”  She advises, “Make sure you play it with full volume, windows down.  It adds to the effect and makes it feel like you’re at a concert.”

Make sure you play it with full volume, windows down.  It adds to the effect and makes it feel like you’re at a concert.

— Jordan Burrell





In a world filled with diverse genres and artists, there is truly a song for everyone.  Music continues to be a source of comfort, inspiration, and connection for people of all ages.  From the philosophy of Taylor Swift to the comfort of Frank Ocean, the rhythm of A$AP Rocky, and the harmonies of The Score, the students of Academic Magnet High School prove once again to have an equally eclectic yet unifying taste in music.

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