“I Did Something Bad” by Taylor Swift presents an unapologetic approach to her life, demonstrating that she’s done with apologizing. As a woman in the music industry and the public eye, Swift has undergone heavy scrutiny regarding things like her dating life, politics, and infamous celebrity interactions (“Imma let you finish but-”). This song shows how Swift is protesting against the perfect image she has to “fit”. Her song is about a battle against misogyny and the double standards in the industry will never let her not be the bad guy. So, in this song, she sarcastically claims that she has done something bad because she knows whatever she does won’t be enough. As a woman, the feelings and experiences in this song feel relatable, especially the idea of fitting the mold to make people happy (but losing anyway). The song may not be too obvious to people what the deeper theme is, due to its pop sound, but I want to delve deeper into the song’s meaning.

I think the song will lead me into looking at articles, interviews, and possibly her documentary on Netflix (Miss Americana) to give more personal context and perspective. The song has the characteristics of a pop song because of its upbeat and string instruments along with the catchy verses. The song connects to the theme of Taylor Swift’s album, “Reputation” which is her comeback album/re-emergence into the public after being bullied into thinking the world didn’t want her.

I was drawn to the song because my roommates are big Swifties (they have given me all the details about anything Taylor Swift-related). But over the summer I started listening to her more and being more drawn to her type of storytelling. I think this is important because I know I’ve been trained to be over-apologetic and this song encourages the idea of f-that you’re not gonna make them happy anyways, so do stuff that will make you proud and don’t think about what the haters might say. This song is empowering and makes you want to be rebellious. I am willing to listen to this song on repeat for the next 10 weeks.

“Let You Down” by NF is another song that I believe would be a great song to unravel. The song is written by and about the experiences of NF, a hip-hop Christian rapper. I’m curious about seeing more interviews or articles that can explain deeper about NF’s relationship with his family. As a rapper, he is very open about his mental health struggles, and in high school and beginning of freshman year at SJU I would just listen to his music when I just needed a sorta sad song hug. The song brings about the issues of mental health and combating the stigma we put on ourselves that is reinforced by friends and family.

The song might lead to research on mental health movements during the conception of the album and what influences NF might have had which would allow him to be so vulnerable about his struggles. It might be a struggle to pinpoint if NF is fighting against a certain institution or person who is reinforcing this stigma about mental health struggles. But this could lead me to discover what inspirations he might have had that would have encouraged either his career or song album. Additionally, as a Christian rapper, there is an opportunity to explore how his faith and religious upbringing impacted him.

This song is important to me because it doesn’t shy away from the dark realities of mental health. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia aren’t pretty feelings. Yet he sings them in a way that makes them feel like slightly less isolating experiences, he provides a sense of a kindred spirit.

Overall, these two songs might put me in my bag or make me want to sing/scream, but I would be willing to dedicate 10 weeks to studying them and playing them on repeat. Although something I’m worried about in approaching this is the actual recording of the Podcast. I took Digital Field Methods, but my audio skills aren’t where I’d like them to be for a project like this. I’m also worried about the “script” making for the Podcast, I want my podcast to be interesting and I’m a little nervous about balancing entertaining and educational.