Needless to say, explicit lyrics and whatnot in some of these songs so if the f-word offends you, it’s probably best to skip pressing play on a few of these. It’s songs like this one that make me seriously sad every time Lily Allen talks about quitting the music industry.
I could think of precious few people more deserving of such a sugary sweet sounding blast of truth. Some lyrics miss their mark, but it hardly matters when the overall message is so clear.
This legendary Canadian duo often closed their shows with this one following the exchange of a little mutual heckling with their audience. It’s about the desire to grow up, make something of yourself and then look back at all the bullies that put you down with a smug smirk.
It’s a song about getting beaten down and having your very spirit crushed by all the people in your life that try to hold you back. It’s about calling out the people that mistreat you and it’s about recognizing that sometimes (okay, often times), life just isn’t fair.
It’s an absolutely brilliant concept and features dialogue and voice over work from the Master of Horror himself, Stephen King. F**k You I’m Famous is a smirking, gloating screw you to anyone and everyone who has ever put the vocalist down or tried to hold him back from realizing his full potential.
It also happens to be catchy as hell and an all around fun song that fits perfectly with the story told on the album. It’s absolutely brutal in its honesty and that’s what makes it such a fine screw you song.
Angry, intense but delivered with sly wit, the song concludes with vocalist, Maynard James Keenan, howling “f**k you, buddy” over and over with such pure and unadulterated hatred, you have to wonder if the kid the song was directed at was ever the same again. Dr. Dre penned a heck of a screw you song directed squarely at anyone who doubted his ability as a rapper and producer.
Without Are’s influence, many legendary hip hop artists may not have broken out as big as they did. He’s produced beats for some of the biggest names in the business and as the song points out, “and when your album sales wasn’t doing’ too good, who’s the Doctor they told you to go see?” This is a very straightforward song reminding people not to underestimate him and a very blunt screw you to anyone who dared doubt him.
Written by Beyoncé Knowles, a truly gutsy women is ever there was one, Survivor is all about getting through the dark times to emerge stronger for the struggle. It’s often said the best revenge is living well, but I have to imagine that rubbing your success in the faces of those who doubted you by way of smash-hit single has to be pretty close to topping that.
Shutterstock Wikimedia CommonsComposer Ludwig van Beethoven, slapping another composer to the curb. Sir John Gielgud on Casablanca star Ingrid Bergman.
Shutterstock Wikimedia CommonsActress Mae West on a man she didn't like in Belle of the Nineties (1934). ShutterstockComedienne and television producer Roseanne Barr, on her ex-husband Tom Arnold.
ShutterstockWriter and filmmaker Billy Wilder, while listening to an actor sing in the movie Kiss Me, Stupid. Public Domain Winston Churchill, after being informed by Lady Astor that if she was married to him, she would have poisoned his coffee.
Paige thought she’d rekindled her love with Softs3rve when the DJ/graffiti artist finally showed his face on tonight’s Mary + Jane -- and professed his undying love to her in between spinning records at Renee’s ’90s-themed birthday bash. By episode’s end, however, the weed-selling blonde had discovered her ex was a BS artist -- the kind of guy that thinks he’s fly and is also known as a buster.
Always talking’ about what he wants and just sits on his broke ass. It should: In a fit of rage, Paige hijacked the karaoke machine and sang those very lines during a LOL performance of TLC’s No Scrubs (complete with an epic mic drop at the end).
Flickr / Patrick Humphries Everyone who ever loved you was wrong. I’m jealous of all the people that haven’t met you.
I don’t have the time or the crayons to explain this to you. It’s been a pleasure to meet the poster child for the pro-choice movement.
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; you only gargled. You are the result of a wet dream your mother rolled into.
TIME is here to help with an essential workout playlist: a mix of songs that are tried-and-tested crowd favorites and some deeper cuts worth your attention from recent years and beyond. Norman’s “Motivation,” Lizzy’s “Good As Hell” and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” are just the beginning; from hip-hop to classic rock to EDM, there’s a little of everything.
We sorted through hundreds of tunes to select the critical picks that help us get our hearts pumping at fitness classes or while working out solo. And certain songs, like Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” (Spotify’s most popular workout-related tune for four years in a row), Kanye West’s “Stronger” and Survivor’s perennial classic “Eye of the Tiger” remain favorites across the board.
Camila Cabell has an instinct for wildly catchy Latin-inflected riffs; chart hits “Havana” and “Señorita” are proof of that. Kesha‘s latest phase is full of exuberance: “Raising Hell” sees her having an absolute blast over a bouncy bass, with an assist from Big Freesia.
Her tendency to love a chanted chorus makes it easy to sing along to as well, which might help when you need that extra workout boost. Albanian-American pop star Ava Max can’t help but make catchy songs (see: breakout hit “Sweet But Psycho”).
“Blood, Sweat & Tears” riffs off of a playground chant but ends up as a driving anthem that parallels the concept of working hard quite nicely. English singer Mabel brings soulful vocals to this fast-paced electronic track from Dutch DJ and producer Test.
British grime artist Lethal Fizzle’s anthem, confident “I Win” starts with punch and never lets up. Swift’s 2017 self-referential album Reputation was filled with intensely anthem pop; “… Ready For It?” has the biggest drop, the most hard-charging beat and the most soaring chorus, making it the best of the workout options.
There’s a reason K-pop supergroup BTS inspires such avid fandom: hits that range from sweet ballads to intense tracks like “Mic Drop” off their record-breaking album Love Yourself: Answer, which seamlessly mixes their prodigious rapping skills with dance beats and a dark, catchy edge. A classic Destiny’s Child banger, “Survivor” is the kind of workout song you need when you’re getting close to reaching your limit.
Italian DJ Benny Because’s debut single “Satisfaction” may be from 2002, but its sticky electronic beat is both sonically pioneering and deeply, yes, satisfying. Indie pop trio SHAPED started things off and tapped Zayn for a later remix of their viral hit; the result is a dance-pop track that’s heavy on the down -beat, spare with its production choices and intense with its focus.
With bouncy percussion and a rollicking, uplifting chorus, it’s a perfect workout track: “Bring the big guns out,” singer Fletcher insists. One of only a handful of songs that speak directly to the physical experience of working out, West’s seminal hit “Stronger” was born to soundtrack the hardest parts of your time in a gym.
“No New Friends” from their 2019 group project is big, bold pop with heavy percussion and a melodic chorus: an ace for workout pump-ups. “Ladies leave your man at home,” the women of Destiny’s Child told us smartly all the way back in 1999, “because it’s 11:30 and the club is jumping, jumping.” It was a hype song then, and it holds up twenty years later.
Arguably 2018’s song of the summer, “I Like It” is festive and fun-loving, thanks in part to its immediately memorable bungalow beat, the contributions of fellow Latin stars J Balvin and Bad Bunny and Cardi B‘s singalong-ready chorus. This 2004 cross-genre collaboration between rock band Linkin Park and rapper Jay-Z has stood up to the test of time as a tried-and-true workout hit.
This peppy EDM tune from Dutch DJ and producer Ties to has a message that matches perfectly with the fitness journey. The song is fast-paced and perfectly timed for a workout; even better, it also kicked off a viral challenge that was about not only dancing but also figuring out ways to “level up” in your own life.
Heavy drumbeats and a driving, anthem chorus give this song its immediate pump-up power from rock show mainstays Imagine Dragons, led by their energetic frontman Dan Reynolds. Lizzy became TIME’s Entertainer of the Year in 2019, but “Good as Hell” has been around since 2016: a soulful, uplifting song about realizing independence.
Feeling good as hell!” works as one of the most joyful affirmations in recent pop history, and made its way up the Billboard charts in 2019 upon its re-release as a single. It’s also a perfect tune to work out to, as it turns out; Lizzy preaches a gospel of body positivity, making every line a celebration of exactly where you’re at, not where you’re going.
Australia’s Tones and I broke through in 2019 with the debut viral hit “Dance Monkey,” a deeply infectious pop ballad with a catchy chorus that won’t quit. Dua Lipa made a name for herself with juicy, often-empowering pop in 2017; her return in 2019 was kicked off with the forward-thinking, bouncy disco vibe of “Don’t Start Now,” a song that manages to be both delightfully independent in its message and club- or gym-ready in its beat.
It doesn’t hurt that the accompanying music video shows the former Fifth Harmony singer and Dancing with the Stars favorite breaking it down with some seriously impressive moves.