13 Beats of the Week


Long songs: Modern music has been primarily catered towards the daily consumption of popular media. One doesn’t always have time to listen to a 13-minute song on the way to the grocery store, and radio stations typically give each song an average of three minutes and 30 seconds of play, frequently cutting down pieces in order to fit their structure. Before music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, songs over six minutes were typically left to be heard by those who purchased the entire album. This week’s list is a playlist of songs all over six minutes long, most of which are cherished by the respective artists’ fanbases.

1. “Candyman” By Grateful Dead, 6:04

“Candyman” is just one of the many six-minute-plus songs on their 1970 album “American Beauty.” In writing “Candyman,” lead guitarist Jerry Garcia was inspired by the laidback “California country” genre. “American Beauty” is an album focused more on lyricism rather than musicality. 

2. “Runaway” By Kanye West, 9:08

“Runaway” is one of the 2010s’ most iconic and adored pieces, as it’s a prime example of the artistry that goes into rap. Kanye also produced a short film to supplement “Runaway.”

3. “Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2” By Drake and JAY-Z, 7:12

This collaboration between Drake and JAY-Z is a compilation of two different beats, as many songs on this list are. Drake and JAY-Z have numerous iconic collaborations starting from when they met in 2009. 

4. “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean, 9:53

“Pyramids” is broken up into two distinct sections: one categorized by its groovy electronic beat and the other by its somber and smooth beat. This Frank Ocean piece is cherished by his fans and resonates with people from all walks of life. 

5. “Heroes” By David Bowie, 6:11

Based on a moment where he witnessed his friend’s infidelity while in Berlin, “Heroes” is a passionate love song about a couple that shouldn’t be together. A German translation of “Heroes” was used in the 2019 blockbuster “Jojo Rabbit.”

6. “Dear John” By Taylor Swift, 6:44

One of Swift’s most passionate songs, “Dear John” is nearly seven minutes of describing her relationship and breakup with John Mayer. Mayer referenced “Dear John” in his song “Paper Doll.”

7. “Gone” By The Weeknd, 8:07

“Gone” is eight minutes of sensuality and passion. From The Weeknd’s third studio album “The Trilogy,” “Gone” is The Weeknd’s first piece over eight minutes.

8. “Oldie” By Odd Future, 10:36

“Oldie” is a nine-verse collaboration between all the members of Odd Future. “Oldie” is cherished by Tyler, the Creator fans everywhere, as it’s an amazing reminder of Tyler’s roots in Odd Future.

9. “Siberian Breaks” By MGMT, 12:09

This 12-minute piece carries you through a mix of sounds. With notes of classic rock and their typical euphoric electronic style, MGMT will keep your ears and mind stimulated throughout this lengthy piece.

10. “Jesus of Suburbia” By Green Day, 9:08

Before releasing the album, “American Idiot,” Billie Joe Armstrong shared with his bandmates a desire to write “the Bohemian Rhapsody of the future” according to Rolling Stone. “Jesus of Suburbia,” which appears on this album, might exist as a reification of this ambition. Similar to Queen’s famed “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the song has distinct shifts between its sections.

11. “Atom Heart Mother” By Pink Floyd, 23:41

This list would not be complete without a Pink Floyd song. Pink Floyd is notorious for their long pieces, many ranging from ten to twenty minutes. Their long pieces are scattered with lyrics throughout, as the band values the importance of music rather than lyricism. 

12. “1Train (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, YelaWolf, Action Bronson & Big Krit)” By A$AP Rocky, 6:12

From A$AP Rocky’s first studio album “LONG.LIVE.A$AP,” the New York-based rapper works with a myriad of rappers from across the country to write a narrative about the MTA’s 1 train. 

13. “untitled 07 | 2014-2016” By Kendrick Lamar, 8:16

Kendrick Lamar doesn’t shy away from producing and rapping on long beats. According to Genius.com, “untitled 07 | 2014-2016” is separated into three parts that encapsulate the feelings of “the initial elation, the inflated confidence, and coming downfrom a heightened state of emotion.