If one were daring enough to follow the growing trend of minimalist hip hop to its logical conclusion, they might, through their research, come to the YouTube channel of ChilledCow. Their most popular video (boasting almost 14 million views), “Lofi hip-hop mix – Beats to Relax/Study to ,” is an auditory delight and takes a refreshingly stripped-down approach to many of the conventions in modern rap/trap music. You can still find the syncopation and hi-hats that dominate the soundscape of today’s radio, but without the sophistication and vocals that might bog down the production genius. What is left is a musical treat that is appropriate for all occasions: studying, existential breakdowns, chill kickbacks and babysitting.
Though it would be enough for ChilledCow to merely bless their listeners with such beautiful tunes, they also complement “Lofi hip-hop mix – Beats to Relax/Study to ” with a gorgeous, anime-inspired backdrop. The visual really has something for everyone: there’s a cityscape, plants, a cat, headphones adorned with googly eyes, a lamp, a pair of scissors and a girl hard at work on some sort of homework. To further accent this optical treat, the entire set is bathed in a warm and inviting pink hue. Thus, if you’re coming to ChilledCow for study motivation, the animation has you covered. It’s interesting enough to draw your attention for several seconds, but consistent enough to not keep commanding attention.
If all of this weren’t enough already, the comment section of “Lofi hip hop mix – Beats to Relax/Study to ” is an absolute gold mine. Here, the people of YouTube have collaborated to form a body of words that is simultaneously inspiring and horribly contrived. My personal favorite is from “SKINNY BUDDHA BOY” who says, “I would love to see a brain scan to see what this music does to the brain.”
This feels like mental and emotional medicine. Like literally, two seconds in and I feel 100 percent soothed, as if I’ve already been completely reset.
I find this with every single track on every one of these lofi hip-hop mixes. It’s like we’ve all found this little magical land we all take a stroll through, but instead of our wardrobes leading us to Narnia, it’s our laptops … and ChilledCow. Thank you for the peace you instill into all of us.
I could continue on with personal anecdotes as to what ChilledCow has done for me personally, but it would be futile to attempt to follow up the sage “SKINNY BUDDHA BOY.” Ultimately, if you want to find your own “little magical land,” then look no further than “Lofi hip hop mix – Beats to Relax/Study to .”
SCORE: Chill AF/10