Late October is synonymous with Halloween. To get you in the scary mood the staff at the McGill Tribune has compiled 25 tracks that define what "creep" means for them. Remember to scroll down to the end to check out the Spotify playlist and happy listening!
The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
Halloween may be scary and chilling, but there is also something surprisingly sexy about pretending to be someone or something else for one night only. No song is able to float within this enticing and mysterious space as confidently as The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games."
The clinching factor in “Wicked Games” is the enigma enveloping the song. Its slow, slinky pace is neither creepy nor soothing—the firm base line makes it comfortable to sway along to, yet singer’s desperate plea of “Even though you don't love me/Just tell me you love me,” is surprisingly unsettling. The song opens with seemingly white noise, most reminiscent of a foggy night—the perfect kind of Halloween night—followed by The Weeknd’s gentle and alluring first note. The lyrics “Bring your love baby I could bring my shame/Bring the drugs baby I could bring my pain,” takes the song from a standard R&B song to a dangerous and thrilling level.
If Halloween is the time to be joyously intoxicated with fear and uncertainty—Wicked Games is the perfect song to accompany you as you do it.
– Hailey MacKinnon
Rihanna – “Disturbia”
The same year the global economy fell apart, a naive beauty combusted and out from the wreckage stepped a fully-formed, unstoppable Rihanna. If 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad was a subtle attempt to hint at the Barbadian diva’s demonic conversion, 2008’s Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded was a roundhouse kick to the heart. Jay-Z anticipated precipitation, but even he couldn’t imagine the torrential downpour that Rihanna would unleash upon the mortal world with her single Disturbia, released shortly after the Shia LaBeouf horror flick of the same title.
The song kicks off with a chilling scream and a driving chant: “bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum.” Rihanna asks “What’s wrong with me? / Why do I feel like this?” before giving a terrifying description of some ghastly being that “can creep up inside you / and consume you.” The music video is set in a subterranean torture chamber, where a possessed Rihanna twitches against her rusty shackles and gyrates on top of a rickety insane asylum bedframe, her milky eyeballs rolling back in their sockets. The imagery is scary enough, but the thought that will give you the spooks is that this song marks the dark fork in the road between “Pon The Replay” and “Rude Boy. As YouTube commenter Daniel Almir put it, “It’s hard to believe that this woman is the same from ‘Bitch Better Have My Money.’ How time changes people….”
– Elie Waitzer
TLC – “Creep”
TLC’s Creep either has you grooving to the rhythms and the raspy timbre of the backing horns, or reflecting on the singer’s dysfunctional relationship with her unfaithful boyfriend.
Tionne Watkins, in sultry tones, explains “I love my man with all honesty, but I know he’s cheating on me”. She then turns her lyrics towards the listener, saying she in turn cheats on her boyfriend, but “it’s only because I need some affection.” The vocals are intense and smothering. It’s as if the singer is creeping on the listener, while justifying her actions and rationalizing her loyalty her boyfriend.
Dissonance between the off-putting lyrics and the attractive beat, as well as the singer’s love for her unfaithful boyfriend despite her infidelities, is a key theme in this song. In fact, it was too much for Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC, who refused to rap on the track because she felt the song advocated staying in bad relationships.
The second verse shows the singer lamenting the emotional distance in her relationship: “And we don’t talk / like we used 2 do / now it seems pretty / strange but I’m not / bugging cause I still feel / the same yeah yeah.” She has now accepted her own unfaithful lifestyle as viable with her relationship: “Love you forever baby soul and mind” she tells her boyfriend.
She concludes ominously, however: “I creep around because I need attention/ don’t mess around with my affection.” The listener is constantly confused by the singer’s motives. It’s probably best to forget all the emotional turmoil and just dance to that fire beat.
– Ziko Smith