New Music Friday: Rahim’s Playlist

Hulu’s teen drama Love, Victor has finally come to a close. To celebrate and remember its best characters, YEM has created a playlist for Rahim! 

Starting things off slow-paced is “august” by Taylor Swift. The eighth track off her 2020 album folklore, “august” is wistful, tinged with nostalgia. There’s an underlying current of unrequited love here – or, rather, the pain that comes from an imbalance of love. It fits Rahim: all the hope he must’ve felt when kissing Victor, only for it to evaporate when he wasn’t chosen. Luckily, he eventually rediscovers that feeling in Connor. But that stuff still hurts!

Next up is Olivia Rodrigo’s love letter to the LGBT+ community, “hope ur ok.” In it, Rodrigo describes all the obstacles her gay friends encountered while growing up and wishes each of them well. What with Rahim’s rocky road to coming out, he’d definitely resonate with this powerful message. It’s never confirmed whether or not Rahim is an Olivia fan, but we’re sure he’d love this song and all it stands for.  

“Getting Older” by Billie Eilish is similar in that sense: it explores all the personal difficulties people grapple with when growing up. It’s gentle and melancholy; her whispery vocals, forever her staple, complement the song’s contemplative tone. Rahim grows so much as a person by the time the show ends: he’s come to terms with his sexuality, admitted (and subsequently got over) his feelings for Victor, and started dating Connor. While not all of it was easy – as Billie can attest – it was all worth it. Plus, his bestie Pilar is a big Billie Eilish fan and would probably freak if she saw this on Rahim’s Spotify. 

Coming in at number four is actually a good friend of Billie’s: Khalid! “8TEEN,” off his 2017 album American Teen, is a sweet, lo-fi hit. Vahim and Conhim shippers alike are sure to love it; the lyrics are relatable to anyone who’s ever been a teenager with a new crush. Independent artist Boy Jr. effortlessly carries on the chill vibe. “Ur Lovable” contains a certain amorphous quality; this song floats, as dreamy as falling in love. The lyrics describe the deep feelings formed when someone feels wholly understood by another person. Sound like a certain character you know? 

GRAE is another independent artist. “Soft” is off their latest album, Whiplash. This song has the same quality as its namesake, with vocals that feel like a warm, fuzzy blanket, and instrumentals that take all the time they need. It’s the feeling of falling in love after getting your heart broken, right when you thought you’d completely lost the feeling. Lyrics like “you had me feeling, feeling blood rushing again” make it easy to imagine this playing during Connor and Rahim’s restaurant meet-cute. 

Jo Hill is an unsigned indie pop newcomer who knows that feeling all too well. “HONEYMOON” is about a relationship’s “honeymoon phase.” While that sounds sweet, this song has a bit of a darker undertone: there’s repetition of “let’s not talk about it” each time the topic of a real relationship pops up. Though Victor and Rahim were able to make amends, all the borderline flirting and (of course) kissing must’ve put them in an awkward place, especially since Victor and Benji were still technically dating. They’ve all made up since then, but talk about awkward! 

 “Hannah Montana” is the latest single by accomplished independent musician flowerovlove. It’s a light song about living life to the fullest, complete with background piano instrumentals that tie the song together, making it all the more endearing. It’s (almost) as sweet as Rahim.  “I Like Me” by dexter (yet another talented indie artist!) is a gentle exploration of identity. Off their 2021 EP I Do Love a Good Sandwich, the pressure to conform is a big theme in this song. It’s like Rahim’s situation in the reverse: instead of feeling pressured to dress femininely, Rahim must act more masculine for his homophobic uncle’s benefit. At the end of the day, both dexter and Rahim come to the same conclusion: self-love. 

On the romantic side of things is “Hey Lover!” by Wabie. This song was released independently in 2019; it’s an easygoing track with touching lyrics that are all too human. When it really comes down to it, all Rahim wants is, as the song puts it, “true love and understanding.” Romantic love isn’t the only kind that’s out there, though! King Princess’s “For My Friends” is an ode to true friendship. While Rahim’s love life was often at the forefront of fans’ discussions, let’s not forget his wholesome friendship with Pilar! If there’s one thing about Rahim, it’s that he’s ride-or-die when it comes to his friends. Romance is fleeting; friends are forever. 

Up next is the Vahim song: “Holy” by Justin Bieber (featuring Chance The Rapper). It’s a lowkey, irresistibly wholesome song meant to make you smile. The sweet lyrics perfectly complement Rahim’s flirty side. There’s no way he wouldn’t have this on his playlist. 

Speeding things up a little (well, a lot) is “Wings” by English girl band Little Mix. Originally released in 2012, it’s an intense, catchy, and all-around empowering song meant for anyone who walks to the beat of their own drum. What’s not to love? 

Keeping that energy high is K-pop girl group CLC, with “Hobgoblin.” There’s something both sly and intense about the beats that’ll keep listeners engaged from start to finish. Released in 2017 off their EP CRYSTYLE, this is ideal for K-pop fans who are looking for some quality music off the beaten path. Rahim, a certified Blackpink stan, would approve. When it comes to K-pop girl groups, though, 2NE1 has icon status. “I Am The Best,” a lively track with unique beats, was released in 2014 as a single. It’s a super catchy dance track great for boosting confidence (which Rahim, by the show’s end, has in droves). 

 Don’t worry: we’ve got Blackpink. “How You Like That” is the first track off THE ALBUM, released in 2020. It’s one of their most popular songs, with over 645 million Spotify hits; it only takes one listen to realize why. The polished beats and strong vocals make it almost kinetic. It’s not difficult to imagine jam-packed stadiums going absolutely wild for this. “Kill This Love,” released the previous year, is another smash hit. It’s a high-energy song perfect for getting over someone, just like Rahim had to do. 

“Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa takes a different approach than most pop songs. Its got fresh beats, and absolutely nails it in every way. It’s probably what Rahim felt during all the time he spent with Victor in season two. 

“XS” by Rina Sawayama delivers that pop goodness that Rahim loves so much. Off Sawayama’s eponymous 2020 album, this song is a modern day “Material Girl,” with strong vocals and creative beats. We know that Rahim loves his designer clothes; the only thing he’d love more is his song. And Connor, probably. 

This last track is for the Little Monsters. Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was released in 2011 and is the pride anthem of the last decade. It doesn’t get more empowering (or fun!) than this. Rahim’s coming out journey was not an easy one, but this song perfectly encapsulates how far he’s come.

What songs would you add to the playlist? Let us know in the comments! If you can’t get enough of Rahim, check out YEM’s exclusive interview with Anthony Keyvan! 

You can listen to the playlist here. 

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