33 Min Released Apr 6, 2016

33. The Populist Pop of Twenty One Pilots

Out of nowhere, Twenty One Pilots has rocketed to the top of the charts with their surprise hit "Stressed Out." Charlie and Nate pull this millennial anthem apart to discover a deep political resonance, the kind that rarely hits the Hot 100. Tracing this sound back in time reveals further connections, to Compton, Motown, and the alternate universe of Parliament/Funkadelic. And, a trip further down the chart suggests that political pop still has no party affiliation.


  • Twenty One Pilots—Stressed Out
  • NWA—Alwayz Into Somethin'
  • Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg—Nuthin' but a G Thang
  • Parliament/Funkadelic—Aquaboogie
  • Stevie Wonder—Livin' for the City
  • G-Eazy x Bebe Rexha—My Myself and I
  • Iggy Azalea—Team
Switched On Pop

Switched On Pop

Breaking down how popular music works

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