Hulu’s Utopia Falls Is Pretty Out There — But Its Soundtrack Is Mercilessly Cool

What do you think would happen if you got chosen for the Hunger Games but instead of fighting to the death for survival you simply had to enter a fun dance competition? That’s the general gist of Hulu’s brand new dystopian teen series, Utopia Falls. Sometime in the distant future, the world is divided into different sectors and kids from those different groups get together once a year to put on a show. Of course, there are also more nefarious motivations at play, but the dance!

Utopia Falls follows the story of Aliyah (Robyn Alomar), a member of the Progress sector, who is chosen with dozens of other 16-year olds to go to the Exemplar and practice the arts (see: song and dance) ahead of a big show that will be broadcast through their region, New Babyl. These kids don’t know what they’re missing in their lives until they stumble upon an old archived library full of music, movies, and art that’s been hidden away for years. The new music — mainly hip-hop — starts to influence their performances and their lives until they’re ready to overthrow the government. But don't forget the dancing!

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So this might go without saying, but there’s a lot of music in Utopia Falls. A lot of it has actually been composed specifically for the show (including many of the dance numbers since the kids aren’t allowed to outright dance to the outlawed hip-hop genre). But for those ones that you might recognize from elsewhere, here are all the songs you need to hear from Utopia Falls.

Episode 1: "Joy for Love," G-Bakamela


This is our first big introduction to the movement on the show, as the kids at the Exemplar begin to dance and really discover to discover their own movements.

Episode 1: "Juicy," Notorious B.I.G. 


After finding the Archive and the voice-activated library (voiced by Snoop Dogg), Aliyah and Bohdi start listening to the Notorious B.I.G.

Episode 2: "Win," Jay Rock


This is one of the songs played on shuffle for Aliyah and Bohdi in the Archive.

Episode 2: "Gimme Some More," Busta Rhymes

Another song for Aliyah and Bohdi in the Archive.

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Episode 2: "Walk It Out," UNK


They are sure shuffling through songs fast in the Archive, because here’s another one Aliyah and Bohdi listen to.

Episode 2: "TAlk tO Me," Tory Lanez and Rich The Kid


Once again, this another song that plays for Aliyah and Bohdi as they’re slowly discovering the contents of the Archive.

Episode 2: "Hate Me Now," NAS ft. P. Diddy


Taking the Library out for his own personal spin, Bohdi dances in the Archive.

Episode 2: "Tom’s Diner," Suzanne Vega


We sadly don’t hear the actual song “Tom’s Diner,” in the episode, but rather an instrumental version of it while Aliyah is dancing.

Episode 3: "Clap Clap," CLiQ


In order to really connect with the inhabitants of New Babyl, the kids are required to record video interviews of themselves.

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Episode 3: "DNA," Kendrick Lamar


Aliyah and Bohdi decide to introduce some of their friends at the Exemplar to the Archive and use Kendrick Lamar as a gateway to the rest of the music in the library.

Episode 4: "Wavey," CLiQ ft. Alika


The kids perform their dances and get better acquainted with themselves, as a montage (!) of research is played in the Library.

Episode 4: "Work," Gang Starr


Utopia Falls has a lot of dance montages set to a lot of different music. As you may have guessed, this is another one.

Episode 4: "Money Good," Megan thee Stallion 


When they’re not dancing to perform for New Babyl, the kids in the Exemplar are dancing for themselves. Who’s to tell them they can’t have a dance party in the Library?

Episode 5: "I Love (ADHD)," Joyner Lucas


Apollo listens to this song in the library while grooving along.

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Episode 6: "MIDDLE CHILD," J. Cole


Bohdi relates the song to his time in New Babyl. We hear this song again in the next episode, too, as it really sticks with Aliyah.

Episode 6: "Heavy Baile," Se Ela Vim ft. Dada Yute


Sage returns to the archive after being hurt and listens to this song.

Episode 6: "La Vem Gente," Bloco Da Laje


Trying to feel like herself again, Sage dances alone in the Archive.

Episode 6: “Deception," Blackalicious


Bohdi performs his own dance.

Episode 6: "We Find Love," Daniel Caesar

Aliyah and Bohdi share a moment... while elsewhere, Tempo burns down the Archive.
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Episode 8: "Ain't No Sunshine," Bill Withers


Apollo makes Turbo listen to this song in hopes of connecting him with more music.




Episode 9: "Don’t Lack," Ben Yen Ft. Mo Musiq


Apollo drops some sick beats.

Episode 9: "Deep Inside," Hardrive ‎


Apollo spins a track at the Reform club.

Episode 10: "You Got Me," The Roots feat. Erykah Badu


Trying to offer a message of hope to the citizens of New Babyl, Apollo plays this at the end to remind everyone that they’re not alone out there.



Photo: Courtesy of Hulu/Brooke Palmer.

Episode 10: "My Kin," Bohdi and Aliyah


You, unfortunately, won’t be able to find this song just yet, as it’s a brand new track for Utopia Falls, actually performed by the actors. In their own act of defiance, Aliyah and Bohdi perform this song in the Reform sector. 

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