Lofi hip-hop beats to study/relax to is finally back on YouTube

Panic attack OVER! 😌

by James Greig
26 February 2020, 12:01pm


Earlier this week, YouTube caused a furore by accidentally shutting down the much-loved musical live stream ‘lofi hip-hop radio: beats to study/relax to’ for violating its terms of service. Haven’t heard of it? It’s essentially a 24/7 radio station which shows a Studio Ghibli-esque video of a young woman, known colloquially as ‘Study Girl’, doing her homework, sitting next to her cat and in front of an ambiguous cityscape.

Following the ban, the account which created the stream, ChilledCow, tweeted YouTube directly to demand an explanation. It worked: thankfully, for the legions of stressed out students who depend on the stream’s slightly narcotising vibes, YouTube quickly realised what a terrible mistake they’d made and reversed their decision. They even issued the account’s creator, ChilledCow, with an apology too.

Presumably they realised that banning an account so widely loved was counter-productive. ‘Lofi hip-hop radio: beats to study/relax to’ has become a certified internet phenomenon, with millions of devoted followers that have helped spawn thousands of memes. ‘Study Girl’ has become the patron saint of stressed-out people students everywhere; the human embodiment of a can of Monster drunk at 11pm the night before a deadline. The video changes depending on the season (it’s snowing right now) or whether it’s night or day, but her bored expression stays the same. It’s kind of weirdly beautiful.

Mostly instrumental, the music played on the stream has been described as “a very particular, very millennial breed of simmering downtempo… muffled drum machine pitter, a few lazy nocturnal synth beams, perhaps an entranced, elliptical vocal sample sourced from self-help tapes, ancient cartoons, Nintendo 64 games, or public-access flotsam.”

Thankfully we didn’t have to mourn its loss for too long. Hopefully, YouTube will pay it a little more respect next time.