22 July 2019

Summer Jam 2019 Week 11: Summer Beatwave!

What better way to beat the summer heat than with cool cool beats! Yeah bro! The earth is boiling itself - because of people! Whoops! It's time to lay back by the pool and let the apocalypse run its course. We've got cold brews and plenty of watermelon to complement our sexy summer songs.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Gravy Train" by Yung Gravy

I can't really tell if Yung Gravy is a real rapper or a Lil Dicky Rapper. He looks like a cool Ed Sheeran. Still, this song is fire and strikes a nice middle ground between joke and real. The Maxine Nightingale sample is a great addition and fits really well.

"The London" by Young Thug ft. Travis Scott & J. Cole

"The London" has been super underrated this summer. It's a legit track and has gotten decent hip-hop radio and spotify airplay, but has eluded mainstream attention. It popped back on my radar this week and deserves another shout-out. It's a very smooth track featuring a trio of rap stars ready to explode on the scene. I'm all about it.

"Rodeo" by Lil Nas X ft. Cardi B

I actually like "Rodeo" a lot more than "Old Town Road." I was singing it all week to myself. It's super catchy and you can just shout it out wherever. This Travis Scott remix is also as hot as my driveway is right now. Lil Nas X has released a ton of other tracks that all kind of suck, and I think "Panini" out of the crop may be the most notable? Whatever, I'm team "Rodeo" from here on out.

"Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X

This song won't die. Not only is everyone still talking about it, but the remix got the most zeitgeist-y animated video ever this week (linked above). It may star Thanos, but this bitch is a Juggernaut. It's as if it's life is just getting started. Lil Nas X may not actually be able to sing or even produce a beat, but damn he knew exactly how to make the most memeable song ever. Will the future of music just be memes? It's very likely. But it's also tough to do.

"Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

This may be the best first bar of any song ever. That's definitely not true, but it's still hella cool. I wish Lizzo a great career - this is a truly great first song to truly break out. Down a little bit from last week but still a real fun track. It ought to definitely stick around for quite a bit here and is starting to feel very Summer 2019.

"Señorita" by Camila Cambello & Shawn Mendes

Folks were chatting me up about this this week as well. It's rocking a lot of streams and still feels very fresh, even if it doesn't seem to be reaching true ubiquity yet. I still think this could do some serious damage this summer, but time may be out for all but gay black cowboys this year.

"You Need to Calm Down" by Taylor Swift

I've already ranted quite a bit about my issues with this song. The first third seems like it's about personal Taylor Swift haters, then it morphs into a gay rights anthem that warmly co-opts the movement's messages to support Swift's own agenda. It is pretty catchy, though. I'm sure CATS (2019) will be great.

"I Don't Care" by Bieber Sheeran

Ugh this song blows. But I heard it three times in a row so here we are. It's not very good in anyway. People like it, fine. By this point it has amassed a solid amount of appearances here and although I wouldn't want it to emerge victorious this summer, it's putting together a plausible campaign to challenge "Old Town Road." We'll see how it shakes out.

Next week...

I wanted to find room for "The Git Up" again, but it just barely missed out. "Talk", "Dancing with a Stranger", and "Wow" all also found themselves on the floor this week, but are worthy of mention and all strong Summer Jam candidates at this point. We'll see how we flex next week!

15 July 2019

Summer Jam 2019 Week 10: The Heart of Summer

Ah the post-Independence Day Summer Jam Post. Truly the Heart of Summer. But with these songs, more like the FART of Summer! We're trying. It's all good fun. There are a slew of hot jams to crank out while going to the beach, watching cool Uber-related movies, making out at camp, and causing a general ruckus. Let's press that plus button to turn the volume UP!

Hot Jam of the Week: "DOLLAR" by Becky G, Myke Towers

I was hammered drunk when I found this song and despite understanding no lyrics I definitely got down. Not sure if it will get any English-radio traction, but hey, "Despacito." This is infectious, not nearly "Despacito" levels, but is still a fun jam for the spicy scorcher days of Summer. I didn't even know Becky G was Spanish.

"Cross Me" by Ed Sheeran ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock

Ed Sheeran is actually having a lot of hits this summer. I really dislike Ed Sheeran. Is he a jokester? A mellow man? A crossover hip-hop artist? Is he cool? Why is he running around with Travis Scott and on Game of Thrones and shit. He's a ginger enigma. This song is cool, though. It doesn't really make any sense lyrically - like shouldn't it be obvious if someone crosses your girl that's also crossing you? That's apparently not automatic. I did Chance's bars here, though. It's an older song but I heard it a bunch this week and still like it.

"Wow" by Post Malone

Another oldie, same as "Cross Me" this just seemed to infect my brain this week. This has the sickest beat and flow of the year, though. So sick I can't get sick of it. It's a tubthumper dance, groovy car jam, and has a lot going for it. Despite at this it hasn't quite broken out to the top of the charts or anything. "Old Town Road" is a behemoth.

"Señorita" by Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello

This is another earworm song whose reign I think is just beginning. I gave Camila Summer Jam 2018 honors by a hair last year, and she could rise again with this jam. It's a charming, disarming, alarming romantic jam that soothes its way into our variable hearts. I dig it. We're very Spanish this week. Like a whole bunch of this great nation we call America. I mean this in a positive way but sense a controversy there somehow.

"I Don't Care" by Ed Sheeran & Bieber

This song won't quite go away, and that's just fine. Fine. It's kind of annoying, but not so much that it's totally irritating. I could just take it or leave it. By now it's made a nice Summer Jam name for itself and doesn't appear like it's going away. If it could continue to be present and rise up it might make a run for the Crown here.

"The Git Up" by Blanco Brown

"Old Town Road" hold my beer. Blanco Brown is fusing hip-hop and country even further, in a track that really sounds more latter than former. It's basically a line dance set to a beat, but since the artist is black it's a rap song, right? Oh, I can tell that it's country, because it's super irritating to my own precious ears. Still, it's fresh, popular, fun, and easy to listen to. "The Git Up" could become a thing.

"Talk" by Khalid

Yep, "Talk" was a thing again this week. By this point it's staying around quite a bit, although some weeks it hasn't quite been a presence. I feel like I heard it every day this week. It should be able to make it with at least one more round at the Top. Or never again. It seems like it's that kind of song.

"Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

After all my hesitation about this song because it's old af, there was nothing like "Truth Hurts" this week. The flow is so damn good and it really sounds like only its own thing. I will truly think of Lizzo in mid-July 2019 and that's what this list is all about. I feel embarrassed I ignored it for weeks this summer, but it's just undoubtedly a Summer Queen Contender right now. It's engaging enough that even if it slips from the #1 spot it ought to stay on this list for a while yet.

Next week...

I narrowly left off "You Need To Calm Down" and "Bad Guy" this week. Both are still hammer-wielding worthy. "Old Town Road" also got a new popular remix this week, but it kind of sucks so I left it at home for what might have been the first time this summer. At this point it's like "Old Town Road" is notable for being "Old Town Road" and its notoriety will keep it going. But I do think we've crested that ridge and there is finally room for some other jams to climb out and assert their case for Summer Jam Champion!

08 July 2019

Summer Jam 2019 Week 9

We've rounded the fourth of July and now in front of us is so much unencumbered, pure summer that I could just fall to my knees and cry. Warm weather, shaky rocks, and plenty of pools from here on out! There are a slew of jams as well - let's take a listen to what was hot during America Week 2019!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Mother's Daughter" by Miley Cyrus

Not to be outdone by her dad this summer, Miley scores one for the moms in this pop ballad. Sort of. It is a sign of her growing maturity that it's not totally about just getting wrecked, but it still is in a way, but there is a bit more subtlety here than usual. I will always contend the artistic merit of Miley Cyrus and get excited about any new music she cranks out. This is ultimately an okay track, I don't think it'll totally catch on, but fine for now.

"Happy Days" by Blink 182

Hey! Is it 1999? No, but Blink 182 has a new song! Mark Hoppus still can't sing, but this really does sound like vintage Blink. Is this music even popular anymore? It is punk-pop, which should have even more appeal now than before. But does an old man singing about youthful platitudes have any real weight? No, and neither should you.

"Money in the Grave" by Drake ft. Rick Ross

Drake gets another hit this week because this track is growing on me, although not nearly as catchy as anything he did last year. It's an engaging yet simplistic beat, Drake's flow is always solid, and singing about money is fun. Just ask Ariana. Is this a statement about the estate tax? Anti-bank? I don't know, who cares.

"Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

Yep, this song still earwormed itself into my brain this week, and despite it being pretty old, feels fresh enough that it could stick around for a while. It's got legs for days! It sounds very new and exciting and I dig a lot of what Lizzo is producing these days.

"I Don't Care" by Bieber and Sheeran

At this point, this jam has certainly made its presence known. It's been represented here pretty consistently, although never all that high. It's easy listening enough that it could last for quite a while longer. As "Old Town Road" fades, could it play the role as usurper? We'll be waiting! Probably not.

"Señorita" by Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello

Camila had a great year last year, but hasn't had much so far in 2019. That could change with this jam, which is sexy, spicy, and wonderful. It's definitely more a spot for Camila rather than Shawn to shine, but pretty good nonetheless. It had a great debut, enough that it could also threaten as "Old Town Road" starts dropping. We'll see if Camila can make another run at this.

"You Need to Calm Down" by Taylor Swift

It's pretty clear that this song is kind of weird and annoying, but I also wonder how much of that is weird Taylor Swift hate for no reason. It comes off as both self-serving and positioning itself at an unearned forefront of the Gay Rights Movement. Anyway, the song itself is pretty fun and the flow is summer enough that it'll keep being popular. Can it unseat "Old Town Road"? We have some pretty solid contenders at this point, as you can tell.

"Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray

So I was doubting this a little, then Lil Nas X apparently came out, and I couldn't ignore this Gay Black Cowboy at the tail end of Pride Month. There's still some juice left in here and as the biggest song in America during Independence Day it's earned a spot here. Any other song would be very hard-pressed to upset this jam at this point. We haven't had a clear Summer Jam winner like this in many years. Then again, we do have eight more weeks, so things could happen. Stay tuned!

Next week...

I left off Billie Eilish, but she's still a thing. There were other random jams dropped this week. I kind of liked the new Slick Rick song, and then another by Asian rap group Loonies, but they really just weren't sticky enough to catch my ear and earn a spot. I think our contenders are set really well and it'll come down to whether or not "Old Town Road" fades and someone else takes their spot. Come back next week!
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