18 August 2009

Modal Nodes: The Last Runners for Summer Jam 2009

As many of you don't know, I have an intense obsession with incredibly stupid popular music. Most of this may be read here. I love staying on the Zeitgeist music scene, I feel like I can read a lot of our culture from it. Also Katy Perry's voice is just too damn sexy.

Anyway, I also mentioned in that earlier post an unending quest of mine (I guess it really ends on Labour Day, but what the hell) to find the ultimate Summer Jam each year. This basically boils down to the catchiest, most overplayed song of summer that everyone loves and hates (as they love and hate themselves.) I started this quest in 2008, where the clear winner was Leona Lewis, "Bleeding in Love." No question, this was a huge track from like, April to September, dominated. Oh Nine has been somewhat trickier. Here is a list I made in mid-June of possible contenders, attempting to cover a wide range of genres (both R&B AND Hip-Hop), artists, and popularity. Her we in my predicted rank order from June 10th, 2009:

1. Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"
2. Jamie Foxxx, "Blame It"
3. Lady GaGa, "Poker Face"/"Disco Stick" (At the time Poker Face was in clear transition to Disco Stick, openly acknowledging that both songs together could easily conquer summer)
4. Flo Rida ft. Kesha, "Right Round"
5. Green Day, "Know Your Enemy"
6. Kelly Clarkson, "I Do Not Hook Up"
7. Jeremih, "Birthday Sex"
8. Drake, "Best I Ever Had"

Take a hard look at this list. Clearly Green Day was probably never well into the running to begin with, they've dropped off hard. Jeremih surged well in early-to-mid July, but has slightly petered since then; the same could probably be said for Drake. "Right Round" creeps in here and there, being featured in a movie is always huge (End Credits for "The Hangover" (2009), not bad concluding a so far $265,790,452 box office) but overall has dropped pretty well. I still hear "Blame It" every once in a while, but it's not nearly overwhelming enough to be that true Summer Jam.

Now we see my early favourite, "Boom Boom Pow." This track was unstoppable from probably May to around mid-July when a big shift started happening (see Jeremih and Drake's surges and let downs, as well as "Blame It's" downturn). Suddenly I wasn't hearing my shitty annoying Black Eyed Peas song on the radio every 15 minutes. Something was definitely askew. Kelly Clarkson, starting off weak has been surprisingly resilient. Still weak, but still very present, which is more than can be said for current playings of Green Day or Flo Rida. In the meantime, however, there arose a few other contenders for the throne. I will list the stragglers here:

1. The Ting Tings, "That's Not My Name"
2. Pitbull, "I Know You Want Me"
3. Katy Perry, "Waking up in Vegas"
4. Keri Hilson ft. Kanye & Ne-yo, "Knock You Down"
5. Sean Kingston, "Fire Burning"
6. 3OH!3, "Don't Trust Me"
7. Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody"
8. Kid Cudi, "Day and Night"

Now let's look over this list real quick. 3OH!3 and Kid Cudi have been pretty long lasting, but not nearly overplayed enough to be true Summer Jams. Pitbull and The Ting Tings broke relatively late, "That's Not My Name" holding a dominant spot in that mid-July transition period, while "I Know You Want Me" has still been riding high as a legitimate contender, especially this past week. Kingston has been slow and steady, I heard one my 10-year old kids I coach singing it one day, a clear sign of its inception into our public hivemind. Kings of Leon and Katy Perry have been decent, but totally not jam-worthy enough to earn that Summer Crown.

So, if you've been paying attention, I'd say the major contenders to be the Champion of Summer 2009 are Pitbull, Keri Hilson, Black Eyed Peas, or Lady GaGa. It's hardest for Pitbull or the BEP to claim it really, because although they both experienced waves of massive overwhelming airtime, "Boom Boom Pow" is essentially a May to June song and "I Know You Want Me" has ruled July to August. To really earn the spot, you need that constant airplay. Keri Hilson could have it, she's been around a while, but only really spiking in the past month or so.

So then we have GaGa. If you consider her entire oeuvre of "Poker Face," "Disco Stick," a somehow resurgence of "Just Dance" as well as her smaller collaboration with Wale, "Chillin'," I think you've got the clear Queen of Summer right there baby. I actually probably love "Chillin'" the best out of all of them (you can probably find a better copy I had to embed a shitty one), that along with Flo Rida ft. Nelly Furtado's "Jump" I had been pulling for, but are clearly out of the running. And that was featured with "G-Force" (2009)! "Disco Stick," clearly her tentpole song to swear by the past few months has, lost some steam that may have to pick up the next couple of weeks, but all in all, I believe in GaGa.

Live it.

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