15 April 2011

Super Summer 2011 Jam Preview!

We're fast approaching my favourite time of the year around here at Norwegian Morning Wood - Summer. Skirts, Shades and Sandy beaches, Summer is truly the greatest season of all the seasons. No doubt. Around here we always have a firm pulse on the Song of Summer, the King or Queen Jam that we'll always remember and indefinitely tie to the Summer Months. It's tough to predict who gets the crown, even midway through the season. Last year there really wasn't a doubt, Katy Perry reigned supreme. I'm starting to learn lessons, you never know what's going to drop and make it big, especially with music during which any young new artist can innovate some sound, get airplay on Hot 97, blow up huge and then never be heard from again. So, sticking to my guns and who's been priming recently, here's a breakdown on who we might be jamming our bass to come August:

By the way, when did Dre get jacked?

Em and Dre: Detox drops on 4/20 and I'm sure there are some worthwhile jams on it that are set to blow. Dre's releases so far have been good but not at the calibre of The Chronic. "Kush" is all about weed (huge departure for Dre of course) and "I Need a Doctor" is honestly probably the most Ho Yay song I've ever heard and that's not the way to secure a Summer Jam. C'mon! The Chronic WAS summer, you're all So Cal, Dre! You got this! You may also notice that at this point, Em and Dre are the same person.

Katy Perry: The girl's career since last summer is actually fantastic. She was able to parlay earlier attention-grabbing hits like "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot N Cold" into the huge similar jam "California Girls" but then stylistically backed off completely with "Teenage Dream" and "Firework," both of which are nearly as popular if not more so. She's basically pulled a bait and switch on the nation, leading us in with this slutty persona then showing us the depth underneath. Ahem. Her latest, "E.T." is a further departure from her normal fare that is so simultaneously bizarre, un-Katylike and awesome that she's set to do just about anything she wants and earn another crown this summer.

Black Eyed Peas: The natural winner of 2009, B.E.P. are set for something big this summer. After some really shitty songs they've actually released a song I like recently and have enough people talking about their terrible Half-Time show to have some publicity and momentum. They've also got a recent album out and plenty of terribly catchy jams to choose from.

Nicki Minaj: Nicki's got some talent but she's still fighting for her own merits rather than just fantastic guest spots. I would call her work on her own Jam last year and this year's "Moment 4 Life" some of her best work and that's coming from her own album. In order to really secure the jam she needs to drop something with the vocal quality of "Roman's Revenge" with the lyrical quality of "Your Love" and the beats of "Monster." Good luck.

50 Cent: Curveball! I think 50's actually set to make a comeback. He's recuperated from getting his ass kicked by Kanye a few years ago and has spent enough time off the charts to learn to appreciate his craft a bit. He actually has some minor singles that are doing better like "Buzzin" and the rising "Down on Me." I want to point out the way he kills it on this "Fuck You" remix. He only spits the first voice then for the rest of an already awesome song we're waiting to hear him again. Leave 'em wanting more, 50, what do you got off Black Magic this summer?

Taio Cruz: There's a chance. He hasn't done shit since last summer. He could be like Flo Rida and really excel at those summer hits. Or just fade out as a two-hit wonder. Actually when this is the best you got, there's no chance.

Rihanna: This girl churns out hits like I churn out posts about SNL and GaGa - it's sick. I don't think "S&M" will carry her through the summer (Think of it as her 2011 "Rude Boy." By the way, anyone realise that no one remembers "Rude Boy?" or "So Hard?" If it's not "Umbrella," Rihanna songs have terrible longevity. That said, her popularity stays consistent and she can grab the first Crown since 2007.

Wiz Khalifa: This is 2011's B.o.B...but shittier. Maybe he's more like 2011's Travie McCoy. "Roll Up" is a decent stepping stone into a decent Summer Jam that really gets people's attention. I would heavily doubt his chances of winning the Crown but he could finish Top 8 if he churns out something awesome.

How to become Queen of Summer? Enter in a Giant Egg
Lady GaGa: Born This Way drops May 23 - there isn't a more prime month to drop a huge album if you're gearing for a Summer Crown. The title track that's already dropped and hit #1 is a great primer for this album which by all indications seems like much more of a lighter party album while retaining a lot of personal sentiment. I still don't think GaGa has matched "Just Dance" but this could be her year more than any other. I feel like GaGa is like the LeBron Era Cleveland Cavaliers - she's come so close every year to a Queen of Summer Crown but continually chokes. Let's just hope that GaGa didn't move to Miami. Does any GaGa fan understand these sports metaphors?

Stay tuned to Norwegian Morning Wood which will recount the Top Summer Tracks every Monday from the first weekend in May all the way to The First Day of School. Summer here we come!

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