24 June 2013

Summer Jam Week 7: Radioactive Collard Greens

Well folks, believe it or not, Norwegian Morning Wood, the Beatles song-turned-boner joke pop culture blog site just hit its Four Year Mark, and this post is No. 500. Five Hundred! So, we could do something special, but who cares, let's just recount the most popular Summer Jams of the week. Radioactive Collard Greens. Every Summer Monday we dissect the Hottest Jams out there in an effort to see who will be crowned THE Jam of 2013's Summer. Let's begin:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Collard Greens" by Schoolboy Q ft. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is sort of taking off by now, and it's telling that in the same week that Yeezus dropped we're highlighting this instead. Schoolboy Q seems like a juvenile name, even for a rapper, but his flow is on point and contains a nice mix of fury and potency. Kendrick smooths his way in here and while I can't see this getting a ton of mainstream play, I bet it's going to be added to plenty of playlists this week. You're welcome.

Gorgeous: "Beautiful" by Mariah Carey ft Miguel

I actually had no idea who this was until I looked it up - which may say something about how undistinct Mariah's voice has become, or maybe just the high level of imitators she has. You've got to hand it to a diva most known for being the big-tittied object of affection for both Nick Cannon and the Zohan, she's laid down a solid track here. Anything to keep her out of a Glitter (2001) sequel. Jeez, Glitter (2012) is twelve years old? I need to stop making fun of Mariah, she's got a lot going right for her somehow.

Gay Together: "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert

I actually like Lambert a bit more than Mack on this song. The long story-type of song doesn't seem ideal for a Summer Jam, although this is the real Mack that the world needs to be introduced to rather than his "Thrift Shop" ridiculousness. It's a worthwhile message and kind of surprising move coming off such a huge hit. Then again, Mack has his head in the right place, and his independence from any major label allows him to use his huge positive support to push forward a major song like this. Kudos.

Ride Wit Me: "Cruise (REMIX)" by Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

See, this is a week of opposites. We've got Kendrick and Mariah, then a huge gay anthem followed by a more traditional Summer Jam featuring hillbillies crooning over their girls. "Cruise" is still a fabulously enjoyable song, although it doesn't seem to be getting the buzz it needs to right now. You'd think the conservative crossover hit would be catching on like gangbusters, but it instead feels more like a misfire. I like this song, but that's probably better for everyone.

90: "I Love It" by Icona Pop ft. Charlie XCX

XCX is roman for 90, right? Or maybe the ten under / ten over just results in 100. Whatever. This remains the greatest pop song on this list, and gains special points for its intense amounts of swagger, originality, and its ode to being a 90s chick. It's bizarre that this has taken off at all, much less lasted this long, but I'll take it. It sums up youthful independence, energy, and aggressive apathy in a more genuine way than anything that fun. could produce. I'm all for it hanging around a bit longer.

Like Spider-Man: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

I didn't really consider this to be that relevant for a few weeks, but it seems to have surged lately. Maybe it was just that LeBron James commercial that was on as he won his third ring. It's still fantastic song, with a really crazy Muppet Battle video that walks a line between seriousness and extreme goofiness that just ends being really surreal. It's a trip.

All Night: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

If Daft Punk paved the way for other electro hacks like David Guetta, Guetta at least paid the way for Daft Punk to be as suddenly relevant again today as they are now. This jam is fantastic, in no small part thanks to the coos of Pharrell and of course a steady stream of funk from Daft Punk. You know, those guys could be like eighty years old. We don't know. Or maybe they are actually robots. The robots are taking over!

Meow: "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

My favorite musical Robin is still this one, but I guess Thicke will do for the summer. This song is just starting to get irritating, which is a pretty good sign it's on its way to being a true Summer Jam. The timing couldn't be more perfect to really get nuts going into The Week of the Fourth of July and this thing can pump out of stereos and iHomes everywhere. It's also Pharrell's second Jam of the week, meaning he's of course the go-to guy for this stuff. I'm wondering if its supposedly (and arguably) "rapey" lyrics will end up being its downfall at this point. The very NSFW original video that features all of the models topless for just about the entire time does seem to attest to that. It will be a high watermark in our general understanding of rape culture if this actually causes the song to plummet, but damn if that beat isn't catchy enough to weather the storm. We could certainly use more Emily Ratajkowski.

Next Week...

We kicked "Can't Hold Us" off the list this week - just not enough room at the inn. I'm also curious to see if anything off Yeezus does take off. Perennial favorite Bruno Mars also just dropped a new jam, "Treasure" that has plenty of room to take off. Finally I'm not counting out Miley - "We Can't Stop" is just too much of a party anthem. Right? Or have we actually gotten sick of this kind of music that has done a hundred times before? We'll see. Stay tuned, true believers.

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