02 September 2013

Summer Jam Week 17: Adieu

It's been a long, crazy, stupid summer around here folks, but it's finally over. With Labor Day striking and kids trotting off back to school, the joyous raucous of the Months of Sunshine halt as we descend unto Football, Masks, and Turkey. But lest we not forget the hottest jams of the Summer? I think not - for once more into the fray, here are your week's winners:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Control" by Big Sean ft. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica



This track has gained some fame for Kendrick's verses where he insults and threatens just about every other rapper out there. It's either a huge sign of his apathy towards mainstream rap beefs or a legitimate "fuck you" to every possible collabo he may find down the line. Either way, I'm inclined to think that Kendrick will be fine - he's got the talent to stay above everyone else, although he doesn't really have the career yet where he can claim to be the greatest ever. Save that for Jay-Z and Kanye.

More Ken: "Street Dreamin'" by Bridget Kelly ft. Kendrick Lamar

Keeping with Kendrick for a second (and we could have certainly included "Give It 2 U" with Robin Thicke), this is a chill little song that made some slight waves this week. Although, is it just me or does Bridget Kelly look like Kimmi the tranny from The Hangover: Part II (2011)? That kind of gives me all kind of weird feelings. Anyway, Kendrick ought to have a nice Labor Day, that is if he's not whacked.

Once More For Luck: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

I may have left this jam off this week if not for the brilliant reading by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost linked above. It's a magnificent interpretation of the Summer Jam, and Pegg seems to be channeling his inner Patrick Stewart to comic effect. If not for this I think despite what appeared to be a nice little run towards the end of Summer, "Get Lucky" will come up just short this week.

Bummer Summer: "Summertime Sadness REMIX" by Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais

This jam deserved more of a chance this summer, even if Lana Del Rey has no interest in being a prototypical pop star, which actually makes her much more interesting to me. Her sheer apathy towards pop stardom is heavily criticized, but that's kind of an insane thing to criticize, right? Why should she care or attempt to make herself presentable or marketable at all? She's fine just crooning out wonky songs like "Video Games" and this, whose techno Gervais beats makes it way more palatable for Top 40 radio. And even if it's a downer, who doesn't get the summertime sadness every once in a while?

Hands Together Now: "Applause" by Lady GaGa

GaGa is storming her way up and I bet "Applause" ends up being a pretty decent hit, even if Katy's "Roar" is currently ranked higher on the Billboard Top 100. "Roar" is instantly forgettable, though, and while GaGa has done better than "Applause," it's still been far too long since the girl has been on the radio. She's knee deep in her self-proclaimed Art/Pop Culture Revolution, and to the extent that mainstream audiences can buy into that wacky schtick will influence how this jam's received. Yeah, Katy goes down way smoother, regardless of the actual merit of the songs. And that meta-edge makes GaGa even more irresistible to pop aficionados like me.

You've Had Enough: "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus

What more can I say? Miley dominated just about every news outlet this week, for better or worse. More attention is usually good attention, at least if she can come back with something even half-good after this. For now, "We Can't Stop" has a thumping base, a completely boffo video, and legion after legion of very confused fans. It's unclear at this point whether or not Miley is actually going crazy like Amanda Bynes or just faking it like Ke$ha. I'm not quite sure which level of authenticity is better. All Hail Cyrus.

Gold in Dem Hills: "Treasure" by Bruno Mars

This jam seemed to get up to be everywhere this week, including a spot at #1 on Vh1's weekly countdown. Anyway, this was still the song that never was this Summer, and despite this good showing this week, it's way too inconsistent to be a serious contender. Still, that Filipino kid lays down some serious funk here, and I can always appreciate the super-throwback video.

And One For the Road: "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

This jam seems to have no signs of slowing. It's infectious beat, erotic video, and crazily suggestive lyrics all but guaranteed it to be the gone and away Summer Jam. Misogynistic, pig-headed, contributory to rape culture, whatever you may say, you cannot deny the popularity of this thing - which is a problem unto itself. We'll be talking more at length about this monster during our Summer Throne Annunciation tomorrow.

Tomorrow...

We lay it all ont he line baby - we'll be recounting the entire Summer and of course announcing the WINNERS of the SUMMER CROWN! Who will forever be remembered along with the immortal likes of LMFAO and Carly Rae Jepsen? This really is a stupid column, isn't it? Stay tuned and happy Labour Day, folks!

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