15 May 2017

Here We Do! SUMMER JAM 2017 WEEK 1 LIVE!

Let us begin! Coming to you live on the first Monday after the Summer Season officially begins, it's that age old time to once again recount all the hottest jams of the country each week until only one remains to be crowned THE Summer Jam of 2017! We've been doing this...for many many years and this has clearly evolved into one of our least popular columns, but dammit if it isn't still a thrill to dig into the sexiest jams each week.

So the magic number is eight - always has been and always will be. Think of this more like whatever jams I really wanted to talk about more than whatever's actually hot. That always makes the end of the year tally more valid. Now, we've only got seventeen weeks, so every notch counts!

HOT JAM OF THE WEEK! "Bon Appétit" by Katy Perry ft. Migos

This will definitely rise fast, and even though there are many possible candidates this week, it's clear that Katy Perry has been priming a mini-comeback from her mini-sort of hiatus lately with "Chained to the Rhythm" then this, which blows everything out o the water. Her new style seems to be somewhere between more traditional Lo Fi Chill-Hop beats and a really engrossing vocal rhythm, with some healthy rap collabos. Migos are the hottest hip-hop group around right now, and their inclusion is very natural to make a killer summer jam. This song is debuting at a perfect time and won't go anywhere till mid-July.

Old Jam Holding On: "That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars

Bruno has also had a great pair of songs in the past six months - following up the wonderful "24K Magic" with this smooth jam that comes close to being superior. It's definitely on the tail end of its cosmic journey across pop culture, but still getting airplay and notoriety enough to be worth a mention here. It may even survive a few more weeks, but likely not a true Jam candidate.

Smokin! "Mask Off" by Future

Future blows, as does this song but I really wanted to mention this because a friend of mine was telling me the other day that Future was trying to steal his friend's girlfriend. This of course makes no sense outside of an insane lifestyle that I want to learn much more about. This song is doing alright and Future's stock is rising. We'll keep an eye on it.

Oppam One-Hit Wonder Style: "New Face" by PSY

I really love non-"Gangnam Style" PSY songs for two reasons: 1) The 2012 smash was a ridiculous worldwide YouTube-driven novelty song and 2) He's actually equally insane and hilarious in all his videos, and "New Face" preserves a lot of that "Gangnam Style" weirdness and sick dance moves. It will of course not catch on, but it's still a sweet jam to crank out this summer. You'll at least get a lot of fun quizzical looks! He also dropped "I LUV IT" this week but that's a bit weaker to me.

A Star is Born: "The Cure" by Lady GaGa

It's been a few years since she was a serious Summer Jam contender, and whether she sees this herself or not (I doubt it), I've always pictured GaGa as eternally pining for a Summer Jam Crown. "The Cure" is a little old but still pretty fresh, and from Super Bowl LI it's been clear that she wants 2017 to become the Year of GaGa. Unfortunately that may have been 2009 or maybe 2011, which is getting to be a minute ago. I think this could keep tracking for a few weeks or at least set up another single off Joanne, but once again, she's dueling Katy this summer.

Interchangeable Pop Ballad of the Week: "Rockabye" by Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

This was a big jam this week but totally also a random pop song that no one will care about in three weeks' time. You can always tell the songs like this since the amount of artists you need to credit is longer than the song title. Nice to hear Sean Paul here although I was totally just thinking Pitbull the whole time. I just realized that Pitbull took over the career that Sean Paul was building. That's fucked up. There's nothing really special about this song, but it's cool for now.

Speaking Of: "I'm the One" by DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne

It may be weird to hear, but I actually don't have anything at all against Justin Bieber. In fact I dig most of his tracks, especially "Love Yourself" which I still tune everything else out to jam to. This is a pretty stupid song, though, even if it's #1 on the Billboard Charts this week. There's a lot going on here and it doesn't come close to some of Chance the Rapper's great hits like "No Problem" that he cranked out last year with Lil Wayne. He's still probably the best part of this jam. It could stay around a while since it has the momentum, but I don't think it'll ever really threaten for Summer King.

Cosby or Eddie Murphy: "iSpy" by KYLE ft. Lil' Yachty

I had to look up a few things - namely, KYLE, and the stylization of "iSpy" for some reason, but this is far and large the catchiest song of the week. There's not an artist that more embodies 2017 to me than Lil' Yachty, who just seems to get this generation, probably because he's actually of this generation. This is a little bit outdated and will probably only ride until June or so, which makes its Summer Jam status a reach, but we'll see what it can do.

Next week...

I was tempted to shout out DNCE's new jam with Nicki Minaj, but the song sucks hard. Kendrick Lamar has also had a lot of big awesome jams drop lately, but I'm not sure any of them are actually Top 8 yet - "Humble." is the chief, but that's definitely a bit played out by now. Still, it could easily creep back. Stay tuned! We got 16 more weeks of this crap!

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