12 June 2017

Summer Jam Week FIVE LIVE Selena Takes All Our Money!

Summer rolls along and it's time again to espouse the sexiest, saltiest, savoriest jams of the week. There were a ton of hot new beats dropped this week, and we were tempted to do an All-New Hotness Edition, but a lot of holdover tracks were still jamming enough to get their shout-out here. We might get to a hotness week one of these weeks, but for now we're at least 50% old crap. Let's start thumping!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Good Cop Bad Cop" by Ice Cube

I went through a lot of new jams this week but knew I had to pick this ditty when I came across it. This is a new track on Cube's reissue of his 1992 album Death Certificate, and while it has plenty of relevant politically charged lyrics daaaayumn that beat is hot, son. We haven't really heard Ice Cube rap in a while. He's been distracted making terrible xXx movies, corny family films, and the occasional 21 Jump Street (2012). It's nice to be reminded of how damn good he is spitting bars, and this is totally Death Certificate-worthy.

Fard Crimes: "Hard Times" by Paramore

For some reason I have trouble coming up with puns on this one. Maybe because it's just such an inexplicable song. It's perfect background noise, though, such innocuous mid-day Summer bar music or commercial or movie fodder. It's all the same crap. But it's enjoyable, and that's the real point here. Can we really fault a song for being competent and uninteresting, but still pretty fun? I don't know, but that's Paramore.

Get Close to Sombodda: "The Way I Are" by Bebe Rexha

I never quite know what to think of Bebe Rexha. She looks like a sexy little rat who can't really sing, but smiles a lot like she can, so that's something nice. Lil Wayne appears here autotuning it up, which is probably just to make Bebe look better. This reeks of a confident music video that also doesn't really have any purpose other than pop glory, which is evident all over the place. That may not be a bad thing, but there's not a ton of depth or interestingness here. This also gets really weird with Indian appropriation. It's cheeky pop, so it could last, but I've grown to dislike it.

iBrya: "iSpy" by KYLE ft. Lil' Yachty

This track returns for a little bump this week, and I for sure haven't gotten really sick of it yet, even if it's been muscled out lately. I do think that Lil' Yachty is becoming emblematic of the mumble-rap even more than his predecessors, Desiigner and Fetty Wap. There's lots of sticky moments here, though, which is generally positive and uplifting, which is kind of rare for a big crossover summer rap hit. I'm down.

Now Flip It Around: "Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt

Yes, the exact opposite of "iSpy." America! See, we can live in harmony. Both these songs are just about hooking up with chicks, that's what it's all about. America. This has been hanging around for a bit now, and maybe wasn't totally prominent but means a lot to my life right now. Or at least I found myself singing along on the radio. I still use radio. I'm glad this song appeals to radio users. Do we even have shared radio experiences anymore when everyone Spotifies? These are questions above mortal understanding.

Faces in the Street: "Bad Liar" by Selena Gomez

It might also just be my personal taste, but "Bad Liar" has found a way of persisting. Selena Gomez gets under my skin with in her voice and rhythm, which is endlessly infectious. I don't even know if this rises above kewl car jams, though. Can you rock out to this at a party? Dance to it at a wedding? That's all in the ether. Still, it's proven to have some legs by now and should continue.

Like MJ: "Swish Swish" by Katy Perry ft. Nicki Minaj

Katy Perry is trying really really hard to have a stunner Summer Jam. "Bon Appetit" ended up fizzling a bit, but this was "Swish Swish"'s week. She's been on YouTube live non-stop and keeps popping up doing weird promotional shit with Gordon Ramsay and more. Maybe "Swish Swish" is her key, and it is a pretty cool song. I do feel like this should have been a more monumental collabo than it is, but you kind of get the feeling that Katy and Nicki are each doing their own separate thing rather than really being true bffs. Nicki even gets to break it down late in the track like it's her own. It ends up coming off as two songs in one, with both artists doing their own thing over the same beat. It's possible it finally gains some traction, but Katy's trying really hard here.

Drunk and All Alone: "It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

I had no idea that this was Selena, I actually thought it might have been her doppelganger, Kiiara, based on the choppiness of the bridge, but this is an adorable song that's also super heart-breaking. It also is super-young, drunk, and stupid, which is all rad. It's been around for a minute, but like every one and done #1 Jam this summer, was every where this week. Maybe that'll be this summer's theme. It's worked for the past five weeks, at least. Stay tuned for more of this junk, listeners!

Next week...

I narrowly gave the axe to Harry Styles' "Sign of the Times" which I think could still come back and be something. Other than that, we saw new drops by Blink 182, TLC, Dan Auerbach, Chicano Batman, Little Mix, Fifth Harmony (sans Camila Cabello), and Lorde this week that could all become things. Well, that Blink 182 song sucked, but it was remarkable how much that TLC track sounded 90s. The future is upon us! We're still well in need of an ubiquitous Summer Jam, so much so that I almost wonder if this column is worth doing anymore. We at least have all of Kendrick's DAMN. providing a soundtrack to the NBA Finals.

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