03 September 2018

Summer Jam 2018 Week 17: The Finale and End of It All

Shed a tear, loyal readers. Summer is over. I can't believe it's been seventeen whole weeks already! We've recounted a lot of great jams this year. It feels as if we're in the midst of a significant paradigm shift in music distribution, though. Even compared to last year the hits seemed spread out, with terrestrial radio simply unable to catch up with the actual pulse of this great nation. I suppose this has been going on for a while, but that initial disruption of media consumption, across many media, is approaching a saturation threshold. Now let's get down one last time with some real chill jams, yo!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Kamikaze" by Eminem

I actually don't think Em's new surprise Album is all that great, tho I might need to listen to it more. But it is getting a lot of buzz and is tearing up Spotify. Amazing that anyone other than Drake or Travis Scott can do that right now. Did you know that Drake has 11 Top Ten hits in 2018 so far? How is that possible? What is with our standards right now. Saturation, baby. Saturation - the idea of what a single even is has disintegrated. In a way this is great for pro-Album supporters. Anyway, there was a lot of potential new jams, like Childish Gambino's "Feels Like Summer" got a cool animated video, LSD brought in a bunch of artists, including Sia and her muse, Maddie Ziegler (who, I don't know, is still a great expressionate dancer, but it's kind of old by now) and is kind of decent. It took me a long time to understand this wasn't some video concerning Tool Time. Now that's more like it. Also is this Eminem song from Venom (2018) somehow?

"Side Effects" by the Chainsmokers

A few years ago this would have been a really big hit, but there's been that subtle shift. We're in a Quavo and Post Malone world now. It's a tie for mumbly smokey face-tattooed rap and not much else. I dig this video, though and the song in general, especially the breakdown. The video weirdly reminds me of The Shining (1980), but like...a fun Shining. It's very telling that I dig unpopular Chainsmokers.

"No Tears Left to Cry" by Ariana Grande

Like the past few weeks, I think "God Is a Woman" or even "Natural Woman" that she sang at Aretha's funeral could have jumped in, or her new single, "Breathin" but out of all of that, this song seemed to be the one that made it through the cacophony. Again, this is a conflict - "God is a Woman" is better on Spotify but "No Tears Left to Cry" is better on the radio. I'm an old dude, I guess, I get my jams via car radio. We'll go with this and see if it boosts Ari over the edge to claim her summer crown. Also, I came up with "No Beers Left to Try" this week, which I wish I had been singing all summer.

"Nice for What" by Drake

Back around college campuses, hearing dozens of people scream out "MY MAN...DESE HO'S!" during the break is incredible. This track made a difference this summer. That's significant, baby. We should still complain about Drake getting way more hits than any sustainable human being should have, but "Nice for What" is probably at the top. Also, I haven't talked about this, but this video rivals "Girls Like You" for sheer amount of power chick cameos.

"I Like It" by Cardi B ft. J Balvin, Bad Bunny

Back again to make a final stand and push her case, this jam was still pretty potent this week, but not that dominant. I almost left it off again, but it had a pretty strong showing just about everywhere. This actually felt like more of a summer jam than it was, although its streak is no joke. We'll see how it shakes out.

"No Brainer" by DJ Khaled, Bieber sings, Chance the Rapper

Slice! It's still a significant jam, although again, not as much as a collabo like this would have peaked a few years ago. In fact, we had this a few years ago. Bieber looks like Randy Johnson. It's not a good look. With some time this could have been something, but also weirdly feels like a different time. A 2017 time.

"Jackie Chan" by Tiesto & Dzeko ft. Preme & Post Malone

Seriously, how do kids keep track of these collabo artists? Do they have Preme libraries? I'd love to understand how this works. This is a track I've had in the back of my head but largely ignored for some time now. Listening to it incidentally this week I was like, "Yeah, this actually has a really nice flow" and that's all Post Malone. I don't know what everyone else does. It's weird to me that every producer in a track is a featured artist now. This is such old man complaining. I apologize. I do like the song!

"Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B

I still think this song comes to such a great ending point before Cardi comes in. I've been touting Ariana all summer, but damn, "Girls Like You" had a run for the ages these last few weeks. It's going to be a throwdown! I am also just cresting my tolerance for this track, which is probably a good sign it's peaked. Still dig it, but need to stop listening to it in order to continue to dig it. It really is a sweet, heartfelt song. It hasn't really peaked either on Billboard or Spotify but it has in...life.


"Africa" should probably be on here. Anyway, it won't make a difference. Tomorrow we tally it all up, people. It's a Labour Day tradition! Stay tuned to find out WHO is the THE Summer Jam Champion!!

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