18 May 2020

2020 Summer Jam Week 2: FOR THE MONEY!

Ahhh mid-May. A time where Summer's wave is just cresting, kids are graduating, the sun is squinting its eyes after a long sleep and the jams and movies are just heating up! Except this year. This year everything sucks! Hooray! We're kind of at a loss about jams right now. These are probably popular? What is going on? Who knows. We're all doomed. Let's listen to these slaps!

Hot Jam of the Week: Ludacris ft. Chance the Rapper

I don't think this song even has a name, or maybe it does but who knows right now. Ludacris dropped all these songs during an online instagram song that was supposed to feature Nelly, except he doesn't understand how to work a computer. Far from Tez, here. These songs may actually drop one day, but it's fitting to showcase a song that Luda apparently just had sitting around and felt like sharing during quarantine. It's an average song with an okay beat. Luda dropped a ton of unreleased songs on this show, none are very good, but I like the format of artists in quarantine just doing whatever they want.

"Toosie Slide" by Drake

This song is just kind of there, again. It's existing pretty hardcore right now. Like, it's fine, it'll get the job done, not a hot slide into the list, but not dominating anything. Great background music. In many ways, all music is background music. I put virtually no thought in adding it to this list, nor could I really recall the beat that well. Do I dislike Drake? I might.

"Adore You" by Harry Styles

I think I actually do like Harry Styles, though. This has been around for a while. For someone who spends nearly four months of the year writing a weekly pop music column I surprisingly don't pay attention to pop music. This has been around and I think I've kind of dug it without ever tuning into the specific modalities. Harry's good. He was in Dunkirk (2017). I didn't know he was so I just thought he was a good actor. This is a good track.

"In Your Eyes" by The Weeknd

Has anyone noticed The Weeknd cranking out tried and true bops recently? I guess he's just a really good artist. "Blinding Lights" is a little bit more popular right now but "In Your Eyes" is a lot hotter. He's got these funky synth rhythms that consolidate so many musical styles in one. I think it's actually generally accepted that The Weeknd is good and I'm maybe not saying anything new. I might as well be in 2012 with Kevin Garnett and Howard Ratner. I dig it.

"Level of Concern" by Twenty One Pilots

It's been a minute since we heard a crappy twenty one pilots song and this does a nice job of filling that out. I'm not sure it it was written pre-quarantine or what, but it's a nice nod for where we're at right now. It's actually a fantastically apt quarantine song. I'm curious how much more we're going to get by the time this crap is all over.

"RITMO" by Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin

The Black Eyed Peas made a bold choice by moving on without Fergie, but maybe no one cares? Or are they actually...better? The song has been rattling around in my head for a while now and I heard it a bunch this week, even though it's pretty old. Time no longer matters. This song is attached to Bad Boys 4 Life (2020) which could emerge as the #1 movie of 2020. Just think about that a little bit.

"Say So" by Doja Cat

I don't think this has actually been on the radio all that much, but it's still getting traction. What does it mean to be the #1 song in the country during quarantine? Is Doja Cat just the next Cardi B? Why can we have thousands of white boy crooners but only one black female rapper at a time and they are all instantly rivals? I love Doja Cat. This is a great song, it's accessible, interesting, and varied enough, floating from these ethereal vocals and then slamming down these harsher rap bars. It's all good.

"Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa

Bounce to cool off that hot lava water! This has been stuck in my head for weeks. It gets the #1 spot in my brain this week. I resisted last week because it's so damn old, but I actually still like it a lot. I love how it descends into this funked out 70s beat and her grunts get all kinds of bonkers. It's great and Dua deserves a brighter spotlight.

Next week...

I left out "My Oh My" but instantly regret it. I have also been sort of kind of getting into "Supalonely" which feels like a weird Millennial video without much interesting merit, but it's surging in some popularity. Other than that, plenty of ancient songs to go around. I was thinking about GaGa's love song, but that never really took off, did it? Stay tuned, intrepid pop adventurers!

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