13 July 2020

Summer Jam 2020 Week 10: Mid-July Blues

We are in the thick of it now, folks. It's the true heart of summer. All the May and June getting reacquainted with the sun nonsense is behind us and we're finally past the all the major High Holidays of Cinco de Mayo, the End of School, and the Fourth of Julio. Now it's just pure summer. Beaches and waterparks ahoy! Well, let's pretend a magnificent disease is not currently ravaging the planet.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Hallucinate" by Dua Lipa

We have two hot jams this week. Who cares, it's summer, it's hot out. Also this first one isn't very good. I struggle with Dua Lipa. Sometimes her tracks are straight bangers, others like this just sound very forgettable and replaceable. I do love this big wave of animated music videos folks are having to do in quarantine. Or maybe this was a real artistic choice. It's not totally compelling.

"The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady" by Kid Cudi and Eminem

Our second hotness - I dig the title and that's maybe about it. The track takes too long to drop which turns me off instantly. The beat also just feels all over the place. So is Eminem lately, who after so much great output exploring him finding his identity, seems to be struggling with the kind of rapper he wants to be right now. Cudi is reliably solid, though. I got into it by the middle of his verse. In terms of jam-ness, this is probably not too big of a dent.

"Mamacita" by the Black Eyed Peas ft. Ozuna, J. Real Soul

This is kind of a cool song but damn I've never wanted to punch a series of artists in the face like watching this video. Are they cool? They're not cool, right? Everyone is just trying so hard. I always thought of The Black Eyed Peas as reigning pop royalty just because their 2005-2010 was so solid and ubiquitous, but I suppose that is getting to be like ten years ago. Maybe they suck and everyone hates them? Have folks largely forgotten their jams? I don't know, but I kind of like their cross genre 2020 work that has a different flavor.

"Say So" by Doja Cat

This track crept is way back into my ears this week and I suppose it had never really fallen too far off this list. Doja Cat is certainly having a hell of a summer, even if her latest track isn't that great. This song really found a way to emphasize everything she does well in the best way, though. It's the kind of name-making track that could last a while.

"The Box" by Roddy Rich

I was actually trying to think of "Rockstar" and I came up with this one. Whenever a song enters long-term brain function I'm like, "Okay, this can get that TOP status." "The Box" got there this week. It's still a factor on the charts and whatnot, but we've definitely left in the dust for a while now. It's still an earworm. Dig it.

"Rockstar" by DaBaby ft. Roddy Rich

This is still a presence although it may be cresting for my own ears. It's still very good and that little mandolin complements the heavy bass pretty well. It's fun and a song of our time unlike any other major song that's penetrated the charts much so far this summer. At this point the race is still wide open, enough that a late-breaking July or August track could even come in and do its thing. In all reality, Summer 2020 is not going to be remembered for its music, it'll be remembered for everything else going on.

"Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion

I'm not a huuuuge fan of this track, but I heard it a ton this week and it's never really plummeted off the charts, so, good enough. I like the thick ferocity Megan brings to the rap table but I need a more engaging beat or a better use of her talents for her to crossover like Doja Cat to me (see everything said above). This is okay, I guess.

"Watermelon Sugar" by Harry Styles

Yep, all the way to #1! What a bizarre series of events. I compiled all the contenders this week and thought, yeah, I actually both heard and talked about "Watermelon Sugar" the most. It is truly bizarre - we are in a thorough age of hip-hop so deep that it's genuinely weird for a British White Boy Crooner to gain the top spot right now. It's just so unlike any other song on this list. Summer 2020 has a weird playlist. But I like this.

Next week...

There are a lot of contenders out there. We ignored The Weeknd, but he's not quite done yet. I also personally listed to so much Ava Max, but I don't think that brief spat of Quarantine Songs are really much of a thing anymore. Stay tuned, you really never know this summer. And GaGa / Ari! I think there's something there still. Stay healthy, loyal readers!

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