There was once a time when one definitive song soundtracked a summer, but in recent years we've seen multiple winners. Last summer, Luis Fonsi's "Despasito" was ubiquitous, but Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" and DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" were un-deni-able. There may never again be just one song to rule the summer, but the competition for singularity will forever be a fun narrative. So now that we've reached Memorial Day, let's start scoping out the scouts.
But first, the obvious top picks...
Drake "Nice for What"
Reason being: Every summer is Drake season, and this record is added proof. Where "God's Plan" soundtracked the spring as the (obviously) official spring anthem, "Nice For What" is the perfect candidate for summertime supremacy.
Ella Mai "Boo'd Up"
Reason being: Ella Mai's bright and soothing R&B number started off as a slow burn when it arrived in February 2017, but after recently cracking the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, this flambeau is far from cooling down.
Childish Gambino "This Is America"
Reason being: No. 1 song in the country? Check. Most talked about music video? Check. The high visibility of its wordsmith? This is America's favorite choice right now.
Migos "Walk It Talk It"
Reason being: A real summertime anthem is an earworm, playable at all times. As Culture quarterbacks, Migos know the game, and walk it, talk it too. Consider this no-look touchdown pass.
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin "I Like It"
Reason being: As the sonic embodiment of a domino slam on a frail table, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy banger is summertime in a song.
Now that that's out of the way, here are the contenders that could upset the applecart.
Valee ft. Jeremih "Womp Womp"
Reason being: Over thunderous production, Valee and Jeremih give us a taste of summertime Chi. Delightfully silly and undeniably freewheeling, this hiccupy banger is like the much-needed ice cup on a hot summer day. Oh, and while we're at it, "Miami" is another one.
Juice Wrld "Lucid Dreams (Forget Me)"
Reason being: This catchy number is steadily climbing up the Billboard Hot 100 chart and, if it hasn't already, your ear drums.
Kali Uchis "After the Storm"
BlocBoy JB "Shoot"
Reason being: If BlocBoy JB's star power on "Look Alive," "Rover" and Simi, his 2018 debut, didn't convince you enough that he's here to stay, listen to "Shoot" and watch the phenomenon surrounding it.
Lil Baby ft. Drake "Yes Indeed"
Reason being: "Me and Drake 'bout to drop man, this shit gon' go crazy..." Yes, indeed.
Anderson .Paak "Bubblin'"
Reason being: In which Anderson .Paak reminds us that despite it being two year since Malibu, he hasn't forgotten about us. This reminder is glorious.
Playboi Carti ft. Nicki Minaj "Poke It Out"
Reason being: While "Shoota" is an early favorite from Playboi's surprise LP Die Lit, "Poke It Out" is an immediate standout that, as far as summer anthems go, sits well next to "Magnolia."
Rae Sremmurd "Rock n Roll Hall of Fame"
Reason being: Besides dropping one of the year's most ambitious, and solid, album(s), Rae Sremmurd unleashed a gauntlet of potential seasonal soundtracks. This, here, is an early standout. It's "Black Beatles" meet "Swang," so light up the gr… cough …ill and watch summer take its course.
Kevin Gates "Change Lanes"
Reason being: Kevin Gates is back.