Welp, that’s it. It’s time to put away your neon sunglasses. Pack up your meme-worthy tank top. Retire your romper. As of today, Summer 2k17 is officially over. And while that sucks (Summer is still the G.O.A.T. season, don’t @ me), it does mean one thing—we (and by we, I mean I) can now officially crown the 2017 Song of the Summer (SOTS).
For those who have been following, we’ve been tracking the SOTS candidates since Memorial Day—check out our initial list, Independence Day update and August update. Some songs came and disappeared faster than a Snapchat sext (what’s up David Guetta’s “2U”?) while others hung around wayyyy too long (time for you to get outta here, Bruno Mars).
Without further ado, let’s get to the final rankings:
One of the surprises of Summer ‘17 was the staying power of a song that entered the charts a whopping 35 weeks before Memorial Day. At the initial rankings, it was still #2 on the Billboard charts but felt like it was ready to fade. Somehow, this song finished the summer at #8 on the charts (here at The Prompt, we all know summer really ends on Labor Day).
So despite not having the timing quite right to be a true contender, this song was undoubtedly played at any event you attended this summer. And for that reason, you’ll fondly remember this as a solid 2017 SOTS candidate.
I’m so proud of everyone! After I initially panned it on Memorial Day, this became my personal SOTS favorite—and you people didn’t totally disappoint me. Slowly but surely, this song picked up steam and I started hearing it at parties, bars, and the beach. Mendes finished the summer at #7 on the charts (with a peak position of #6) and a spot in our esteemed SOTS ’17 rankings.
I’m reluctantly including “Wild Thoughts” here. Let’s face it—this song sucks. It just does. It has the charismatic Khaled ad libs, the star power of Rihanna rapping about the ’68 Jets, the underrated Tiller… and yet the best I can muster when I hear this is “meh.” Sometimes recycling a hit is a surefire way to get a hit of your own—and sometimes it results in many poop emojis. This song finishes the summer at #2 on the charts but rightfully gets put in its proper place at The Prompt.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the original right now. HOW DARE KHALED TREAD ON THE HISTORIC LEGACY OF THE PRODUCT G&B!?
Sometimes the stats don’t mean jack, and “HUMBLE.” is the perfect example. Billboard will tell us that “HUMBLE.” hit #1 in early May, opened the summer at #5 and finished up at #17. But the proof will be in the pudding on this one—”HUMBLE.” is a certified banger and will 100 percent remind you of Summer ’17 when you hear it in the future.
“Wild Thoughts” has better stats and timing, but performance and memory outweigh that here.
Another one for DJ Khaled! Two entries on the SOTS Rankings would be quite the feat if, ya know, Khaled was an actual performer or something. But he sure does know how to gather stars on one track, and “I’m the One” had early summer success thanks to Chance and Quavo’s verses.
As we noted in the MDW Rankings, this song was a little too long on time and light on quotable lyrics. Nonetheless, it definitely scrapped its way into the top 3 ahead of more worthy contender (ahem, Slide).
Were it not for our undisputed #1, “Body Like A Back Road” would be a no-brainer Song of the Summer. Unfortunately, sometimes you can have a monster year and lose out to another once-in-a-generation season (ask James Harden).
As it is, “Body Like A Back Road” had quite a run for a genre that rarely goes full-blown mainstream. After not even making our initial list, Sam Hunt drove with eyes closed to the #2 spot in August. This track peaked at #6 on the Billboard charts this summer and will be a memorable SOTS candidate for years to come.
A quick recap on the summer of Descapito:
Look, sometimes a performance is so dominant for so long that we take it for granted. We may even grow to resent it. Seriously, is there any reason Michael Jordan should have ever lost an MVP trophy? No. And that’s who Luis Fonsi is in Summer ’17—Michael Jordan. Sure, he could be sitting next to me right now and I’d have no idea who he was. But he owned the airwaves this year, and for that “Despacito” is the clear-cut 2017 Song of the Summer.
No matter how you dice it, “Despacito” is tops. It meets all of the initial criteria we laid out: timing, sing-ability, chart position, and subject matter. But more than anything else, the true test for a Song of the Summer occurs after the fact. And when it’s 2028 and you hear “Despacito” at your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, you will immediately be transported back to the Summer of 2017 (and all of the sudden will be asking yourself questions like, “What ever happened to the Mooch?” and “Remember the solar eclipse—LOL”).
Like all Songs of the Summer, things started out great but we need a break. Our friends at North Beach, who send their SOTS to the graveyard every Labor Day (never to be played again) even made the unprecedented move of preemptively killing Despacito to “quell a complete staff rebellion.”
To quote Reggie Jackson, “they don’t boo nobodies” and “Despacito” is certainly one of the G.O.A.Ts. when it comes to Songs of the Summer. So let’s make one last cheers to “Despacito” and move on—sube, sube, sube, sube!
See ya next summer.