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The coals on the barbecue have cooled. The last firework was shot off. And your American flag bathing suit is damply sitting in your hamper (go do some laundry!). Independence Day is over and it’s time to update our ranking for the 2017 Song of the Summer (SOTS).

1) Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber – “Despacito (Remix)” 

To quote D’Angelo Barksdale, the king stay the king. There’s no denying that this is currently THE song that gets a bunch of drunk people on the dance floor (with the false confidence that they can salsa, to boot). Disagree? It was #1 on July 4th, so don’t @ me (actually DO @ me, so I can argue with you).

Also, at the July 4th party I was at, one of the hosts was put on strict play-count of 24 for “Despacito.” When someone limits a particular song from being played—but will allow it 24 times—we’ve got ourselves a serious heater.

2) DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne – “I’m The One” 

Sick of #FakeNews? Wants some real, BOOTS-ON-THE-GROUND reporting? Well, I attended a wedding on June 23 (shoutout Tom and Erin!) and by my drunken math, this was one of only three SOTS contenders that were played.

I may have underestimated the power of a line like, “then she went and put that booty on that Gucci belt,” but with FOUR featured artists needing airtime, I maintain that this song is too long to be SOTS. It’s also at risk of being cannibalized by its own artist because DJ Khaled has ANOTHER ONE

3) DJ Khaled, Rihanna, and Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” 

Want to drop a potential SOTS in 2017? Just go ahead and pay Santana to re-use that hot guitar lick from the (far superior) Song of the Summer in 2000—these f’ing millennials won’t know the difference. “Wild Thoughts” wasn’t even released when we dropped our first list of contenders, but don’t underestimate it. This song entered the Billboard charts at #4 on July 8th and is rising like a rocket ship.

4) Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” 

Must be hard to stay humble if you’re Kendrick and fighting for the SOTS crown all by yourself. But make no mistake, “HUMBLE.” is hanging tough among much friendlier and more traditional SOTS candidates. I actually received a text from a friend who does not particularly listen to hip-hop that said, “‘HUMBLE.’ is really growing on me—keep it on the SOTS list!”

5) Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Back Road” 

This was a notable (some would say unforgivable, but I don’t know those people) omission from the initial Memorial Day list. But it’s true—this song just sounds like summer and Sam Hunt is much bigger than your typical “bro country” artists.

In some regards, this song is the country companion to “HUMBLE.” in that, in certain areas of the country, they ARE their respective Songs of the Summer. But this is a national award—think of it as if the Electoral College was offering a summer class, and I’m the only professor on campus. “Body Like a Back Road” gets an early A- and a spot in the top 5.

6) Shawn Mendes – “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”  

In the MDW breakdown, I admitted that I “wasn’t even mad” how this song is an over-attempt to achieve SOTS status. But people change. I am now a full-on, “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” STAN. I love this song. Give me the aux cord at any party this summer and I’m putting it on right now.

SAD!(ly), this song is middling at #19 on the charts. I’m still holding out hope. Go listen now!

7) Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like” 

Much like a pitcher’s win total in baseball, stats don’t mean everything. This track is firmly entrenched on the Billboard charts, but I can only put so much stock in that. So while the numbers don’t lie, I can’t put this any higher than #7. Bruno is like when CC Sabathia had 21 wins and lost the 2010 Cy Young Award to Felix Hernandez’s 13 wins—impressive numbers, but not the best out there.

I like this song. A lot. It’s a very good song. But it’s not Song of the Summer.

98) Carly Rae Jepsen – “Cut to the Feeling” 

OK, this one was a swing and a miss. To be fair, the song came out the very morning the initial list was compiled. But this song isn’t even in the Hot 100 and I don’t think I’ve heard it anywhere except the 42 times my iTunes says that I’ve played it.

Whatever, this song bangs and you all have shitty taste.

On to the Next Round

And those are the standings as of Independence Day. We’ve seen past champions not even the conversation until August, so still plenty of time for someone to take down “Despacito” before our August update.

As always, if you’re at a party, barbecue or driving down a back road and you think you’re going to look back at a song as THE Song of the Summer—tweet me so I can tell you that you’re wrong.

This will be the first of several periodic looks as we track the contenders and pretenders – expect another update in early August and the SOTS Crowning Ceremony shortly after Labor Day.

Dave Berry

Dave Berry is funny and a writer, but not related to Dave Barry. Those are different names and that would also just be weird.

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