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best song of summer since 2000


If March historically “is available in like a lion,” then the summer season of 2020 got here in just like the creature within the canine cage in The Factor due to a raging pandemic, common civil unrest, not one of the sports activities we’ve come to anticipate, and all the different terrible issues I’ve misplaced monitor of by now. There’s no telling what the season will exit like, however regardless, there gained’t be sufficient new forms of arduous seltzer on the market to get us by means of it. We have to deliver out the massive weapons.

You possibly can make the case that the summer season of 2020 wants—no, deserves—an actual banger in relation to a tune we will blast to drown out actuality as a lot as potential. The one downside is that a whole lot of the standard suspects aren’t releasing music proper now, and with apologies to Bob Dylan, I don’t assume something from Tough and Rowdy Methods is what we’re on the lookout for right here.

It’s dangerous sufficient that we don’t have stay music proper now however not having at the very least a handful of contenders for Tune of the Summer season looks as if it may very well be an excessive amount of for us to deal with when you think about how a lot we’re already teetering as it’s. Sadly, it doesn’t look like such a tune goes to be launched, so we have to get resourceful. We have to return into the archives, comb by means of the data that had been prime contenders for “Tune of the Summer season” honors in earlier years, and choose one to repeat because the champion in 2020.

To do that, I went again to the beginning of the brand new millennium and put collectively an inventory of the songs which have outlined each summer season since then earlier than narrowing it right down to a complete of 32 jams. That was robust. Some years had been stacked—particularly 2016, which featured “Can’t Cease the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Drake teaming up for “Work,” “Low cost Thrills” by Sia, and “Chilly Water,” Main Lazer’s collaboration with Justin Bieber and MO (curiously sufficient, none of these made the ultimate minimize).

My one stipulation was {that a} yr couldn’t have greater than two songs advance within the first spherical. Additionally, the one yr that’s not represented is 2008, which was a fairly stable yr total with the notable exception of the soundtrack to the summer season.

I leaned on the Web for analysis to assist me provide you with songs, together with lists put collectively by critics along with Billboard charts. I additionally didn’t make this all about me, as a result of despite the fact that I obtained right down to “Midnight Lorry” by Dispatch in 2018, I’m very assured I’m within the minority there.

Here’s what the ultimate bracket seems to be like:

best songs of summer since 2000


How will winners be decided? Legacy issues. So does cultural significance. If a tune actually dominated our lives for these great summer season months, that counts for somewhat one thing further. However greater than something, I went with what simply felt proper.

Let’s dance.

“I Gotta Feeling”—Black Eyed Peas (1) vs. “Tremendous Bass”—Nicki Minaj (8)

Ouch. Discuss a tough matchup for Nicki, huh? Fairly the growth…da growth growth bummer, am I proper?

“Tremendous Bass” is enjoyable and catchy nevertheless it’s not even near being in the identical league as “I Gotta Feeling.” That tune will seemingly stay on properly after you and I are gone thanks in no small elements to weddings and bar mitzvahs. “Tremendous Bass?” Eh, not a lot.

“I Gotta Feeling” advances

“Outdated City Street”—Lil’ Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus (2) vs. “Fancy”—Iggy Azalea feat. Chali XCX (7)

“Outdated City Street” was a wrecking ball. It demolished rattling close to every little thing that was in its path. On this specific case, that would come with “Fancy.” “Fancy” has the identical downside “Tremendous Bass” had within the earlier match: its lack of ability to maintain up some momentum as soon as the leaves began to fall.

“Outdated City Street” additionally had one thing like eighteen completely different remixes, which positively helped within the longevity division. Iggy Iz by no means had a shot.

“Outdated City Street” advances

“Shut Up and Dance”—Stroll the Moon (3) vs. “Hey There Delilah”—Plain White T’s (6)

“Shut Up and Dance” is the soundtrack of sure nightmares of mine and I’d prefer to not elaborate on that if that’s okay. I’m simply not comfy sharing. The nightmares contain clowns. That’s it. That’s all I’ll say about that.

We’ve to offer “Hey There Delilah” main props for proving a summer season jam doesn’t should be an upbeat quantity backed by a thumping backbeat. Generally a catchy hook and a refrain that’s enjoyable to sing alongside to can win the day (or on this case, the summer season).

“Hey There Delilah” scores our first upset

“Cruise”—Florida Georgia Line” (4) vs. “Hips Don’t Lie”—Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean (5)

Once you hear the opening of “Cruise”—that line that goes “Child you a tune, you make me wanna roll my home windows down and cruise”—you seemingly do one in every of two issues: flip that shit up or skip it as shortly as potential. There’s not a lot of a grey space there.

What do you do when “Hips Don’t Lie” comes on? For some, it means ready for the Steely Dan pattern utilized by Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz on “Deja Vu” to kick in. For others, it entails listening for round a minute earlier than you notice what you’re listening to.

“Hips Don’t Lie” is a type of songs that has been performed a lot that it’s reached the purpose the place it doesn’t even register when it begins. Does that make it forgettable, although? No. If something, it makes it the other. It makes it everlasting. “Hips Don’t Lie” is like plastic within the ocean: it’s not going wherever.

Nevertheless, in relation to the summer season, I simply “wanna roll my home windows and cruise.” Can you actually blame me?

“Cruise” advances

“I Gotta Feeling” (1) vs. “Hey There Delilah” (6)

“I Gotta Feeling” can’t be stopped simply but and definitely not by one thing as milquetoast as “Hey There Delilah.” In case you hear carefully, the summer season breeze will almost certainly lead you to a bar or restaurant (or within the case of 2020, a car parking zone outdoors of both of these) the place “I Gotta Feeling” is enjoying.

That’s not the case with “Hey There Delilah.”

“I Gotta Feeling” advances

“Outdated City Street” (2)  vs. “Cruise” (4)

Man, I’d love for “Cruise” to drag this one out nevertheless it’s not going to occur. “Outdated City Street” dominated and sat on the prime of the Billboard Sizzling 100 chart for 17 straight weeks. That’s, like, two complete summers proper there.

Thanks for taking part in, Florida Georgia Line.

“Outdated City Street” advances

“I Gotta Feeling” (1) vs. “Outdated City Street” (2)

Welp, this was mainly inevitable.

Let’s discuss longevity. It issues. In case you’re a songwriter, you need your songs to stay on without end.

When was the final time you heard “Outdated City Street?” It’s most likely been a minute, huh? I believe even Lil Nas X obtained sick of that tune. I do know my daughter did and I don’t assume she will get sick of something (and even when she does, it’s by no means everlasting). Issues at all times discover their approach again into our lives. We’ve watched Frozen 2 roughly 67 occasions prior to now week alone and he or she was out on that for the longest time.

Every part comes again round—apart from “Outdated City Street.”

“I Gotta Feeling” advances

“Pon de Replay”—Rihanna (1) vs. “The Center”—Jimmy Eat World (8)

Rihanna’s debut album (which incorporates “Pon de Replay”) is known as Music of the Solar. From the soar, RiRi knew what she was doing. Music of the Solar, you guys! It was simply made to be a summer season bop.

She may as properly have named the album I’m Going to Make Killer Summer season Jams From Now Till I Determine to Cease Making Music (Which May Occur In 2020 Once I Tease A New Document For A Bit However Don’t Launch Something However Hopefully I’m Simply Busy Working On It As a result of Y’All Are Lengthy Overdue For a New Document From Me). 

I do love “The Center,” although, even when it doesn’t actually put up a battle right here. It should, nevertheless, at all times have lengthy automobile rides to maintain it related so it’s obtained that going for it which is sweet.

“Pon de Replay” advances

“Anyone That I Used To Know”—Gotye feat. Kimbra (2) vs. “Use Anyone”—Kings of Leon

As a longtime Kings of Leon fanatic and defender, I might love nothing greater than to have “Use Anyone” pull off the upset right here and knock off Gotye. However I simply can’t do it.

“Anyone That I Used To Know” was in all places throughout the summer season of 2012. How? Hell if I do know. It’s not a tune that it ought to have been as widespread because it was. Or is. Shit, I heard it on the radio final week. It’s an actual enigma, as a result of apart from the flexibility of the refrain to dig its approach inside your ears and keep there without end, it’s a bizarre tune, man.

However what a refrain it’s. It’s residing in your head rent-free for all times and there’s nothing you are able to do about it.

“Anyone That I Used To Know” advances

“Name Me Perhaps”—Carly Rae Jepson (3) vs. “Impolite”—Magic! (6)

“Impolite” ultimately grew on me and that’s not one thing I’m significantly happy with. I can get down with White Boy Reggae however “Impolite” simply went a bit too far. It appears like what would occur should you compelled 311 to go to ending faculty someplace deep inside the English countryside.

Nevertheless, you may’t deny its energy as a summer season jam. It could have really been constructed in a lab someplace funded by Billabong. Is Magic! even a band? Do they actually exist? Is Magic! really eighteen scientists who spent months learning what precisely a Tune of the Summer season ought to sound like? They need to have simply requested Rihanna. It will have saved them thousands and thousands of {dollars} (or billions if it was a authorities challenge).

I believe they succeeded, although. “Impolite” is a unbelievable summer season tune. As for “Name Me Perhaps,” it’s a tremendous pop tune, however I don’t essentially affiliate it with a specific season. I affiliate it with issues like curler skating and lip-synch movies produced by sorority ladies.

“Impolite” advances (and I’m simply as shocked as you’re that it does)

“One Dance”—Drake, WizKid, and Kyla (4) vs. “California Gurls”—Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (5)

Drake was sure to indicate up right here ultimately.

How a dude from Toronto is ready to produce so many summer season bangers is past me. There might have been 5 or 6 tracks from Drake on this competitors, however alas, there’s solely “One Dance.” So as to add insult to damage, “One Dance” will get “California Gurls” within the first spherical. I’m listening to “California Gurls” proper now and, good God, it’s so summer season I believe I simply obtained a sunburn.

Sorry, Drake. Katy’s “obtained it on lock.”

“California Gurls” advances

“Pon de Replay” (1) vs. “Impolite” (6)

If Rihanna misplaced to Magic! I wouldn’t have the ability to stay with myself. In associated information, Rihanna will not be going to lose to Magic!.

“Pon de Replay” advances

“Anyone That I Used To Know” (2) vs. “California Gurls” (5)

“Anyone That I Used To Know” is like sneakers. They work all yr spherical and you may by no means go improper with them (until you’re at a funeral. Don’t put on sneakers to a funeral. Nevertheless, don’t inform me you may’t put on sneakers to a marriage as a result of my buddy obtained married a couple of years again and rocked them. He pulled it off, too, proving that miracles do exist).

“California Gurls,” however, is like flip flops. In contrast to sneakers, they don’t work all yr spherical. At the least not the place I stay and doubtless not the place you reside both. In case you’re in a local weather the place flip flops are cool 365 days a yr, I tip my hat to you, however I favor residing in a spot with seasons.

The purpose is that that is about songs which can be summer season songs. “California Gurls” is a summer season tune whereas “Anyone That I Used To Know” might be performed at any level on the calendar. It’s particulars like this that make all of the distinction.

“California Gurls” advances

“Pon de Replay” (1) vs. “California Gurls” (5)

Oooohhhh, watch your again, Black Eyed Peas. The queen has arrived.


“Pon de Replay” advances

“This Is What You Got here For”—Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna (1) vs. “Can’t Maintain Us”—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton (8)

Do you ever surprise what Ryan Lewis is as much as nowadays? I do. I wager he’s at residence cashing royalty checks and banging on cymbals he has arrange round the home. That’s only a guess, although. I solely surprise such a factor as a result of since he and Macklemore burst onto the scene—first with “Thrift Store” after which with “Can’t Maintain Us”—early final decade, Lewis has fallen off the radar. We nonetheless have Macklemore however I’m undecided if that’s factor or not.

If you already know about Ryan’s whereabouts, please hit me up on Twitter. Between this and questioning what occurs whenever you fall within the lava on Ground Is Lava, I’m having hassle sleeping at night time.

In associated information, Calvin Harris and Rihanna can sleep soundly as a result of they’re transferring on. In fact they’re transferring on. It’s nonetheless early, however “This Is What You Got here For” may win this complete rattling factor.

“This Is What You Got here For” advances

“Get together Rock Anthem”—LMFAO (2) vs. “Loopy”—Gnarls Barkley (7)

If this was a event to resolve which tune I’d be right down to hearken to at this very minute, “Loopy” is the apparent winner. Cee-Lo and Hazard Mouse wouldn’t have even damaged a sweat. “Loopy” remains to be a sick tune.

Nevertheless, as a lot as I’d be content material by no means listening to “Get together Rock Anthem” once more, you need to give respect the place respect is due. They actually made an anthem to make events rock. Each time a celebration is in want of rocking, that’s the tune folks flip to. That beat will get going, the lights begin transferring, these synths kick in and, rattling man—within the phrases of Schmitt from New Lady: “it’s on and poppin’.”

“Get together Rock Anthem” advances

“Umbrella”—Rihanna feat. Jay-Z (3) vs. “This Is America”—Infantile Gambino (6)

Oh look. It’s Rihanna once more. I’m not shocked and also you shouldn’t be both.

“This Is America,” however, was an enormous shock. That tune and the video that got here with it dropped like a bomb late on a Saturday night time and I prefer to assume that the world was by no means the identical. Nicely, it was the identical, however at the very least we had a tune to come back again to when horrible issues occurred.

The issue “This Is America” faces right here is that it’s virtually too good.  It could have come out in the summertime, however when 2018 closed up store, it deservedly discovered itself close to the highest of a number of “Finest Songs of the 12 months” lists. It touched a nerve and was an anthem in a approach that “Get together Rock Anthem” might solely dream of however “summer season” isn’t the very first thing to come back to thoughts when you concentrate on it.

Then again, “Umbrella” is, properly, “Umbrella. If we’re on the lookout for a tune that simply radiates summer season vibes, it has the sting right here.

“Umbrella” advances (ances, ances)

“Get Fortunate”—Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams (4) vs. “Really feel It Nonetheless”—Portugal. The Man (5)

In 2017, I made the case for “Really feel It Nonetheless” being the Tune of that Explicit Summer season as a result of it was in all places. It was on the radio and it defied codecs. It was enjoying in bars, patios, eating places with enjoyable outdoors seating, malls, surf outlets, and extra. It was a tune that might exist in any setting and thrive.

You understand, like “Get Fortunate” again in 2013 however a lot much less.

“Get Fortunate” advances

“This Is What You Got here For” (1) vs. “Umbrella (3)

Wow. That is like that dueling Spider-Man meme (however cooler as a result of it’s Rihanna).

Earlier than we get into the meat of issues, I’ve a fast story I wish to share.

In some unspecified time in the future throughout the summer season of 2007, I discovered myself driving from West Virginia to Pittsburgh after which again to Philadelphia in a truck and had nothing however the radio to distract me. I used to be towing a trailer so the going was very sluggish, and to make the scenario much more troubling, the choice of radio stations was as slim because the mountains had been infinite.

I misplaced depend, however by the point I rolled into Philly a day later, I believe I had heard “Umbrella” at the very least 30 occasions on varied radio stations (and since it was “Umbrella,” I listened to it throughout each single time).

With that mentioned, “Umbrella” isn’t pulling off this upset as a result of “This Is What You Got here For” is presently my favourite to win all of it.

“This Is What You Got here For” advances

“Get together Rock Anthem” (2) vs. “Get Fortunate” (4)

Legacy issues. Longevity issues. What number of occasions do I’ve to bang this drum?

Except you’re a laser tag fanatic or work in a boardwalk recreation sales space, there’s no motive for anybody to listen to “Get together Rock Anthem” once more. “Get together Rock Anthem” is an previous Hawaiian shirt: it served its objective however now it’s time to throw it away (and it smells like vomit and dangerous selections anyway).

“Get Fortunate” nonetheless sounds simply nearly as good at the moment because it did throughout the summer season of 2013, and consequently…

“Get Fortunate” advances

“This Is What You Got here For” (1) vs. “Get Fortunate” (4)

Ugh. Each time I do one in every of these tournaments, I inevitably hit a degree the place I discover myself questioning why I do that to myself. Why do I put myself in such a horrible scenario? I’ve nobody in charge however myself. I want there was somebody I might blame, however no, that is all on me. I did this.

It doesn’t matter if it’s HBO characters, American historical past, or Quentin Tarantino characters; I at all times get to a sure matchup that threatens to interrupt my mind and tear my insides out as I twist myself into knots making an attempt to find out a winner.

This isn’t a type of occasions.

I assumed it was, however then I stepped again for a second, obtained some extra espresso, and realized that whereas “Get Fortunate” is a near-perfect tune (and probably among the finest to be launched this century), it may well’t knock off “This Is What You Got here For.”

It simply can’t. It could possibly come shut, however not shut sufficient.

“This Is What You Got here For” advances

“Despacito”—Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee (1) vs. “Hollaback Lady”—Gwen Stefani (8)

Is “Despacito” essentially the most weak prime seed? Perhaps. If Rihanna was concerned, issues may very well be completely different, however let’s imagine that about mainly something

The ultimate season of Recreation of Thrones’? It will’ve had a greater reception if Rihanna had been concerned. The newest Star Wars film? Higher with Rihanna. The response of presidency officers in the USA as a pandemic loomed? I prefer to assume issues would’ve turned out otherwise if we had gotten Rihanna concerned.

Case closed (and the case can also be closed on “Hollaback Lady,” as a result of identical to Ryan Lewis, I routinely discover myself additionally questioning what the opposite guys in No Doubt are as much as.

“Despacito” advances

“Loopy In Love”—Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z (2) vs. “Fact Hurts”—Lizzo

“Fact Hurts” narrowly beat out Billie Eilish’s “Dangerous Man” to get into The Dance and I don’t remorse the choice. “Dangerous Man” actually existed extra round the summer season than throughout it whereas “Fact Hurts” actually discovered its legs throughout the hottest months of the yr. Like Thanos gathering Infinity Stones, “Fact Hurts” grew stronger because the summer season went on.

Nevertheless, “Loopy In Love” is Iron Man: it’s been doing its factor for years and it’s not about to have some Johnny Come These days knock it off. Similar to Iron Man kills Thanos, Bey-Z triumphs right here.

“Loopy In Love” advances

“Bootylicious”—Future’s Youngster (3) vs. “It’s Gonna Be Me”—’NSYNC (6)

Again-to-back Beyoncé! Who might have seen that coming? Nicely, everybody. It’s Beyoncé.

We have to dig deep for this one, as a result of each of those songs got here out almost twenty years in the past, and given the best way time presently appears to cross, that feels extra like 40 years. Perhaps 50. I’m fairly positive it’s been 20 years since 2019 so I assume 2001 was a couple of century in the past.

Was there even electrical energy in 2001? Nicely, even when there wasn’t, “Bootylicious” might have produced greater than sufficient power to permit the world to operate as a result of that tune is straight fireplace and nonetheless is all these years later.

“Bootylicious” advances

“Sizzling In Herre”—Nelly (4) vs. “I Like It”—Cardi B feat. Dangerous Bunny, J Balvin (5)

I used to be at a marriage in Key West two summers in the past. It occurred on the seaside and it was extremely sizzling. Like, scorching sizzling. Key West is dope however I might strongly advise in opposition to going in the summertime. I additionally noticed a person strolling down Duval Avenue carrying nothing however a pink wig, however that’s neither right here nor there.

Throughout the reception, the DJ performed “I Like It” and it did not go over properly. The dance flooring emptied as folks retreated to their drinks and remnants of dinner. By all accounts, a banger like “I Like It” ought to have been a slam dunk in such a scenario however that was not the case.

Now, does the truth that “I Like It” bombed at this specific marriage ceremony imply that it will bomb at each marriage ceremony? In fact not, nevertheless it looks as if it was the best setting for the tune to shine and it simply turtled tougher than something has turtled earlier than

Would “Sizzling In Herre” have carried out higher? In all probability, so it wins. Criticize me if you’ll however I by no means as soon as claimed this was a precise science.

“Sizzling In Herre” advances

“Despacito” (1) vs. “Bootylicious” (3)

I cannot fall sufferer to recency bias. I cannot fall sufferer to recency bias. I cannot fall sufferer to recency bias.

Nevertheless, I cannot quick change the pure pleasure that’s “Despacito.” I don’t care when it was launched. “Bootylicious” is a delight however “Despacito” is the true deal.

“Despacito” advances

“Loopy In Love” (2) vs. “Sizzling In Herre” (4)

Is “Loopy In Love” actually a summer season tune? It’s an important file and a timeless get together tune however would you or anybody else affiliate it with the season? I believe the reply is usually “No.”

Sure, that is nitpicking, however we’re sort of into the thick of it right here and the satan is within the particulars. We are going to depart no cliche behind in our quest to find out what the very best Tune of the Summer season since 2000 is. Ensuring a tune is straight related to the season issues.

“Loopy In Love” is a greater tune than “Sizzling In Herre” and can stay on longer than “Sizzling In Herre,” however in relation to a tune that feels like summer season, Nelly has a slight edge. In consequence, we’ve obtained back-to-back losses for Queen Bey and it’s arduous to see how she will be able to get better.

“Sizzling In Herre” advances

“Despacito” (1) vs. “Sizzling In Herre” (4)

“Sizzling In Herre” got here out in 2002 however nonetheless has a house at any time when the summer season rolls round. Barring one thing fully wild, like future summers simply not occurring in any respect (which we might not wish to rule out), “Sizzling In Herre” will proceed to emerge from the shadows and descend upon the summer season with a vengeance.

It’s honest to query what the long run holds for “Despacito.” It turning into as widespread because it did was a fairly sizeable anomaly. I don’t wish to name it a novelty monitor or a say its success was a fluke however I wouldn’t object should you voiced these opinions.

“Sizzling In Herre” is only a banger, pure and easy. “Despacito” goes down.

“Sizzling In Herre” advances

Up to now, this factor has been like a protracted weekend in July. We’ve had some laughs, a couple of disagreements, made some reminiscences, remembered a few of these reminiscences, and positively misplaced the safety deposit on the seaside rental. Now, it’s time to wrap issues up and hit the street for the Remaining 4.

What do you consider whenever you consider “I Gotta Feeling?” It’s most likely your cousin’s marriage ceremony the place you had too many gin and tonics and made an entire ass of your self (however fortunately not as a lot as your different cousin who saved difficult folks to a sword battle whereas wielding the umbrella he discovered within the coatroom).

What about “Pon de Replay?” You consider summer season. Simply…summer season.

“Pon de Replay” advances

That labored for that one, so let’s strive it once more.

What do you consider whenever you hear “This Is What You Got here For?” Beers in solo cups at a patio bar after a day on the seaside.

What do you consider whenever you hear “Sizzling In Herre?” In all probability one in every of life’s most everlasting questions: Why did Nelly at all times put on that Band-Assist?

“This Is What You Got here For” advances

It’s Rihanna vs. Rihanna within the ultimate, and actually, it’s the one logical end result of this little endeavor. With all due respect to the Black Eyed Peas, Gotye, Beyoncé, and the others, you had been all preventing for third place and also you knew it.

When doubtful, you need to give credit score to what got here first, as a result of with out it, there’s a stable likelihood no matter got here after wouldn’t exist. Rihanna is likely to be in our lives even when “Pon de Replay” hadn’t occurred, nevertheless it did occur, and consequently, she’s the power of nature we’ve come to know and love.

It additionally might have paved the best way for the cultural significance and significance we bestow upon the title of Tune of the Summer season, however that is also a stretch. It positively modified the sport, although, and it nonetheless sounds so rattling good all of those years later.

Rihanna wins, “Pon de Replay” wins, and actually, all of us win.

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