12 Song of the Summer 2017 Contenders, From Bruno Mars to Kendrick Lamar (Videos)
Check out the singles that you won’t be able to escape this season
Reid Nakamura | June 12, 2017 @ 6:14 PM
Last Updated: June 12, 2017 @ 6:48 PM
"Despacito (Remix)" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber) -- The current frontrunner for Song of the Sumer is Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito." The mostly Spanish-language song has been sitting at the top of the Hot 100 for weeks after rocketing from No. 48 to the top 10 after Justin Bieber hopped on a remix last month. Should the reggaeton-pop single take home the crown, it would be a huge coup for Fonsi, a Puerto Rican superstar who hasn't previously had a crossover hit in the U.S.
"I'm the One" by DJ Khaled (feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne) --
Odds are Bieber will rule the summer of 2017. Between "Despacito" and the breezy DJ Khaled posse cut "I'm the One," the Canadian -- who doesn't even have an album out this year -- is on two of the biggest songs heading into the season. Since the song's debut at No. 1 in May, it's dipped a bit but held steady in the top five, suggesting that the lightweight summer tune could have a long life ahead.
"That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars -- Bruno Mars is a radio staple and arguably one of the biggest male pop stars in the game -- after only Bieber and Drake, depending on your definition of "pop." "That's What I Like," the inescapable and impeccably constructed throwback jam from Mars' 2016 album "24K Magic," has been sitting tight at No. 2 after previously topping of the chart, suggesting it could be around for a while.
"HUMBLE." by Kendrick Lamar -- Kendrick Lamar unseated Ed Sheeran back in April, bringing an end to the British singer-songwriter's stranglehold on the No. 1 slot when he announced his return with the undeniable single "HUMBLE." and it's Last Supper-referencing video. The song hasn't left the top five since.
"LOYALTY." by Kendrick Lamar (feat. Rihanna) -- Would it truly be summer if Rihanna wasn't playing? "LOYALTY.," Lamar's Rihanna-featuring second single off "DAMN." peaked at No. 14 before soon falling off the charts, but one would be a fool to count out the woman who basically invented the concept of Song of the Summer in the first place. Should the song get a second wind, it's not hard to imagine the sputtering ode to devotion making that essential crossover to pop stations.
"Mask Off" by Future -- "Mask Off," with its flute-heavy Metro Boomin beat, wasn't even supposed to be a single. But when Future released his self-titled fifth album earlier this year, listeners immediately latched onto the song as the album's obvious standout, sending it up the charts on the strength of its streaming numbers. Since it was released as on official single in April, the song, with its catchy Tommy Butler flute sample, has held strong in the top 10.
"XO TOUR Llif3" by Lil Uzi Vert -- Lil Uzi Vert is part of a new generation of rappers who confuses old-school hip-hop types, but even they can't deny his popularity. The self-described "rockstar" earned his third platinum single with "XO Tour Llif3," the nihilistic hit single from his latest EP "Luv Is Rage 1.5." The song has been a favorite on Soundcloud for months, long before it ever made a dent on Billboard's charts.
"Stay" by Zedd (feat. Alessia Cara) -- Like the Chainsmokers and Halsey, and Calvin Harris and Rihanna before them, Zedd and Alessia Cara have leveraged the producer-pop star collaboration to take over pop radio airwaves. The combination of Cara's distinct vocals and Zedd's frenetic production is a refreshing take on the EDM-lite aesthetic that's dominated the charts lately, and "Stay" is sure to continue its steady climb upward into the summer months.
"2U" by David Guetta (feat. Justin Bieber) --
Bieber has reinvented himself as the go-to male vocalist for producers looking to achieve crossover success. The pop star's loyal fanbase sent both DJ Snake's "Let Me Love You" and Major Lazer's "Cold Water" to the top five last year, not to mention the Jack U collab "Where Are U Now," which went to No. 8. So it would be foolish to count out Bieber's latest feature, even though it faces an uphill battle given its relatively late mid-June release.
"Know No Better" by Major Lazer (feat. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello and Major Lazer) --
Whether or not "Know No Better" has the momentum to reach Song of the Summer-level ubiquity, it's sure to be a hit. With bouncy piano-driven verses and a synth dance chorus, "Know No Better" is sure to become a radio and party hit on par with, if not bigger than, it's predecessor "Cold Water." Prepare to hear it all season.
"Slide" by Calvin Harris (feat. Frank Ocean and Migos) -- None of Harris' three singles from his upcoming album "Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1" have come anywhere close to the success his 2016 Rihanna collab "This Is What You Came For," but the sleek west coast bounce of "Slide" is certainly deserving. With bleary-eyed vocals from the elusive Frank Ocean and guest verses from the biggest rap group going, "Slide" recently peaked at No. 25, making it a long-shot contender for certain, but one worth rooting for.
"Cut to the Feeling" by Carly Rae Jepsen -- An unreleased B-side repurposed for the soundtrack to an animated movie, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Cut to the Feeling" is better than it has any right to be. With a massive, joyful chorus, the song hits like a shot of dopamine to the brain, instantly brightening even the sunniest summer day. It's not a real contender for Song of the Summer -- the single failed to chart at all -- but an undeniable banger like this one demands consideration.