Intro for July 6, 2016
Billboard posted an article yesterday about the Song of the Summer, one of the signs that monoculture isn’t quite dead yet. The Song of the Summer is usually crowned by Labour Day, although I don’t even know why we have to have this discussion this year but let’s come back to that in a minute. According to The Daily Beast, the songs of the summer candidates for 2016 are kind of sh-t (agree, with one exception) and at the end of the piece, the writer wonders why Beyoncé isn’t part of the conversation:
“Go to the current Billboard singles chart and you’ll see the highest-ranked Beyoncé song is “Sorry,” all the way down at no. 32. Go to any party thrown by a human with taste and you’ll hear all of Lemonade played, multiple times, start to finish, followed by hours of scouring YouTube for bootleg versions of our Queen performing those same songs during her Formation tour. The disconnect lately between the culture-at-large’s mass enjoyment of Beyoncé’s music and its radio and chart play is mysterious. But be not confused. It is the Summer of Bey.”
It’s not just the Summer of Bey, it’s the Always of Bey. But still, this is a true story. Beyoncé is being played at the party. They’re demanding that she be played at the party…but for some reason, Beyoncé is not getting on the radio. And while I’ll wait for someone else to analyse the social and political and conspiratorial reasons behind that “disconnect”, there is actually a song that is being played at the party and on the radio and everywhere else in between and that song belongs to Drake. One Dance.
For Drake though, and Summer Sixteen, also conveniently the name of his tour, it’s actually three songs – One Dance, Work, and Controlla. Or maybe five, if you want to count Child’s Play and For Free. His album Views is breaking records all over the place. It’s a monster. Which is why The Undefeated has already declared Drake the winner (and compared on his accomplishments to Michael Jackson: “With Views and One Dance leading both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 for the past seven weeks, he rides shotgun with Michael Jackson as the only male artists in history to hold the top spots for that long. Jackson did so in 1983 with Thriller and Billie Jean.”), specifically because he’s an artist who is perfect for summer:
“Drake’s musical persona parlays with ease between club dance floors, strip clubs, sports arenas, bedrooms and early-morning drunken phone calls to exes. He’s Entourage’s Vinnie Chase, but actually the interesting one.”
This is an excellent study of Drake and his career, already one of the most successful rappers of all time, and his ascent only started 7 years ago. And that brings us back to the original question – Song of the Summer? It’s been answered, non? It is indeed Drake’s 3 Songs of the Summer, the season of Music To F-ck To: you meet and grind on Work, you turn around and look into each other’s eyes on One Dance, and then if it’s still there, you leave the party and get into the car with Controlla playing on the way back home, together. When you get there, then it’s a whole playlist. My Summer 16 Music To F-ck To playlist doesn’t include any Drake. But One Dance definitely inspired it. Click here to see it, and what’s on yours?
Yours in gossip,
Joseph Okpako/ Getty Images