The official start to summer is this upcoming Wednesday, June 23rd–but for the music world summer started weeks ago. I swear, nothing gets me more pumped than summer music releases, it's alarming. Last year, we watched Halsey and the Chainsmokers dominate with "Closer," which did remarkably well, and even made history, and we also jammed out to Calvin Harris
's collab "This is What You Came For." So far, for summer 2017, Daddy Yankee is leading the charts with his massive comeback banger "Despacito," followed closely by DJ Khaled
's all star collab "I'm the One," with a lineup composed of Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, and more, and Bruno Mars with "That's What I Like." In recent years, DJs and producers have really taken over and came through with bops summer after summer, and this summer doesn't appear to be any different. One important thing to remember: We're just getting started.
The collaborative aspect of songs released by popular DJs and producers are most likely to thank for the overwhelming success of many of these songs. Of course, I don't say that to discredit the hard work of these artists, but once you put "featuring Rihanna
" on anything it is no longer your song. Sorry, I don't make the rules. Two of the most highly anticipated albums of the summer are DJ Khaled's Grateful,
following the aforementioned hit "I'm the One" and "To the Max" with Drake, as well as Calvin Harris' Funk Wav Bounces, Vol 1.,
which features collaborations with Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, and Future. Grateful
is set to be released this upcoming Friday, June 23rd, and the tracklist is already foreshadowing collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Migos, and more. This kind of removes the element of surprise, but, you know, it's fine.
Calvin Harris had kept this surprise factor for quite some time, as his album is out a week after Khaled's on June 30th, but there was no official track list that would detail who will be making an appearance until the release of his album preview. The 10 track album will feature Takeoff, Lil Yachty, and Kehlani for starters. Already released song "Slide" features Frank Ocean and Migos, and "Rollin'" is yet another banger featuring Future and Khalid. So, to say the least, the album seemed promising.
I say seem in the past tense because after his release of "Feels" on Friday, I am honestly not sure anymore. This disaster of a song features Pharrell
, Katy Perry
, and Big Sean
. Meant to be a carefree summer song, the track fell insanely short of what were already low expectations. There's no one to blame for that other than Katy Perry, really. Witness
was not the best, at all, so when people saw that she was featured here they could not have been expecting much. The overall sound of the track is decent, and you might even start moving your hips a little, but then it just gets annoying when the chorus kicks in. Even without Katy Perry's inclusion, Pharrell has certain standards he is expected to uphold because, well, he's Pharrell. You can't really say the same of Big Sean because he really has a hit or miss kind of thing about him. His verse was not unbearable, but by the time it comes up in the song you've already had to suffer through the chorus multiple times and you're just really begging for it to be over at that point. Also, I cannot express how much it did not help to have this on a snapchat filter over the weekend. All that did was create the feeling that babies probably get when you shove bad banana mush in their mouth before they can even speak to object to it.
Another star filled collab was released on Friday out of DJ Khaled's side of the ring–"Wild Thoughts" featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. Now, I'm not going to sit here and praise this track just because it's, in comparison, better than "Feels"–because even though it doesn't have anything to do with Katy Perry and has everything to do with Rihanna, it still isn't that good of a song. "Wild Thoughts" would have been significantly better had Tiller's verse not been a train wreck. In what world does anyone want to hear someone singing about burning someone out after sex so much that it can be compared to cremating a dead body. Come on now. But wait! There's more! He goes on to sing: "You know I'ma slaughter like Jason." The writing credit list for the song is fairly robust, so I don't even know who to point the finger at here–but whoever it is: I hope everything is okay at home. Maybe take a nap and try again?
In just over two weeks both albums will be out, and maybe then we'll get the summer bangers out of Khaled and Harris that many of us thought we would with these two tracks. Grateful
will be composed of a whopping 23 tracks, whereas Funk Wav Bounces, Vol 1.
will only have 10. It appears as though one of these has more room for error than the other, but remember: quality over quantity. Also, I just don't think I can handle any other errors from Harris–I need the rest of these songs to vibe with "Rollin" and "Slide" rather than "Feels." Please.