What actually decides the Song of the Summer isn’t an exact science — it seems like a real mixture of things. It has to be a track you can’t avoid no matter where you go, which also captures the vibe and mood of the season, and can somehow cross over to all different kinds of people. Predicting this alone, as you can imagine, can be tough, so it’s much easier to put it in the hands of the people rather than dictating it from on high.
It’s all finally come down to this. Two acts have emerged out of the weeks’ long battle — Chance The Rapper and Fitz & The Tantrums — and only one will hold the title for 2016’s Song of the Summer. In round after round after round, major superstars like Drake, Beyonce, Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake who have taken this crown before in years past, all fell to relative newcomers Chano and Fitz.
So, let’s not waste any more time. Who is it going to be? Voting for the final round ends Friday, July 15 at 9 a.m.
Chance The Rapper – “No Problem”
Chance The Rapper is the best rapper who can adapt to rappers on their own turf. He Jay Elec-Hanukkahed all over “How Great” with prophetic sounding bars, and “No Problem” is Chance taking on 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne’s specialty: crazy big party music. Chance building a banger out of his beloved choir snippets and ad-libs is noteworthy enough, but what makes “Problem” the SotS is the fact that Tity Boi and Wayne refused to be shown up. Weezy delivers one of the best verses we’ve heard from him in years and Chainz’ dad jokes are in peak form. If you can listen to this contender without bouncing on your toes or laughing at the idea of dapping up God, then I don’t want to know you.
– Alex Galbraith
Fitz & the Tantrums – “Handclap”
“Handclap” has all the makings of being a stealthy favorite for Song of the Summer. It’s perfectly positioned to sneak up from the middle of the pack like a precocious Kentucky Derby colt and snatch the title from someone like Rihanna or Drake. For one, the beat on the song is almost exactly calibrated for skilled and dorky dancers alike to feel comfortably getting down to the rhythm without embarrassing themselves or others. It is also by Fitz and the Tantrums, a band that has already had enough radio success that “Handclap” can be on every summer playlist and radio rotation within earshot, yet it doesn’t seem like a one-hit wonder situation.
Beyond the societal reasons for this song to be in Song of the Summer contention, there is also the simple fact that it is an incredibly catchy song which incorporates solid vocals, a catchy bridge, just the right amount of synth, and a groovy sax underneath it all. Plus, you can organically clap along while you dance. Which more than anything is a key ingredient for songs that wish to remain completely inescapable from June to September.
– Whitney McIntosh