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As the last month of summer slips away, I have begun to accept a sad and foreboding truth: this year has not produced a Song of the Summer. You know what I’m talking about. That upbeat, strobing anthem that blasts from every car radio. The one that gets everyone dancing in the club, at the bad wedding, or late, late at night in a dive bar. Last year it was “Crazy,” by Gnarls Barkly, or maybe even Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous Girl.” Past August anthems include “Hot in Herre” and even “No Scrubs” (which I didn’t really like). One more rule: the song of the summer always has some sort of hip-hop element. As a coworker wisely remarked, even as rock continues to let us down, hip-hop usually delivers a song that can bring us all together. Now it appears hip-hop is in trouble as well. Rihanna’s “Umbrella” was a weak contender.
The New York Times, I just realized, weighed in on this subject in July. The author seems to be making several arguments: that the Song of the Summer never really existed, that every hit is a summer song, that the whole idea is just a collective emotional daydream. I think it just might be that pop musicfirst rock, now hip-hopis losing its grip on summer. (I’m pretty much stealing this idea from the aforementioned coworker.) And I totally disagree with these bloggers who think Feist could qualify.