Beyond 'Trap Queen': Our Predictions for the Songs of the Summer


At the time of this writing, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” is holding strong as the second most popular song in the country, having been on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past 17 weeks straight. There is little doubt that once summer hits in full force and more radio stations add it to rotation, it will supplant Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” at number one, and become the must-drop jam at every BBQ, rooftop party, and ride in a car you attend this summer.

In one sense, “Trap Queen”’s runaway popularity is somewhat baffling: it is a song about a love cultivated over the mutual act of cooking crack cocaine. On the other hand, it makes absolute sense: the song itself is a flawless amalgam of currently popular rap styles and tropes, currently popular jingly R&B, currently popular pop hooks, currently popular house-music-referencing synths, and the perennially popular club mandate of big bass hits. Also, Fetty Wap’s voice has shades of a New Jersey answer to some of dancehall’s bigger stars, at least in tone, and I could imagine this on a Kingston-ready playlist.

It is a Frankenstein monster of pop hits and it is utterly undeniable. Just now, I lost myself in it and found myself booty-popping in my bouncy office chair while absentmindedly doing the Petey Pablo dance. I only realized what I was doing when my diagonal seatmate, Hillary Crosley Coker, gave me the crazy side-eye.

The video currently has more than 80 million views, and counting.

But “Trap Queen” can’t be the only one, can it? In celebration of the forthcoming lifestyle event that is Summer 2015, Jezebel staffers have predicted the other songs of the summer, with the gusto and authority of people who listen to lots and lots of music, and attend even more parties. —Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Listen to a playlist of all these songs at Spotify here.

Carly Rae Jepsen, “I Really Like You”

I really liked it then, I really like it now, and I want CRJ to slide into and win the summer with a song she released in spring – just like she did with “Call Me Maybe.” —Bobby Finger

Prince Royce f. Pitbull & Jennifer Lopez, “Back It Up”

Oh Julianne, sweet Julianne. If she didn’t harbor an intense and embarrassing love for Pitbull, I may never have heard “Back It Up,” the song of the summer that will likely never truly be appreciated by the masses who should love it. “What’s up baby?” Prince Royce kindly commands at the top of this song. “It’s your new boyfriend.” [PAUSE] Then, ever so sweetly, he sings, “Royceeee.” It’s so insanely cheesy it gets me every time, this deep homage to a girl who has got Prince Royce totally sprung. “Back It Up” is the perfect song of the summer in that it’s full of intense joy and celebration—much like, I might remind you, my every summer Song of the Summer, which also (COINCIDENTALLY) features Pitbull. —Kate Dries

Jamie xx f. Young Thug & Popcaan, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)“

My money’s on “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)“ for sure, which I feel has clinched the summer-song spot alongside “Trap Queen,” or maybe that’s just how often it plays in the office. I also feel like “Post To Be” is going to be inescapable, though I don’t love it. I wish a rapper would drop an incredible bootleg of Hudmo’s “Ryderz,” because that track has the exact moment the night goes out of control and also the heavy afterhours exhaustion of a summer sunrise in it. And though I’d guess these won’t be Songs of the Summer per se, I hope to be rollerblading around Brooklyn to Aeble’s “Better By You” and Years & Years shamelessly boy-band “Shine.” —Jia Tolentino

Maroon 5, “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherfucker”

As much as it pains me to do this, I’m nominating “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherfucker,” Maroon 5’s blatant summer-song pander. It’s got the type of hook douchebags can sing along to and that simple sway melody is made for drunken hot nights. Getting “Rude” vibes all over again. Plus, these dumb lyrics: “I check my phone when I am weak/She never posts anything deep.” —Clover Hope

Made in Heights, “Ghosts”

I am bordering on over-saturation on this song, but Made In Heights just released their debut album, Without My Enemy What Would I Do, this week, so maybe it will be brand new to you. “Ghosts” debuted last September, but really it’s a song for summer and bike rides and bopping your shoulders in the sun. Kelsey Bulkin floats over the drums, as she tends to do, with airy Janet sighs and asides. “Death” isn’t so bad, either. Listen to this album. —Emma Carmichael

Erik Hassle, “No Words”

This song is like a happy July breeze, an orchestral r&b dance jam with a vibe that feels fresh and bright and new—but not too edgy for the be-khaki’d bros. And god knows we need their blessing to make this happen. —Ellie Shechet

A$AP Rocky f. Rod Stewart, Miguel, & Mark Ronson, “Everyday”

This is the song I want to hear every day this summer. —Jane Marie

Amy Schumer, “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup”

It’s catchy, it’s funny, and it’s no worse than any of the other garbage on the radio. In a just world, this song would dominate the airwaves until it’s no longer fashionable to wear white. —Erin Gloria Ryan

Spice, “Back Bend”

So Mi Like It” won last summer for Spice. While I don’t love “Back Bend” (or “Bend Ova”) as much, I fully anticipate losing my goddamn mind when any and every DJ drops this in a sweaty Brooklyn club or rooftop this summer. They better; if they don’t, I’m rioting with a crew of dancehall queens and signs that read “my pussy pretty when ti turn back wayyyyy” or maybe “fat clump, mi a wine pon the dick and it a thump.”—Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Wiz Khalifa f. Charlie Puth, “See You Again”

Right now Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” is neck in neck with Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again.” Julianne believes that “Trap Queen” will come out victorious, but I for one am not so optimistic. For starters, people love nostalgia and with “See You Again” basically being an ode to the late Paul Walker, it has the entire weight of the Fast and Furious franchise behind it. Also, I hate to admit it, but the song damn catchy. It’s one of those tracks where, intellectually, you know it’s not that good, but you let it play all the way through on the radio because it’s not that offensive.

However, much of the outcome hinges upon whether or not middle America ever finds out what a trap queen actually is and how they react to the news. I don’t want them to disappoint me, but they probably will. —Kara Brown

Kilo Kish, “Begin Route”

I mentioned before that I just uncovered the goodness that is Kilo Kish—her K+ mixtape has been on repeat on SoundCloud for the past few weeks—but it’s “Begin Route,” off of her more recent Across album, that’s setting the tone to my summer. I’m a beach person—more specifically, a water person (I love to swim)—and the whimsical, synth-y background of this track (which is just under a minute and a half long, merely an introduction) makes me think of being a mermaid. And for me, the start of summer feels like the start of a new year, full of potential and things waiting to be discovered. —Karyn Polewaczyk

Janelle Monáe f. Jidenna, “Yoga”

Janelle Monáe’s “Yoga” might not be the official song of the summer, but it will be my song of the summer. Or, at the very least, I will tell you to “get off my areola” enough for you to think that it’s my song of the summer. Get off my areola, please. —Madeleine Davies

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