Summer 2017 was one for the books. We endured historic hurricanes, and one of the most insane presidents we’ve ever seen on American soil. More importantly for humanity, through tragedy and triumph, we had these songs to thank for never letting us down all Summer long:

DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna – Wild Thoughts
Probably the only song on this list where just about everyone we know saw the music video. Rihanna arguably influenced a new appreciation for “thiccness”, as if we weren’t already here for it. “Wild Thoughts” won’t die down anytime soon, and will be continued to be played at parties and in bedrooms alike for some time to come. And how could you not like that Santana sample?

Lil Uzi Vert – XO Tour Llif3
With “XO Tour Llif3”, and other songs like “Money Longer” and the new “Neon Guts”, Lil Uzi Vert is ushering in a new era of sing-along rap. Along with videos of Uzi’s death-defying stage dives, clips of Lil Uzi performing “XO Tour Llif3” display the power of unity his music has, and catching his voice crack on the chorus is actually adorable. Even Uzi doesn’t let his voice get in the way of belting out some big chords.

Childish Gambino – Redbone
Even if you could predict Childish Gambino making the genre switchup that he did with Awaken, My Love, you likely didn’t expect a song as magical as “Redbone” to come along. The start of the song is instant sparks in the air, and “Redbone” will no doubt go down as a timeless lovemaking jam.

Post Malone – Congratulations
It was a big year for Posty! In 2017, Post Malone tapped into internet subcultures as well as cementing his placement in the mainstream conscious with his much needed style of pop-trap-r&b. Known feature killer Quavo does exactly that and delivers greatness on “Congratulations”.

Kendrick Lamar – Humble
Before DAMN., some would claim that “Kendrick doesn’t have hits”. Aside from every song on DAMN. hitting the charts, “Humble” is one of Kendrick’s biggest singles yet. We won’t be forgetting the hook on this one anytime soon and we have Kendrick to thank for reminding us all to be humble.

Future – Mask Off
On “Mask Off” Future gave us exactly what we love about trap music. A mixture of comatose and spastic, Future’s lyrics move any track along and always portray the imagery of a trap lifestyle. Also, “Mask Off” made the flute cool again, and we would go on to hear the flute being replicated and parodied all season long.

Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
Recently hitting number #1 on the Billboard charts, Cardi B is one rap’s freshest names to reach great heights. “I don’t dance now, I make money moves” will stick with us for years to come, and moving forward through Fall and Winter of 2017, Cardi B is bound to continue making huge moves and we’re here for every step of the way.

Honorable mentions: As the sun begins to set earlier and our Summer comes to a close, we couldn’t leave out these singles and wouldn’t hesitate to include them in our full soundtrack for Summer 2017: “I’m The One”, “Unforgettable”, “Bank Account”, “Slippery”, “Magnolia”, “Feels”, “Love Galore”, “Drowning”, “Butterfly Effect”, “DNA”, “It’s A Vibe”, “Crew”, “Despactio”,  “Rake It Up”, “Signs”, and “Bad & Boujee” are just one big handful of tracks that made Summer 2017 the movie it was. On this date in 2016, Drake was dominating the charts with Views and it’s actually refreshing to see him so uncharacteristically “out of season”, while mainstream figures like Rihanna rightfully remain an idol for the culture.

Along with the aforementioned singles, Summer 2017 saw the release of some of the best music all year long. SZA set our hearts on fire with CTRL. Young Thug gave us something we’ll never forget (even if you didn’t listen to it) with Beautiful Thugger Girls. The breakthrough BROCKHAMPTON collective released two-thirds of their avant-garde SATURATION trilogy, and Jay-Z made a huge return to the game with 4:44. With no lack of timeless music, only time will tell if Fall of 2017 will bring us the same magic.

Liked this list? Follow Joe Reitan @joesgroovytime and EMCEE Network @emceenetwork for news and our thoughts on music and culture all year long.

Born in Portland Oregon, Joe Reitan was raised to fulfill his sense of freedom and ambition. He moved to Eastern Washington as a teen, going down several paths such as computer engineering, competitive football and baseball, and was successful in his local FBLA and DECA clubs on a state level. At 18, Joe took steps towards his real passion, music. Creating his own website to post his content as he dove ever deeper into the world of music, he looked to bypass the traditional ways of life that he felt were so unfit for him.

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