As the summer almost comes to a close, it’s only right to pick the song that has truly defined the season. While summer 2017 had the history-making “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, and summer 2018 had Drake’s chart-topping viral sensation “In My Feelings,” this summer fell short in having one soundtrack to express its vibe. Despite not having a definitive single that captured the essence of summer 2019, here’s a list of seven hit songs that ruled many summer playlists.
1. “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
YouTube | Lil Nas X
“Old Town Road” is the most likely culprit for this year lacking a song of the summer. The single spent a record-breaking 18 weeks as the number one song in the country. In releasing other remixes for the single, Lil Nas X has ensured that the country-rap song's success “rides till it can’t no more.” Also, because of its wide-ranging audience, “Old Town Road” will likely be deemed the song of the year.
2. “Suge” by DaBaby
YouTube | DaBaby
DaBaby has instantly become one of the hottest rap stars this year, and his hit single “Suge” is mainly responsible for that. The single, which was the second track promoted for his album Baby on Baby, is a great introduction to the North Carolinian rapper’s aesthetic of being rich, signing record deals and threatening to beat up anyone who dares try to intimidate him. “Suge” peaked at number 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in July, becoming DaBaby’s first top-10 single. The song has certainly been a popular club anthem for the summer.
3. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
YouTube | Lizzo Music
“Truth Hurts” was released two years ago, but thanks to TikTok and the Netflix film Something Great, it currently sits at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it a song of the summer contender. Throughout “Truth Hurts,” exuberant singer and stan-worthy flutist Lizzo sings about not wanting to be in an unhealthy relationship. Following the release of her third album Cuz I Love You, the single’s chart-topping success is just another feat added to the breakout year that Lizzo is having.
4. “Big ‘Ole Freak” by Megan Thee Stallion
YouTube | Megan Thee Stallion
No, “Big ‘Ole Freak” didn’t get the same song of the summer treatment as Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” but that didn’t prevent Megan Thee Stallion’s hit single from being a summer twerking playlist standout. The single garnered mainstream attention for the Houston rapper when it became her first Hot 100 entry earlier this year. “Big Ole Freak,” which was featured on Megan Thee Stallion’s second ep Tina Snow, is the epitome of sexual empowerment that’ll likely be on any Hot Girl Summer playlist.
5. “Act Up” by the City Girls
YouTube | City Girls
A highlight from the City Girls’ debut album Girl Code, “Act Up” is mainly about being a female boss who’s unbothered by what any hater has to say. Although the song was released last year, its popularity grew this summer as it became the highest-charting entry for the Miami rap duo, peaking at number 26 on the Billboard chart.
6. “Before I Let Go” by Beyoncé
YouTube | Beyoncé
In April, Beyoncé stunned fans with a surprise live album commemorating her iconic Coachella performance. Homecoming: The Live Album was accompanied by a Netflix special also titled Homecoming. If that wasn’t enough, Queen Bey blessed fans with a mesmerizing cover of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go,” that was instantly crowned the ringleader of the summer 2019 cookout. Although its viral dance challenge helped boost the song’s success, “Before I Let Go” is mainly a testament to how Beyoncé can effortlessly recreate a Black culture staple.
7. “EARFQUAKE” by Tyler, the Creator
YouTube | Tyler, The Creator
“EARFQUAKE” is the hit single from Tyler, the Creator’s number one album IGOR. The single, which features vocals from Playboi Carti and Charlie Wilson, is a hip-hop love song in which Tyler, the Creator croons about not wanting his partner to leave. Being one of hip-hop’s standout releases in late spring, the single certainly set the summer’s tone for quality music and held its spot on the summer playlist.