Despite these current times robbing us of what makes a song a summer banger (we miss you, rooftop day parties), Black artists continue to break records, proving that they can still top charts without the conventional single rollout.
Thanks to the power of collaboration, these artists have not only produced timeless and needed jams, but they’ve also forged their standoms to take their support of pushing these respective tracks to the next level. And thanks to the power of social media, the content we see via TikTok trends and Instagram Stories (and their new Reels feature) call for these songs to accompany what we’ve seen go viral.
We took a look at Spotify’s “Are & Be” playlist August insights and Billboard’s 2020 Songs of the Summer Chart—which tracks the most popular singles based on cumulative performance on the weekly streaming, airplay, and sales-based Billboard Hot 100 chart from Memorial Day through Labor Day—to select some standouts to add to your summer sound track.
Let’s get into it below.
1. DaBaby & Roddy Ricch: “Rockstar”
This collab from DaBaby and Roddy Rich was a force on the Billboard charts this summer, topping the Songs of the Summer Chart at number one for over 11 weeks. The accolades don’t stop there, “Rockstar” was Spotify’s most-streamed song of this summer with almost 770 million streams and was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over four million records since it dropped this April.
2. Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé: “Savage (Remix)”
The internet froze over once Megan Thee Stallion graced our ears with Beyoncé’s opening verse in the “Savage” remix. These Houston hotties brought much-needed heat, giving us the ultimate confidence-booster anthem, with the viral TikTok dance in tow. “Savage (Remix)” finished at number four on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart.
3. The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is part of a sonic cinema inspired by 80s synth-pop and Martin Scorsese’s 1985 film After Hours—which is what he named his newest LP after. The subtle, chaotic Miami Vice aesthetic juxtaposes the replay value and danceability of “Blinding Lights”—despite The Weeknd crooning about trying to reach a lover on a drunken drive. The track landed at number two on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart with over 1.4 million streams on Spotify.
4. Jhené Aiko feat. H.E.R. – “B.S.”
Jhené Aiko’s third album Chilombo has been well-received since its March release. The project reached number two on the Billboard 200 hundred, making it her highest-charted album yet. This collab with H.E.R. cracked the top five streamed songs on Spotify’s “Are & Be” playlist at over 68 million streams. These two R&B staples join Kehlani, Summer Walker, and Alicia Keys as the top five streamed female artists in the same playlist as of August 2020.
5. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Rihanna: “BELIEVE IT”
Rihanna taking care of the hook on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “BELIEVE IT,” a hit from his latest album, PARTYMOBILE, was her first non-sampled appearance in three years as we continue to await the release of R9. The Canadian rapper also knows how to build a pop-rap track that yields replay value, as it has 138 million streams and counting. “BELIEVE IT” also made it to the top five streamed songs on Spotify’s “Are & Be” playlist, with PARTYNEXTDOOR joining The Weeknd, Usher, and Dvsn as the top male artists in the playlist as of August.