By Katrina Lovegren ‘21
If you haven’t heard of any of these songs, where have you been all summer? You must have come across these songs at least once on a speaker at the beach, on the radio during a road trip, or on someone’s “Summer 2k19” playlist. “Brown Skin Girl” by Beyoncé, SAINt JHN and Wizkid, “GRoCERIES” by Chance the Rapper featuring Tisa Korean, “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes featuring Camila Cabello and “Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, just to name a few, were some of the most played songs in the summer of 2019.
The empowering R&B and Afrobeat song, “Brown Skin Girl,” was writ-
ten for Beyoncé’s newest album The Lion King: The Gift and included in the 2019 remake of The Lion King. The song uses its rhythmic beat and powerful lyrics to convey the message that black women are beautiful and loved, despite biased beauty standards, colorism, and racism. It celebrates the culture and beauty of women with dark skin tones. The hit inspired many women globally to use the hashtag BrownSkinGirl or BrownSkinChallenge, making the song a viral phenomenon. An important aspect of the song is its African beat and featured artists, both with African roots. Afrobeat, is a genre that has not gained popularity among the general population of the U.S., so this song broadens its exposure due to the influence of Beyoncé’s platform.
The upbeat rap single, “GRoCERIES,” came out in May 2019 and was an immediate success. The fun song is interspersed with many food puns, (hence its name) and resembles a lively conversation between Chance The Rapper and Tisa Korean. Chance The Rapper boosted the song’s initial popularity by posting a viral dance routine on the app Triller which then spread like wildfire across social media. Nevertheless, this did not happen without sparking media controversy, as the song’s beat is remarkably similar to a leaked Juice WRLD song titled “Juicy.”
The release of “Señorita” marked the second collaboration between Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. The song debuted on June 21, and rose to the second spot on the Hot 100 list within two weeks. By August, “Señorita” had reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Not only is the romantic pop song exceptionally catchy, but it sent fans into a frenzy as it fueled the relationship rumors between Mendes and Cabello, which have now been confirmed.
Megan Thee Stallion, the founder of the phrase “hot girl summer,” started an internet craze in June of 2019, which led to its perpetuation by youth across the world. When Megan Thee Stallion teased fans with the beginning of “Hot Girl Summer” in July, the song became one of the most anticipated releases of the summer. It finally debuted in August, with a verse by Nicki Minaj and the chorus by Ty Dolla $ign. The song reiterates the definition of “hot girl summer,” encouraging all to be un- apologetically themselves and to live life to the fullest.