Amid this slow death of monoculture, you'd think there wouldn't be any one song that everybody — I mean, everybody — would be blasting out the back of their furiously pimped-out rides. No, in the age of iTunes, Rhapsody, and BitTorrent, the long hot summer is no longer overshadowed by that one, catchy, sunny pop song.
Here's a test: Go ahead and name one song this summer that's as powerful, invectious, and disposable as "Macarena." Even last summer had a ubiquitous hook (Rihanna's "Umbrella") that everyone was humming, even if they didn't know what it was or where it came from. The summer before that was accompanied by the cool soul of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."
The New York Times sent critic Andrew Kuo to find 2008's Song of Summer, but didn't find what you'd expect. Of the eight tunes he heard most frequently blaring out of apartment windows, car stereos, and iPods (among them Lil Wayne's "A Milli" and Young Jeezy and Kanye West's "Put On"), the best one is a doing-the-dozens-like trash-talker from HotStylz, a Chicago hip-hop collection. The tune "Lookin' Boy" is, Kuo writes, "Good enough to hop out of bed and jam out to when a car drives by booming this at 4 a.m.!"
So here it is, the 2008 Song of the Summer.