All summer long we've been tracking the race for the Song of the Summer on our podcast FADER Explains. Now that Labor Day has past, we're ready to officially crown a winner and to no one's surprise, the winner is the Drake's omnipresent "In My Feelings." From Shiggy's viral dance challenge to the rise of City Girls, there isn't a song that was as important to summer 2018 than the Scorpion single.
To unpack the song's legacy, we welcomed our coworker Nazuk to the show. We broke down where it ranks in Drake's catalogue, and later we spoke about more Songs of the Summer that we loved.
Olivia: Okay, guys, so, what are we feeling? How do you feel? How does this song make you feel? How does its ascent make you feel? How does it make you feel that it dropped in the middle of summer and still managed to do its thing?
Myles: I love it. I mean, I think, from our Scorpion episode, it was a song that the two of us and our guest, Jaboukie, we we were like, “Oh, this song's a hit.” This song is great. We kind of wished that it came before the album, there was “God's Plan,” but yeah. I love this song.
Nazuk: I really love it too, I feel like when the album came out and we were playing it at the office, this was the song that we all kept asking to be replayed. I also think, you know, as a person who has recently removed herself, or not recently, I guess it's been almost a year, since I took myself off Twitter, I've been very lucky to enjoy the song at my leisure.
Olivia: Oh, and to not have memes forced upon you?
Nazuk: Yeah, no memes forced upon me. Maybe on the 'gram every now and then, but I've been able to control my intake of "In My Feelings" and enjoy it. I even watched the video pretty significantly after...well, by significantly I mean like a day or two after it actually came out.
Myles: Yeah, “significantly” in news time.
Nazuk: I think it's catchy as hell, I'm really happy for TrapMoneyBenny getting his freaking shine after a long time. So yeah.
Myles: Yeah, I'm really happy for City Girls too. Obviously they've put in a lot of work and to have such a moment on a major stage is like incredible and that's great for them.
Olivia: Can we talk about the meme for a sec?
Olivia: I don't think this song would be the song of the summer without Shiggy.
Nazuk: Shout out the Shiggy Show.
Olivia: Shout out to Shiggy. That video of him dancing in the street came out like 12 hours after Scorpion dropped. It was so fast, and then suddenly, everyone was jumping out of their dang cars to do that dance.
Myles: Olivia, you wrote a post on our website telling people to stop jumping out of their cars.
Olivia: And do you know what happened? A guy got hit by a car doing it.
Nazuk: In real life?
Olivia: In real life. A real life man jumped out of his car to do this dance and then got hit by another car. He's fine now. It's just one of those things that I think we've talked about before, where for a song to become this stratospheric hit, it really does help if there's some kind of social aspect to it, and now it becomes a thing of like, oh, Ciara will tell you to do the “Level Up” challenge, and I think this one succeeded so much because it came out organically and it wasn't Drake being like, "This is the dance. Now put it on your Instagram," it was like a thing people genuinely wanted to do.
Myles: A thing that I think is interesting though, is that the memes appeal was so ... like you said, it was so immediate, but this song as really stuck around and had staying power. The meme is kind of dead at this point, but you know, when we're recording this, it's its sixth week at number one with no song in sight coming to beat it. So, you know, it definitely has post-meme appeal.
Nazuk: I also think is has an incredible staying power on its own. Something crazy, I went to the Bad Bunny show that was sold out at Prudential Center on Saturday night, and when that song came on, twice, at two different times, I think it was a 20 minute break in between, they switched DJs or something, the crowd went up. People stood up and were like doing the dance too with it, and it was like, older people, younger people. Granted, that was like a younger leaning show, but people were stoked on it regardless. Just going back to Shiggy, it's not the first time he's made a video or social post or something that's been so stoked on a song. He did the “Unforgettable” challenge right when the song came out too.
Myles: Something we talked a lot about in the first episode, when we were recapping all of these contenders, was about the hooky nature of these huge summer songs, and I don't know if there's a song out right now that has something like, "Kiki, do you love me" — a line everyone knows.
Olivia: Everyone knows it. I think I have also said this before, people love to yell, and so to have a thing where everyone can at once, yeah, "Kiki, do you," like everyone knows it. It's like that meme where it's like, when you hear the song from the bathroom, and it's like someone like running out to the floor, that's what this song feels like to me. You're like, oh my god, I have to run out and dance to this song. My friends are all gonna be out there, we're gonna have a great time. It just makes you feel good.
Nazuk: It also reminds me of ... I was talking to our friend Lakin Starling about this song, I think it was this weekend too, and she sent me a video of her niece singing a call and response version of this song.
Olivia: Oh my god.
Nazuk: I think it was in the car on the radio, and she had a response every time Drake would say something, so I think it's like a universal song too, like, people love a call and response song. This one doesn't really have a response aspect to the call part, but it's like a playground song too, you know what I'm saying? It's a song that kids of any age can be stoked on. That's a great aspect of it too. For the kids, always.
Myles: And like, I feel like the other side of that coin is that I feel like all moms have texted their children this summer being like, "Who's Kiki?" or Something about Kiki. Moms know who Kiki is.
Olivia: My dad, when that post about jumping out cars came out, my dad texted me and said, "Is jumping out of cars part of God's Plan?" I was like, whoa, you're really keeping up.
Myles: That's literally beautiful. Naz, do you think this song, right now it's so hot, it's huge on the charts, do you think in five or even ten years, we'll be like, "Play "In My Feelings!" Play "In My Feelings!”
Nazuk: I don't know. I feel like, no, honestly. Because the internet really just rings all the joy and life out of songs, by the time you actually bring yourself in this kind of crazy sad state of the world to go out and have fun with your pals, you know what I'm saying? By the time you head out and you go to hear the song, you're like, this isn't as rad as I thought it would be anymore. And like, if you hear a DJ playing this song in five months, you're gonna be like, why the hell are you playing this song-
Olivia: Okay, counter point, I think five months from now, I'll be like, what is this shit? And then 10 years from now, I'll be like, "Ah!"
Nazuk: 10 years, like yeah, it's play at some function and my kids will be like, "Ugh, god. She's always like this when this song comes on." But I feel like ... I think a lot about, you know, I don't know why, but I think a lot about the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd and how much of a moment that was online, in real life, across ages, age groups of people. Freaking Hillary Clinton did it on the jet.
Olivia: I was about to ask, wait, do you think if Hillary Clinton were running for president right now, would she have done an "In My Feelings" challenge?
Myles: Absolutely, 100%.
Nazuk: But that kinda rang the fun out of the song very, very quickly. We all knew at that moment, even though shout out to Rae Sremmurd, I really love them, like, yay Swae Lee, sweet voice of the century, Jxmmi really rapping his ass off, but like, I don't know, that song is just like not a thing anymore. If that song came on now, I would be like...
Myles: You'd be like, please stop.
Olivia: Within the canon of all of Drake, where does this rank for you guys? Like, if this isn't the song that makes you like turn up in 10 years, what is your song gonna be?
Myles: I think, personally, it's a very publicized thing of my love for “Hotline Bling. But like, I honestly do feel that in 20 years when Drake is in Vegas at his Vegas residency...
Olivia: And you and I are in the front row.
Myles: Yeah, called OVO Lounge, that like, he will close with “Hotline Bling.” I think when we're older and we're settled, we're just gonna like, play that “Hotline Bling” baby, put it on. I don't know if I'm gonna feel that way about "In My Feelings", but I feel like with “Hotline Bling,” I'm gonna want it played it at my funeral.
Olivia: Naz, what is your ... what do you want Drake to close with at the OVO Lounge at Caesar's Palace?
Nazuk: Oh my gosh, I don't know why, but this is so corny, “Shot For Me” is like playing in my head right now. That's a real scorcher.
Myles: That is beautiful.
Nazuk: I just loved that era of Drake, you know what I'm saying? But "In My Feelings" seems like it would be my aunty turn up song if I was at a Drake concert 10 years from now, his Vegas residency. Like, I'd really be up jamming with my girls. I don't really know. I feel like it would be something from earlier in his catalog. Something pre-”Hotline Bling” to me.
Olivia: I think mine would probably be a Take Care cut too. It's probably “Hold On, We're Going Home.”
Myles: I mean, I remember when he made that song he said, "I wanna make a song that will play at weddings, that will last forever." He really did that with that song.
Myles: It's beautiful. But, as we know, "In My Feelings" was not the only song this summer. There were other candidates that we've talked about throughout this whole season, some of which rose, some of which sank. I think one in particular that I think a lot of people are talking about as ... it's not "In My Feelings", it's Cardi B's "I Like It" with Bad Bunny and J Balvin.
Olivia: Amazing song. I just think, and to be fair, it does have more Spotify streams right now than "In My Feelings" does, but I just feel like it kinda dropped off. I'm not hearing it playing from as many windows and cars and I don't know. I also think Cardi had a baby and had to go away for a little bit, and that might've impeded her a little bit and allowed Drake to just come in and like steamroll.
Myles: I also think, just from like, if we're keeping score and being mathematical about it, I think an important part of it is a lock on the charts. You know, like Mariah Carey's “We Belong Together,” spent over 10 weeks at number one. It owned the chart the whole summer and "In My Feelings" had a similar sort of run over six weeks. This is the number one song when you look at it on a chart, it's like a solid block of control. What do you think of Cardi, Naz?
Nazuk: I think Cardi rocks. I freaking like that whole album and I really….”I Like It,” ha! I feel like we were mentioning this earlier, “I Like It” is kind of more a universally liked song, across ages, across different cultures, languages, backgrounds. It's a song that a lot of people can enjoy with everyone and anyone. "In My Feelings" to me kind of skews a little younger, for that reason, maybe. I feel like, maybe older people are like on YouTube or something, or on a different platform listening to it or like, I don't know, enjoying it on their own terms. "In My Feelings" has this massive listenership concentrated in certain areas.
Olivia: I also feel like there was kind of ... and we were a part of this too, in late May, early June, we were like what's the Song of the Summer going to be? And everyone was speculating and it felt kind of like everyone was picking at different things and then "In My Feelings" came and we were all like, "Oh, this is it." It was just like, this is the thing. There's a dance. This is what we're gonna do-
Myles: It checks all the boxes.
Olivia: Yeah, it checks all the boxes in a way that like, like listening back to our first episode, none of the songs checked all of the boxes in the way "In My Feelings" did, even though “I Like It” is like, the closest to getting there, but "In My Feelings" just, like I said, it steamrolled. It just came in and we were like immediately, this is the one. This is the song we're blasting off of Scorpion. And now here we are.