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song of the summer

Song of the Summer: The Top Six

Get psyched: Memorial Day weekend, and the official start of summer, is only hours away. With that in mind, we've whittled down our lists of Song of the Summer contenders, from the Hipster Cookout, Steamroll Pop, Car-Stereo Hip-Hop, Crossover Country, Fist-Pump Rock, and Rhythm and Blues divisions — plus added on a few new possibilities from the ever-dynamic competition — to fashion a sterling top six. The race truly begins now; may the best radio-friendly, roughly three-and-a-half-minute song win!

6. Young Jeezy featuring Plies, "Lose My Mind"
Chart Position: No. 48
Why: It’s the menacing banger you’ll hear blasting from every SUV in Brooklyn during muggy city nights.
Why Not: Handling the chorus himself instead of bringing in an R&B ringer was the right creative choice, but it might hamper Jeezy when it comes to radio play.

5. Drake, "Find Your Love"
Chart Position: No. 20
Why: Drake’s other single, “Over,” is a spot higher on the charts right now, but this has more earworm potential. That’s partially owed to its chorus being repeated a billion freaking times in just over three minutes.
Why Not: Dude was ubiquitous last summer. Burnout warning levels are dangerously high.

4. Ke$ha, "Your Love Is My Drug"
Chart Position: No. 7
Why: Heading in the right direction: After fifteen weeks on the charts, it is still gaining.
Why Not: Her poorly conceived party-girl public persona and generous utilization of face glitter has quickly made her a joke. How many will be wrongly shamed out of fandom?

3. Lady Gaga, "Alejandro"
Chart Position: No. 6
Why: Right now, Gaga could release a bag of nail shavings and it would be a smash.
Why Not: The “La Isla Bonita”–y subject matter doesn’t bother us. That this is basically an Ace of Base rip-off? Harder to swallow.

2. Katy Perry, "California Gurls"
Chart Position: No. 3
Why: Was put on this earth to take off in the summer.
Why Not: She’s the pop star everyone loves to hate. Could one interview with Russell Brand offering explicit icky details of their sex life derail the whole campaign?

1. Usher, "OMG"
Chart Position: No. 1
Why: The momentum is extremely strong, and a blockbuster remix is surely in the works.
Why Not: Then again, history has taught us that songs huge this early in the game will inevitably fade.

Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, Jeff Fusco/Getty Images, Ross Gilmore/Redferns