The summer is nearly over, but the summer jam debate remains up for grabs. Is it Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed”? Drake’s “Best I Ever Had”? Maybe Paramore’s “Ignorance” can make a play? But if we’re to believe the Billboard Hot 100, then there are only a few tunes in contention for that particular championship belt. The first is pretty obvious: Black Eyed Peas runaway smash “I Gotta Feeling” just registered another week at the top of the chart, putting the group only one week of dominance away from breaking the all-time record for consecutive weeks in the pole position (Usher is the current record-holder, who did it with “Yeah!” and “Burn”). The other song in contention is slightly less obvious: Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which just tied the record for most consecutive weeks in the Hot 100 (this is it’s 69th). All Mraz has to do is chart next week and he’ll smash the record currently held by LeAnn Rimes, whose “How Do I Live” dominated radio back in 1997.
The success of the Black Eyed Peas is pretty obvious, as the group has been ubiquitous — some would say inescapable — for most of the season. But how did Mraz’s little acoustic ditty create such long-lasting traction? Like the Rimes song, Mraz’s “I’m Yours” has benefited from crossover status on radio (it’s been popular on Top 40 stations as well as on adult contemporary and classic rock formats) and has managed to get a number of revivals since it’s release. It got an initial bump when the album came out, then it got used in a Verizon commercial, then Mraz performed the song on “Saturday Night Live,” then it got remixed.
Though the Black Eyed Peas dominance is impressive, they’ve had a much bigger support structure behind them. Mraz seems to have accomplished everything the old school way: By hitting the road, playing on TV and catching a few breaks in between. Ultimately, whenever people hear “I Gotta Feeling,” they probably think of saving money at Target. But when they hear “I’m Yours,” they likely think of diving into the Pacific Ocean. Which feels more like summer?