photo: YouTube

The "song of the summer" is an elusive thing — it is always a mystery which song will rise to the top of the charts in the sticky heat of the summertime. The perfect summer jam must be catchy enough to function as a drunken sing-along, but chill enough to blast outside at a pool party. A good summer jam has "the range," and can be played all summer long without getting old.

Here is a list of our favorite summer jams (and runner-ups) from the last ten years for your BBQ-ing pleasure. Some were actually the "songs of the summer" for that particular year; others honestly should have been!

2006: "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira

If this song doesn't bring you right back to the high school house parties where you got wasted off two Mike's Hard Lemonades, I don't know what to tell you.

Runner-up: "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire

2007: "Don't Matter" by Akon

Did you roll off to senior prom blasting this out the windows of a stretch Escalade? Of course you did. 


"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" by Soulja Boy 

2008: "Lollipop" by Lil' Wayne

Summer of 2008 was all about Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III." 

Runner-up: "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry

2009: "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus

Remember when Cyrus sang, "So I put my hands up, they're playin' my song" and she was referring to a Jay-Z song, not a Beyoncé song? Oh, how times have changed.

Runner-up: "Best I Ever Had" by Drake

2010: "California Gurls" by Katy Perry

Let me guess: you loathed this song in June, then loved it come August.

Runner-up: "OMG" by Usher

2011: "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj

"Super Bass" was destined to be a iconic summer jam.

Runner-up: "Give me Everything" by Pitbull ft. NeYo, Afrojack, and Nayer

2012: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen

The INESCAPABLE song of summer 2012.

Runner-up: "Mercy" by Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2Chainz

2013: "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus

You probably smoked a lot of weed this summer, and it was probably because of this song.

Runner-up: A tie between "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk

2014: "Love Never Felt so Good" by Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake

The year MJ came back from the dead — if only for a summer.

Runner-up: Tie between "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea and "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

2015: "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap

You're still not sick of this summer jam from last year, for reasons that exceed your understanding.

Runner-up: "Post To Be" by Omarion ft. Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko

2016: It remains to be seen which song will rule Summer 2016. As of now, we're calling a tie between "This is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna...

...and "One Dance" by Drake.

Vying for the jam of the summer is good relationship dramz to have.

Your next pool party playlist is waiting for you right here: