Earlier this summer, Uproxx held a tournament to determine what this year’s song of the summer should be. Despite being a heavy favorite, Taylor Swift did not win, which most likely marks the only time she will not win something she was in the running for this year. The tournament’s eventual winner was Best Coast, who narrowly beat my personal choice for the song of the summer, “Lean On” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MO. I wonder if the outcome would be different now that “Lean On” has become one of the year’s biggest hits?
Now we can also wonder something else about “Lean On” – what would it sound like with either Nicki Minaj or Rihanna on vocals? That was the original plan for the chart-topping platinum hit, according to Diplo in a recent interview with Time.
Yet it almost wasn’t a hit at all: Diplo, who first wrote the song with MØ as a slow reggae track, unsuccessfully shopped the beat to the camps of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. He calls their rejection “a blessing in disguise.” “[MØ] sounds better than anybody was going to sound on that record,” Diplo says. “All we want to do is make the records feel like classics, even though they’re feeling progressive and strange to a normal ear.”
You could argue that the song would have definitely been more popular with either of those singers on the track, but then again, it’s already incredibly popular, so it’s not as if Diplo is suffering at all or still harboring resentment about being turned down. When you’re on the kind of run he’s on, things just seem to work out.
So you got that going for you, Diplo, which is nice.