The British Summer has been working part time, hasn’t it?
Just when we think it’s finally starting to sort it’s life out for the home stretch, it throws out another day where we need to cover up our ankles.
I think it needs a bit of a helping hand. Cue a special Le Blow Hip Hop playlist. Serve chilled…
Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince: Summertime
DRUMS PLEASE. This is the official summer anthem. Along with Anneka Rice and Hello Kitty I count The Fresh Prince as one of my major style influences. I would totally have Will Smith play me in a film of my life. I like the line that goes:
As I think back, makes me wonder how the smell from a grill could spark up nostalgia
If that’s the smell, this is the sound.
Zion 1 (feat Talib Kweli): Temperature
Remember Global Hyper Colour t-shirts? You know, the ones that changed colour in accordance to your body temperature (I know, tenuous link)?
They were all the rage in the summer of 1991. I had a blue one that changed to turquoise and I thought I was a pretty big deal in it. Eventually after loads of washes it just stayed one in-between colour. That didn’t stop people touching and breathing on me.
Kool Moe Dee (feat Chuck D & KRS One): Rise and Shine
In the Summer I like to wakey wakey rise and shine to the chirpy sounds of birds as they blissfully welcome the beautiful sunshine that sprinkles the morning with Disney happy smiley stuff.
Not my sister screaming “WHERE ARE MY WELLIES?!!!”. Come on summer, what are you doing?
Raekwon: Ice Cream
Man these Wu-Tang boys love their dairy references (see Wu-Tang Clan: C.R.E.A.M). This track raps over a chilled out haunting melodic loop that reminds me of the creepy unknown enigma of what it is that ice cream van drivers do in the Winter? Also, were 99s ever 99p?
Maybe these questions explain why I hate ice cream. It freaks me out. Watching people eat them. You shouldn’t see that much of people’s tongues.
Big Pun: Leatherface
Of course with all this sun around (I WISH) I worry about my skin and getting wrinkles. I just don’t want to be one of those wrinkled orange old ladies like Magda from Something About Mary with a leathery weathered face and chest.
I’ve always wondered if you put on factor 10 then put on factor 30 does it become factor 40 or factor 20? Anyone?
Eric B & Rakim: Don’t Sweat the Technique
Sweat is a top summer annoyance along with Cliff Richard, hay fever, Flying Ant Day and that Mungo Jerry song I hate. You know, the one from the drink driving advert that scared the bejesus out of me as a kid.
I especially hate the line that goes:
If her daddy is rich take her out for a meal. If her daddy is poor then just do what you feel
I mean, HOW SEXIST?! Anyway, back to the gangsta rap and hip hop… This track has a killer double bass and sax bass line from Young-Holt Unlimited’s Queen of the Nile.
Oh and boys, the video is full of bikini clad ladies. Sexists.
DMX: Aint no Sunshine
I bet Bill Withers loves what they have done with this. Whilst we are basking in the sunshine we should spare a thought for folk in Alaska who go 67 days with NO sunshine in the winter. I have a friend who reminds me of this fact every time we leave a club in daylight. I hate that fact.
I also hate how I can’t go raving with decorative mini clutch bags in the summer because I have to fit in sunglasses for the way home.
Mobb Deep: Temperature’s Rising
From the album The Infamous this track features the vocals of Crystal Johnson. The narrator raps in the form of a letter about how he has been lying to the police and covering up evidence to protect a friend.
It’s hard not to lie when the temperature’s rising as all you want to do is call in sick and work on your tan. A good lie to tell your boss is that you can’t come in because you were doing your make up and spilt bronzer balls EVERYWHERE. Everyone knows how hard they are to clean up.
Cypress Hill: Tequila Sunrise
There is something about summer that turns people into raging alcoholics. If you put ‘shot’ into predictive text you also get ‘pint’ and ‘riot’. Usually when tequila is involved that trio forms a familiar sequence.
De La Soul: Sunshine
CHOOOON. Oh how I love a bit of hard hitting rap over some innocent ‘oooooohh eeeeeee ooooohhh’ sounds. The last track in their Stakes is High album, this song is Pimm’s for your ears.
We should all soak up every ounce of summer, bunk offa work (see above), chill in parks with friends, beer gardens, and ride bikes in vests. Quick, before we have to get our winter clothes out again.
Lupe Fiasco (feat Matthew Santos): Shining Down
From his much talked about album Lasers with a little help from Matthew Santos’ rocky folkey vocals and electric guitar strums.
I know it’s about heaven, dead people, baby Jesus and stuff but for the sake of this play list can we all focus on how excited we get when the sun shines down.
Mad dogs and English men go to work the next day with comedy sun burn and epic hangovers.
Dead Prez: Summertime
Ah, yes. The lesser known ‘Summertime’. Sticking to the same brief as Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.
Put some lyrics over a chilled out tune. Check.
Rap about summer nostalgia, BBQs, pretty girls and ball games. Check.
Call your song ‘Summertime’. Check.
It’s ok, watch the video, it’s well yellow. It reminds me of when I was little I used to say ‘lellow’ and my mum found it endearing so didn’t correct me. When I went to school this boy laughed at me so I started saying it right. My mum hated that boy.
Quincey Jones: Summer in the City
An amazing tune from the musical genius Quincey Jones. It’s perfect for winding down your BBQ, chilling or cruising in the sun and feeling the heat off the street. Summer in this city is great. Everyone is so happy. Blink and you’ll miss it.
And I managed to make this post as generic and timeless as possible so will blates be recycling it next year. Get in.