I have no idea what the weather is like where you are, but the past two days have been kind of wonderful and sunny where I am and it got me thinking about how great that Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie summer mixtape is. A friend first introduced it to me last September but remarked that it was really best enjoyed in the summer – and certainly I’ve been realising this past month that it’s a real nice place to start your soundtrack for a sunny day. But for those of you compiling your own summer playlists and looking to go further, here are five more fairly randomly selected hip-hop songs which are not so well known but which I think are excellent for blasting out beneath those sunny blue skies:
1) Mobb Deep ft. Nas – ‘It’s Mine’
Breezy nonchalance with beautiful, light instrumentation (with what I think is a sample from Scarface?) and smooth lyrics – especially from Nas – this would be so great to cruise along scenic routes with the windows rolled down. Excellent little tune (though it is admittedly hard to not think of that similarly great Brandy and Monica tune during the chorus).
2) M.I.A. – ‘Amazon’
As far as I’m concerned M.I.A. has enough elements of hip-hop to be considered as an artist of said genre and I’m a big fan of this lady – possibly because she’s South Asian and cool and artsy and I’m South Asian and wish I was cool and artsy. I digress. This little tropical-tinged beauty from ‘Arular’ twinkles with sunshine, wild, jungle beats and lyrics alluding to those sweet little Rubicon juice boxes.
3) Tupac ft. Snoop Dogg – ‘If There’s A Cure’
My flatmates of the past year will attest to the fact that I play this song a lot. Like, probably an annoying amount. That brilliant, lazy bass line, the (not unexpected) incredible flow from both artists and that chorus. “If there’s a cure for this, I don’t want it, I don’t need it” – so simple but so sublime. Lounge around in the sun and have a little bop at a barbecue to this. Ahhh.
4) 213 – ‘So Fly’
213 were a veritable hip-hop supergroup with Nate Dogg, Warren G and Snoop Dogg, and this song is kind of great. The orchestral sample is delicate but joyous, the vocals are all soft and smooth and in general it just has a nice, chilled vibe for a sunny day.
5) Kendrick Lamar ft. Dr. Dre – ‘Compton’
My current favourite to turn on and turn up and generally jive to when the sun is out – absolutely glorious brass fanfares and a euphoric chorus, I do not live in a place with any cities nor have I ever been to the much lauded Compton but there’s still something so perfect about that refrain of “ain’t no city quite like mine”. The Kool and the Gang sample is so nicely executed too and the way the song builds up in general is just fantastic. Happy days of sunshine encapsulated.
Yeah, needless to say, I have a whole lot of love for hip-hop in the summer.