The fall is nearly upon us. The air is already cooler. College football has kicked off and the lazy days of summer are nearly in our wake. Got us here at The Root DC to thinking about the songs sustain us during the colder months and to remind us that, yes, there will be another summer. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of our picks. After reading our, tell us your favorite summer songs.
Robert Pierre, editor/columnist, 43
The summer ain’t summer to me without the O’Jays, which was released in 1975. So I’m starting off with the old standby, Family Reunion.
No summer would be complete without a listen to the 1974 release Summer Madness by Kool& the Gang.
For my final offering, I gotta go with the song that Summer Maddness spawned: Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (now known as Will Smith. The song won a Grammy Award for best rap single in 1991. Was jamming so hard to it one day while riding in New Orleans in 2000 that I got into an accident. Even so, I think I’m gonna ’hustle to the mall to get me a short set....’
Chris L. Jenkins, writer, 40
I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need, 1995 - (Razor Sharp Remix). Lil Wayne and Drake may be the rugged crossover cats of the day, but one of their godfathers has to be Method Man, who with Blige, in the summer of 1995, set off clubs, car stereos and block parties with this hip-hop reinterpretation of the Motown classic.
Keep on Moving - Soul II Soul, 1989. Summer after high school, on my way to college, gettin’ a taste of the party life. Everywhere I went, Jazzie B’s gritty baseline set against Caron Wheeler’s angelic voice was in somebody’s walkman (yes, walkman!) or basement party.
Bring the Noise - Public Enemy, 1988. One of the hottest summers for Gen X black music: Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, Johnny Kemp, New Edition, Biz Markie all had summer bangers. While it was officially released a year before, “Bring the Noise” hit the streets of New York like a ton of bricks in ‘88 and set PE on an unprecedented run of classics.
Fahima Haque, producer, 22
Souls of Mischief - Cab Fare. I’m not even sure when this song was released being that it was a side track for the group, but when I first heard the song it made me think of one beautiful thing. I could imagine myself on some boardwalk in Oakland like Souls of Mischief as opposed to hailing dingy cabs in Queens, NY where I grew up. I still romanticize the idea of easy West coast living to this day.
Weezer - Buddy Holly. My second pick is by far the nerdiest of all the selections on this list. But I heard this song right around the time I became obsessed with Weezer and coupled with the ingenious video - it just reminded me of some antiquated version of good old clean fun by way of “Happy Days” of course.
September - Earth, Wind and Fire. Okay fine, so this is kind of cheating because it’s nothing about summer and all about dancing in September. But who doesn’t absolutely love this song?
Macy L. Freeman, The Root DC intern, 21
And we included our intern’s favorite pick Sweetest Thing - Lauryn Hill.