Along with cocktails on rooftops and sunbathing by the pool, summer grants the official ok to zip by in your car with windows down blaring music from the speakers. Whether hearing someone’s music blasting from their headphones on the A train, or eating outdoors at my favorite low-key Brooklyn cafe, I look forward to observing what music gets the people going. Only hours into the official first day of summer there are already countless songs that are on constant replay on iPods or car stereos. For whatever reason, warm weather tends to bring proper music odes to the beauty of the new season. Cheers to this summer being one of producing music that makes you feel something. Here are three songs that I plan to have in heavy rotation over the next few months…
NOMINATION: Meek Mill ft. Drake & Jeremih, “Amen”
EXPLANATION: Summer time is when I indulge in rap music. The beats, instrumentation, samples and lyrics boost my energy for jam packed days. Unless you were a music journalist or a diehard hip-hop fan, it’s likely you hadn’t heard of Meek Mill at this time last year. That all changed with his successful single “I’m A Boss” and later the Dreamchasers mixtape. The buzz around the Philly rapper grew with praises of his storytelling ability in tracks from the mixtape like “Tony’s Story.” He signed to Maybach Music Group where his buzz blossomed due to his first mixtape, but it’s the followup, Dreamchasers 2, that was the real attention grabber. “Amen’s” church choir sound can be attributed to the organ, a common instrument that has been used in black church spirituals for forever. Although “amen, preach and church” are rattled off through the chorus, don’t expect to hear anything church-y. The only thing spiritual about “Amen” is its divine sound.
NOMINATION: G.O.O.D. Music, “I Don’t Like”
EXPLANATION: Obviously the more popular choice would be G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy,” which is equally worthy of a nod. But Chop’s beat for “I Don’t Like” sounds better on amplified speakers. Whereas “Mercy” is fun and infectious, “I Don’t Like” has more edge; it’s simply rawer. If the second single from the Cruel Summer compilation is any indication of the upcoming project, consider it purchased. I’m not sure whose idea it was to rap over Chief Keef‘s original song, but I’m sure happy the person recognized a hit upon hearing it. And it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Pusha-T, Big Sean, Jadakiss and Kanye West on one track. This is going to be one of the anthems at sweaty-dance-to-you-sweat-out-your-hair house parties.
NOMINATION: Azealia Banks, “Jumanji”
EXPLANATION: “Real b*tch all day/uptown Broadway.” The minute I heard “Jumanji” I spazzed at my desk at work. It is the perfect combination of insanely dope production by Hudson Mohawke and Nick Hook mixed with lyrical prowess. Cam’ron’s influence on the 21-year-old Harlem rapper is blatant as she speeds though her lyrics on top of the African drums. As much as I love her eccentric garage/dance music, the hardcore essence of “Jumanji” just has that “it” factor. Her confidence in her talent oozes out in the verses. This is the type of song you play before a night on the town because the minute it comes on and you get into the lyrics you start feeling yourself. You leave the house knowing, I have ultimate swag. Tonight’s my night!
But, alas, my prediction for the song that will dominate the charts finding it’s way to take the crown of Song of the Summer, hands down goes to Goyte for “Somebody That I Used To Know.” I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve listened to this on repeat.
[Photo: Getty Images]