Music is the best backdrop to our life experiences, and with the Summer solstice now a week or so behind us, it’s time to finalize those party/road-trip/gym playlists and ease into the season that puts sun on our skin and BBQ on our plates. I’m putting my money on the songs below to make it to the winner’s circle this year, but it’s still early, and only in time will the victors be revealed.
NOMINATION: Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, “Mercy”
EXPLANATION: If you don’t act a little bit foolish when this song comes on, I don’t think we can be friends. Kicking-off the G.O.O.D Music relay race, Big Sean hits his verbal stride first, and whether it’s his wordplay, Pusha T’s unique emphasis while using the word “ho,” Kanye’s obligatory “molly” reference, or 2 Chainz’ phenomenal lead-off grunt, this track has something special for everyone. Not only will we hear “Mercy” blasting out of car and house party windows all summer long, but it puts a stake in the ground for Kanye’s squad as they prep for their unified Cruel Summer project, allegedly coming soon.
NOMINATION: Pitbull ft. Shakira “Get It Started”
EXPLANATION: Get ready guys: another one of Pitbull’s #guiltypleasure records has descended upon us. I don’t know about you, but this new synthy latin-superstar explosion screams Top 40 hit, and with Afrojack and RedOne producing and Shakira riding shotgun for the hot and tender hook, images of ladies letting loose on a dance floor during a sizzling summer night quickly come to mind. Oh, and me dancing wildly around my apartment while no one’s watching, that comes to mind too. It’s definitely too early to call it the “Give Me Everything” of 2012, but “Get It Started” feels like it was blended together with the formula that the Miami-repping star continues to win with. If you think it’s a game, let’s play – dale!
NOMINATION: Nas ft. Miguel and Swizz Beats “Summer On Smash”
EXPLANATION: At Nasir’s album listening session two weeks ago, Swizzy took over as the event’s MC to play his new collaboration with Mr. “Life Is Good.” Running the song’s intro back 4-5 times without even allowing Nas’ verse to begin, the room went bananas for the record that knocks, forgivingly pandering to NYC’s streets. Since they didn’t reveal that song’s title or even confirm that it would end up on Nas’ July 17th release that night, I’m putting two and two together and (keyword) hoping it’s the only Swizz-featured cut on Nas’ recently-revealed track-listing. In reality though, it might end up on a Swizz album later down the line. Either way, I feel comfortable with this song selection: it’s Nas, and the title is just begging for it.