This column had ideas of its own. Originally I was going to break down the songs that defined this summer. But in the age of Pandora, Spotify, Sirius XM and Diplodocus-sized hard drives, do you need someone to tell you that Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” is the inevitable pick? You don’t need me to tell you that Australian rappers imitating Atlanta trappers who start their hit, “First things first, I’m the realest,” usually aren’t “the realest.”
The other option was picking alternate-world bangers: what you should be listening to this summer rather than “Rude” by comatose reggae fusionists Magic! (the musical equivalent of imitation crab meat). But since I’ve been listening mostly to Young Thug and old jazz, I’ll save that for the next mix.
Summer music is proof that you don’t always need depth to be dope. There are hours when I’ll argue that Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is my favorite song, but put it on at a summer BBQ and watch the blood start to flow. As Nate Dogg, patron prophet of eternal summer, once warned: “Don’t make my high come down.”
The ideal summer song has colorful tones and a sense of playfulness. It can conjure chill vibes or the numb sparkle of having nothing to do.
Summer negates the idea that there are rules to this shit — even if there are rules to this mix. All songs have “summer” in the title, because otherwise the list could’ve gone forever. The only thing they have in common is that they’re supposed to make you wish summer didn’t end.
See the Bizarre Ride Summer Mix on the next page...
1. Quincy Jones, “Summer in the City”
The sample source for The Pharcyde (“Passing Me By”), Outkast (“You May Die”) and The Roots (“Clones”). This is why every great rap producer’s goal is to be Quincy Jones.
2. 213, “Another Summer”
A young Kanye producing G-Funk apostles Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg and Warren G. Summer doesn’t start until your hear a Nate Dogg hook.
3. Ice Cube, “My Summer Vacation”
Moral of the story: Don’t spend summer break in St. Louis.
4. Soulja Boy, “Cold Summer”
Soulja Boy and reggae god Richie Spice, getting “higher than an island.”
5. Deee-Lite, “Picnic in the Summertime (Guru Jeeper Self Mix)”
1994 Gangstarr remix of ahead-of-their-time dance pioneers Deee-Lite, who’d tour arenas if they came out today.
6. The Samurai, “Fresh Hot Breeze of Summer”
For those anxious to relive the psychedelic Tokyo summer of 1968.
7. Curren$y, “Summer Reading List”
Spitta offering the only lists worth listening to.
8. DJ Quik, “Summer Breeze”
From beach swims to Brim funerals, the Compton rapper steers the wheel of weed smoker Samsara.
9. Pavement, “Summer Babe (Winter Version)”
For those permanently without a summer job.
10. Wilco, “Summer Teeth”
The part of the mix where you sleep in a hammock and have weird dreams.
11. Big Brother and the Holding Company, “Summertime”
Where you search for whiskey and acid.
12. Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, “Summertime”
Ideal summertime blues.
13. Gabor Szabo, “Summertime”
The best Hungarian gypsy guitar you’ll ever hear from an ex-Scientologist.
14. Jackie Mittoo, “Summer Breeze”
Obligatory reggae jam. Smoke one and stick your arm out the window.
15. Peaking Lights, “Summertime”
Jungle cruise from one of the few modern dub clubs worth joining.
16. Animal Collective, “Summertime Clothes (Dam-Funk Remix)”
Roughly the funkiest indie rock has ever got.
17. Sublime, “Doin’ Time (Snoop Time Remix)"
This technically doesn’t have “summer” in the title, but your friend who has been taking gravity bong rips for the last hour thinks it’s called “Summertime in the LBC.”
18. Dove Shack, “Summertime in the LBC”
Best L.A. summer song ever.
19. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime”
If you don’t know every word, no one will ever turn around to see what you’re beeping at.
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20. Love, “Bummer in the Summer”
When the drugs are starting to wear off.
21. The Doors, “Summer’s Almost Gone”
Enjoy it while it lasts.
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