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No summer is ever complete without the perfect playlist to set the tone. Everyone has that moment when they hear a certain song and go through a flashback in their mind. Nine times out of 10 it’s memories of summertime. No matter how you may feel about these songs, no one can resist chanting the lyrics or even escaping the sounds from being wrapped around their eardrums. So we’ve gone through the decades, applied some science (well, not really) and are happy to bring you our playlist of the top 20 summer hip hop jams. So load this playlist up on your device, mix and match and let it blast.
Did we miss your favourite song? Let us know and comment.
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Summertime:
This song is the first song that comes to mind when we think about summertime. The Fresh Prince takes us through summertime in Philly over the relaxing, cool beat that has helped almost three generations celebrate the summer season, no matter where we are.
Common - The Light:
If this song had no lyrics at all it would still be the epitome of a summertime song. The beat alone sets us up to hit the hot streets with an uplifted soul. An obvious dedication to his ex-girlfriend Erykah Badu, there was love in every poetic line and we all know summer love can be divine, even though sometimes it’s hard to find.
Luniz - I Got 5 on it:
Whether a person smokes or not, this funky joint right here is a summertime classic. For those that do puff, puff, give, surely, they can agree that this song goes down in history as one of the best odes to recreational smoking.
Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hooray:
Even in 2012, when this jam comes on, people are still screaming “hey ho!” while waving their hands from side to side. Hip hop was created in the streets so what better season to freestyle and breakdance than the summer. Not only is this joint a celebratory hip hop piece, it also reminds us how much the summertime is connected to hip hop.
LL Cool J - Around The Way Girl:
When this track came out, every female wanted to be an ‘around the way girl’ or at least fit the description of one. The dynamic of the singing on the hook with LL’s lyrics over that wicked Marley Marl beat were sure to get a person ready to hit the heat in the streets.
Warren G ft. Nate Dogg - Regulate:
Talk about the summer STRUGGLE. The heat sometimes makes people act up, but that’s when you have to regulate and here’s the soundtrack for that process.
Arrested Development - Tennessee:
A hip hop classic. Tennessee probably wasn’t significant until this song dropped. The crazy beat along with conscious lyrics make it even more enjoyable to listen to.
Digable Planets - Rebirth of Slick:
This has to be one of the coolest songs ever created. The times of the jazz-infused hip hop were amazing.
Tupac ft. Digital Underground - I Get Around:
This is one of the few fun and playful tracks Tupac came out with. In the video, we got a taste of what it felt like to chill during the summertime in Cali.
Tag Team - Whoomp! (There it is):
Talk about one of the most famous dance songs of the ’90s. What does “whoomp” even mean? Who cares just keep dancing!
Jay-Z - Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem):
Sometimes people need songs like this to lighten up the mood of the hard times in the hood. As Jay tell his story, heads bop and ears listen attentively. Heat and hard times don’t mix too well but they do thanks to this gem.
Lil Kim feat. Da Brat, Left Eye, Missy Elliott & Angie Martinez - Ladies Night:
Before Beyonce told us who runs the world, we had these ladies represent and put it down on this ladies night anthem.
Lil Wayne - A Milli:
Even if you didn’t want to know the lyrics to this song, it was programed inside of your head. This song did not leave the radio airwaves in the summer. People probably heard this song enough times to drive them nuts. Also, sorry Nigerians, your hair will forever be known as “tough.”
Drake - Best I Ever Had:
People went crazy when Drake dropped this song. Every girl wanted to claim they were pretty in sweat pants with their hair tied–we all know that’s not the case for most.
Jay-Z - I Just Wanna Love U (Give it to Me):
Everybody from all over knows this line by heart: “It gets better, ordered another round: it’s-about-to-go-down!” This whole song is epic and sung all year round, especially during summer.
Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow:
Not one soul can hear the colors “black and yellow” said together and not sing this song. This song is the modern day summer anthem.
Cali Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie:
Everyone and their mother was learning how to “Dougie” and you couldn’t go to a party without this song coming on. Doug E Fresh made it fresh though, ever seen his version?
Rick Ross ft. Styles P - BMF (Blowin’ Money Fast):
This new aged gangster track made us feel tough even without a Maybach. It charted in the top ten in the 2010 Billboard charts and still bangs hard.
Jay Z & Kanye West feat. Otis Redding - Otis:
Jay and Kanye brought it way back with not only the old school Otis Redding sample, but the way they put the beat together. The style of the beat can be compared to Primo almost. The lyrical flow these two had together on this track was even more than ill.
Drake feat. Tyga & Lil Wayne – The Motto (YOLO Remix):
You Only Live Once. This saying single handedly had people doing amazingly dumb things in order to use “YOLO” as an excuse. Being overly sexually active is not YOLO, it’s nasty. Catchy song though.