15 Summer Songs to Heat Up This Fourth of July
Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff
In 1991, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince -- Will Smith -- released this hit single, which proved to be timeless for its laid-back flow and perfect attempt at capturing all the best things about the summer season. From school being out, to nice weather and even water fights, the Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff provided the perfect musical anecdote to "summer madness."
'This Is How We Do It'
Nothing gets the party started quite like this debut single from Montell Jordan. Introducing himself to the world by way of this upbeat 1995 release, 'This Is How We Do It' is great representative of the '90s new jack swing sound made famous by the likes of Teddy Riley. Mixing in R&B vocals with his rap skills, Jordan made us all want to stop and take a listen.
Tim Mosenfelder, ImageDirect
'Grove St. Party'
Waka Flocka ft. Kebo Gotti
Waka Flocka can get gritty when he wants to and even though this track is a little rough around the edges, it's definitely worth a mention. A summer anthem doesn't always have to make you want to kick back; sometimes it has the total opposite effect, and makes you want to rock out, which is why this record is the fourth single off his 'Flockaveli' record. The video fittingly takes place at a party alongside his road dog Gucci Mane.
Angela Weiss, Getty Images
Nobody knows how to tell a story like Jay-Z, and with his open letter to summer, Brooklyn's finest lived up to his reputation. Turning a 1995 freestyle into a complete song, 'Dear Summer' marks a mid-tempo play-by-play account of summertime in New York City's biggest borough. "Nike Airs, crisp white tees, S. dots with Polo fleeces," he raps. Jay-Z is the master of imagery and drops hits no matter the season.
Kevin Mazur, Getty Images
Justin Timberlake may have single-handedly brought sexy back, but he proved he can also be a little bit sweet with this track. Released off his 2007 sophomore album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds,' and like much of the other singles off the album 'Summer Love' is cool, calm and collective with just a hint of sexy. Timberlake is a pro at making the ladies swoon and doesn't hold back on this when it comes to flirting with his summer love.
Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images
Sometimes you just don't feel like doing anything and this Bruno Mars single is the perfect anecdote for a lazy summer day. Released off his debut album 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans,' Mars' music has pretty much owned the charts these days, and with good reason. What we love about 'Lazy Song' is that it's a great anthem for a backyard barbecue or just lounging on the beach in the hot summer sun.
Jemal Countess, Getty Images
Kid Sister Featuring David Banner
The summertime is perfect for a family reunion which is why this track from the Windy City femcee can more than hold its own. Sticking to her speedy flow, Kid Sister brings David Banner along for a 'Family Reunion,' released off her 'Dream Date' album. The Chicago native is nothing if not original as she breaks down kicking back with her loved ones.
Noel Vasquez, Getty Images
'Summertime in the LBC'
You don't have to be from the city of Long Beach to understand this 1995 track. Introducing the world to their version of the "G-Funk era," Dove Shack captured summertime in the Southern California city, known for its exceptional weather. Whether it be the low riders, water balloon fights or chillin' with a crew, from the sounds of it, summertime in the LBC is second to none.
We couldn't do a countdown without adding Bob Marley into the mix. More than 30 years after his death, Marley's reggae tunes are just as popular as the day they were released. This 1977 single brings to life the smooth stylings of the cool island breeze, making us all want to sway to the beat. Marley stood for many things and while we can't necessarily condone his love for inhaling a little marijuana smoke, we're all for engaging in his "free love" philosophy, and most importantly, jammin'.
Gijsbert Hanekroot, Redferns
Ghost Town DJ's
There's nothing like finding a "boo" to kick it with on summer vacation, and Ghost Town DJ's hit the nail on the head with this 1996 hit. Produced by Jermaine Dupri, 'My Boo' reminds us why we love Atlanta's affliction for mid-tempo beats with a side of bass. If this pops up on your summertime playlist, it's sure to bring back memories of a summer love, and maybe even put a smile on your face.
'Chicken Noodle Soup'
DJ Webstar & Young B.
Chicken noodle soup is usually best to get over a cold, but with the addition of a soda on the side, it becomes a whole other anecdote. This hot single and accompanying dance move, was the toast of Harlem, N.Y. upon its release. Coined by rappers Young B. and the Voice of Harlem, DJ Webstar, who produced track, the song only made it to No. 45 on the Billboard singles charts, but it will still go down as one of the best songs from the summer of 2006.
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
'Move Ya Body'
When Nina Sky hit the music scene with this 2004 debut single, the twin sisters heated up the dance floor by getting the masses to come "move their bodies" to the beat. The mash-up of reggae and pop music makes it easy for this single to find its home in a club or backyard barbecue. Plus, there's nothing better than dancing the day and night away to your favorite song and 'Move Ya Body' is perfect for busting a move.
Johnny Nunez, WireImage
Beyonce can do no wrong and even before her career blew up to almost uncharted heights, she proved why her star power is well deserved with this coquettish track. Falling in love during the summertime seems more blissful with the addition of Bey's breathy vocals as she innocently describes meeting her male companion on the Fourth of July and wanting to grow old and settle down with him, which is why this Ghostface Killah-assisted track deserves front billing as a hot summer single.
Tabatha Fireman, Redferns
Few artists have managed to impact a genre fresh out the gate like Biggie did with his 1994 debut single. The Notorious one describes going from neighborhood drug dealer to big time hip-hop artist in the first release off his iconic 'Ready to Die' album. What started off as a dream became a career cut short before the world had a chance to see all of his potential but we'll gladly keep his memory alive by blasting this joint at any summertime soiree.
Chris Walter, WireImage
Whenever Nicki Minaj lets her rap personalities come out and play together on a track, the end result is always exciting. 'Super Bass' is no exception. Going in and out of her playful "Barbie" character then deepening her voice to showcase "Roman Zolanski" and even singing the hook, everything about this track is perfectly put together. What we love about Minaj is that she can jump in and out of character seamlessly and never miss a beat. Plus, her "boom badoom boom" coos are an infectious party starter.
David Livingston, Getty Images