This is a massive post. 2 parts. Mentally prepare yourself. We’ve picked out essential songs for every single situation you will find yourself in this summer. Guaranteed. Whether you’re: gearing up for a party, crusin’ down Lake Shore Drive, on the beach with friends, driving with people who only like The Beatles and hate everything else, rolling with the OG’s who miss 90’s music, hanging with the homies or trying to impress the ladies, itching for a chance to display your dance moves, or returning home alone after a great Chicago summer night, ACITM has got you covered. A comprehensive Spotify playlist is available at the bottom. Enjoy and feel free to add on!
These are the songs you can get away with playing whenever, wherever during the summer season. Anyone can be at your party or in your car, and they will generally be ok with the tracks. The “I miss the golden era of music” people will even be satisfied.
Nelly – Country Grammar (Hot…)
I mean, look at that still from the video. If girls in bathing suits dancing on candy painted old school cars, with about 500 people in the street along side doesn’t scream “SUMMER” to you, I don’t what does. Stay tuned for more Nelly.
Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It
The first of many controversial decisions. I chose this track over “Summertime,” because, well, I like this one more. The groove was too slow for me on “Summertime,” I like to throw in a couple spins in my dance routines. Plus, any Will Smith, is good Will Smith. Come back Sir Fresh!
Juvenile – Back That Azz Up
Pre-Crazy Lil Wayne! “NOW AFTER YOU BACK IT UP THEN STOP, THEN WHA, WHA, WHA WHAT, DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT!”
Sisqo – Thong Song
Why a summer classic? See video above.
LFO – Summer Girls
Oh you thought we’d have a classic summer songs list without “Summer Girls?” The Lyte Funky Ones crash the all hip-hop par…. wait, LFO stands for LYTE FUNKY ONES?! What?! Since when?! Whatever, the rhymes alone in this song make it a classic: “You love Fun Dip and Cherry Coke, I like the way you laugh when I tell a joke.”
R.Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
Feel free to stop reading here. This is the ultimate summer track, the ultimate anytime track really. After a White House petition was started to have the Kells classic become the new national anthem (WHICH RECEIVED OVER 10K SIGNATURES!), and after a mash-up with Phoenix’s “1901” at Coachella, the track is back in the limelight it deserves. Enjoy.
These tracks are the ones you want playing in the background as you’re playing some beach volleyball with friends, grilling on the sand, or just laying down enjoying the weather. A good genre spanning mix.
Surfer Blood – Floating Vibes
They were cracking this list somewhere just because of their name. The drowned out retro feel to the track makes it perfect for the beach section of the summer essentials. Enjoyed as background music or as the star of the get together.
Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn
Atmosphere – Sunshine
Martin Solveig – The Night Out (A-Trak Remix)
Wasn’t too sure where to stick this song but I knew it needed a spot in the Summer Essentials. A-Trak remixes are usually party all night songs, but this one (with the beginning especially) is more of a head nodding, beach-good time song. More of the Duck Sauce DJ coming up.
Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream
Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
One of the greatest songs of all time (in my opinion at least) is the perfect summer song. Cheer up the party pooper that’s hanging with you at the beach by simply pressing play and spreading “Good Vibrations” all around.
Me and the Homies
Just ridin, ridin, bullshittin, actin a fool… with your homies. Windows rolled down with the sound turned up, these tracks are perfect for riding around with nowhere to be.
Naughty by Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
One of the best hip-hop crews to ever do it, “Hip Hop Hooray” cemented Naughty by Nature’s legacy as premier anthem-makers in the 90’s. Not too hype, not too mellow, celebrate hip hop and almost surely get another driver or outsider doing the “hayyyyy, hooooo” part with their hands.
The Game – How We Do (feat. 50 Cent)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You
Nope not the Lupe Fiasco version, the real version.
Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ (feat. UGK)
This song needs to be included in your homies mix because your crew needs to dream. Maybe one day you can hang out on gigantic yachts in exotic places with beautiful women. One day.
Theophilus London – Big Spender (feat. A$AP Rocky)
KEEP.ON.DREAMING. “I just bought a kangaroo in a leather jacket.”
Kanye West & Jay-Z – The Joy
For the Ladies
Now say you’ve got a mix of the homies and the ladies in the car, Jay and Kanye stuntin’ might get a little boring. These tracks are sure to please everyone, featuring old school and new school, and keep the party going for everyone. ESSENTIAL SUMMER TRACKS, remember, I’m here to help.
Destiny’s Child – Jumpin’ Jumpin’
Let’s be real guys, this song is awesome. About going out and forgetting about everything else (significant other included) and having a good time. Searching for ballers with full grown pockets, the party will be on full blast with this one.
Justin Timberlake – Senorita
IT FEELS LIKE SOMETHING’S HEATING UP, CAN I LEAVE WITCHOOOOOOO? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M THINKING ‘BOUT, REALLY LEAVIN’ WITCHOOOOO!
Frank Ocean – Sweet Life
Beyonce – Crazy In Love (feat. Jay-Z)
Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
Nothing better than Miss Lauryn Hill anytime of the year. One of her best songs is perfect for the ladies mix. Fellas better appreciate this one too.
BONUS: KATY KEEF BEEF!
I had to add this. This may be one of the greatest moments in twitter history. And both have perfect summer songs! This mix is meant for daydreaming about what could potentially be one of the best collab teams ever. Basically the Throne part 2! CHIEF PERRY or KATY KEEF, PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!!
Chief Keef – Hate Being Sober (feat. 50 Cent & Wiz Khalifa)
Katy Perry – California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)