What Happened to the Summer Jam?

Sitting in front of my computer, downloading and listening to all the new cuts, and I had a revelation: I  might remember one of every 15 songs I play today. There comes a time when I’m flooded with so much random music that I’d rather have my nuts laid on a fucking dresser, and bang them shits with a spiked fucking bat (credit to WU) than have to listen to the latest single from MC PimpDemHoez and DJ YellAlotAndAintSayinShit! Which further makes me think, where is that essential summer song that you hear at every picnic, party, bbq, club, and car that drives by? What happened to the Summer Jam?

Maybe that time, unfortunately, has been lost in the last five to ten years with the rise of the Internet and it’s high-speed mannerisms, where a song that’s been out for about 12 hours is already considered “old.” To tell the truth, I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s been released over the past four days that has caught my eye, save for Pusha T’s Fear Of God single and Rick Ross/Raekwon collabo. This new era of music distribution and promotion has inspired a nation of millions to think they can and should rap for a living (or allegedly “out of the love,” as so many will say), without realizing that they’ve not taken the time to work on and try to perfect their craft. Everybody’s so caught up in either trying to be the “first” to drop something new that nobody seems to care about making or promoting a song that will be everlasting.

All of that results in an ADHD-style mishmash of remedial songs that end up overshadowing actual good music, making them that much harder to find (believe me, I try every day), and we – the music listener/fan/critic – end up without songs we can remember years down the line or attach to specific periods in our lives. Case in point: Jay-Z’s summer cut of 2001, The Takeover*, will always be remembered as the song that simultaneously dismantled Prodigy’s career and, put a battery in Nas’ back. Taking it back even further, being stationed in Norfolk, VA, everyone on the base was bangin’ Noreaga’s Banned From TV.  Now, I can’t even tell you what my favorite song was two years ago without having to go to Wikipedia to remember what happened in 2008.  (Damn, was Webbie really the jam that year?)

The summer cut was meant to be the song you would take with you into the following summers. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Summertime is still an instant vintage banger despite being almost as old as some of the readers of this site. In comparison, the summer jam this year seems to be Drake’s Over. I may enjoy the hardness of Over like the next man, but I doubt that song will have the same longevity as Will and Jeff’s ubiquitous classic. While the single has been able to last for longer than a day by Internet standards, it’s not going to be known for anything other than a song by fresh new face.

With that said, let’s take a little trip back with the help of  Mick Boogie and DJ Jazzy Jeff  Summertime Mixtape.

download here

*I know “H.O.V.A.” was the more successful single, but “The Takeover” was the unofficial summer jam. Plus, he premiered it at Summer Jam.


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