There’s something so distinct about a certain song defining your whole summer. Whether it is the rush of seasonal memories that flood your senses when hearing it or re-experiencing the exact moment associated upon your very first time listening to it, the quintessential summertime anthem has been the beacon of commemoration for all revelers of this season. Today we share with you a few of The 5th Element staff’s picks for their official summer songs and what it means to them.
MODJO – “LADY (HEAR ME TONIGHT)”
Noelle Falcis, Dance Editor – I would say Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight).” I probably have about five different remixes of the song and have favorited countless more. This summer, I spent a lot of nights at outdoor dance events — be it disco, house, funk, hip-hop or whatever. This song continuously cycles through my iPod on long drives. It reminds me of dark skies, disco lights and live music. Then, there’s just too many memories of too many dope dancers getting down to this track. It’ll always be a favorite.
TUPAC SHAKUR – “I GET AROUND”
Lindsey Linayao, Emcee Editor – Tupac’s “I Get Around” will forever and always remind me of warm summers and poppin’ pool parties — who can forget its fun-filled music video? With a piano laced boom-bap beat, an infectious hoo, and braggadocious lyrics, “I Get Around” is a timeless, feel-good, hip-hop classic that reminds us that it’s summer, NOT cuffing season. Play on playas.
THE ROOTS – “HOW I GOT OVER”
Robert Macaisa, Media Contributor – I actually heard this album (and title track) for the first time the summer before I started at Loyola Marymount University. I did a lot of driving that summer – to kick it with friends before they left for college, on the way to work, literally everything. This album was in my CD player for 90% of those drives and came along with me through the growing up I had to do during that time.
TORI KELLY – “NOBODY LOVE”
Nino Llanera, Co-Founder – So I’ve been a fan of this girl for years. Her first single, “Nobody Love” off her debut album has been on repeat ever since the summer started. From the heavenly high to the soulful low notes she hits, accompanied by the dope drum beats, this song has just the right groove for that feel-good type of music that you chill to during the summer days or summer nights.
AZ – “JUST BECAUSE”
James McLaughlin, Contributor – This track found me via a Cutmaster C mixtape from NYC when I was about 15 (like 1998 – a bootleg photo of Shaq, on the Orlando Magic (!!) was on the cover). It was when I was pretty much in the mind that AZ had the dopest hip-hop voice around, and NY hip-hop was the best shit ever made (and in ways it kinda was! Haha).
This song had the ultimate summer feel for me. It’s so bouncy and talked about bbq’ing and listening to Foxy Brown while hanging out with Nas. It immediately became my favorite song of all time (as so many have, do, and will continue to do), and has been a song that embodies the summer vibe for me ever since!
NxWorries (ANDERSON PAAK & KNXLEDGE) – “SUEDE”
Bo Lee, Media Contributor – Just like this thing we call, “love,” we have so many ways of explaining it and most of the time words just ain’t enough. So when I say that “Suede” track has “soul” and that it resonates with me…there’s so many layers to that. We sound like old folks when we say this, but when you hear new music that lets you experience the same nostalgic feelings the way past music triggers in you – it’s so refreshing. I’m really looking forward to the sounds of NxWorries and how they’ll grow as artists together. There’s really great chemistry between the two. “Suede” is a song that I can listen to months/years later with the same enthusiasm – just like I do with other of my favorites: Slum, Dilla, Pete Rock – the list goes on.
It’s my summer track. Summer has always been a transitional period for me (great memories, new starts, etc.) and this song delivers a balanced blend of old nostalgia and new beginnings.
BANKS – WARM WATER (SNAKEHIPS REMIX)
Nina Tabios, Social Media/Community Coordinator – This song is absolute bliss to me — and for me, summertime is bliss. It probably starts with when we’re kids, where summer equates to no school, vacations and endless days with our homies; but my most favored moments always seemed to occur during that time of the year. Cue summer 2012 in New York City: that time was the epitome of infinity on high. Life consisted of warm summer nights on the rooftop with good music, good drinks and good folks and ever since then, to me, summer always meant bright, warm and groovy — just like this Snakehips remix.
ELIJAH BLAKE FT. DEJ LOAF – I JUST WANNA (PENTHOUSE PENTHOUSE REMIX)
Christina Kim, Contributor – A new friend recently rode in the car with me while we drove to Riverside and I pumped my jams via aux cord. After the weekend, she said, “I realized you listen to very dramatic music,” and I was confused — doesn’t everyone listen to music and envision an artistic yet slightly abstract music video to every song he/she listens to?! Doesn’t everyone create a mood when they feel a jam?!
I can play this song in the morning on my shitty commute and it makes me remember that it’s summer (even through the random June gloom we had). I can play this on the Uber ride to DTLA on a Friday night, kind of as the calm before the blackout. I can play this at midnight as I’m leaving the gym and I see a man in the parking lot changing his shirt so I drive real slow with my window down and one arm out with the bass too high and this song turned down for no one and we will lock eyes and not only will he think to himself, “Wow, she’s cute and she works out and is about that #fitspiration life,” but he’ll also think, “She has great taste in music.”
1.5/3 of these things happened in real life. Happy listening!
OUTKAST – SPOTTIEOTTIEDOPALICIOUS
Marc Mangapit, Co-Founder/DJ Editor – Seven minutes of pure summer-bbq-pool-chillin’-sweaty-body-roll vibes. Beat makers today are still trying to emulate that Southern Future Soul sound. Often imitated, never duplicated. And those trumpets! Oh lawd. Got me reminiscing of Do-Over Sundays at Crane’s Tavern when the sangria was never empty and every girl was a SpottieOttieDopalicious angel.
UGK FT. OUTKAST – INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS ANTHEM (I CHOOSE YOU)
Richard “Reach” Guinto, Managing Editor – When the weather is good enough to start rolling down your windows and bumping your favorite jams, then I cannot think of any other song to do that with than “International Players Anthem” from UGK and Outkast. Right from the first note that the Willie Hutch’s sample hits, to 3 Stacks’ acapella portion of his verse, to Pimp C and Bun B spillin’ Southern swag all over their 16’s, to Big Boi throwing down the anchor portion with his own playalistic fire, the track is a bonafide hip-hop classic.
I mean, just think about what happened whenever you were at your favorite Sunday Funday summer day party and the first hint of the “AHHHHHHHHHHHH-HOOOOOOOO…I CHOOSE YOU BABY,” sample broke airspace – yup, there were plenty of acknowledging “Oooooohhhhh’s” followed by all bodies in attendance singing along – which preceded one coordinated mass of mean mugs and shoulder shrugs right when the beat dropped to open up Pimp C’s verse.