When you think of Summer and The Culture, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince has to be one of the first songs that comes to your mind. We pay homage to this classic hip-hop ode to everyone’s favorite time of year. Flat tops, laidback vibes and Starter jerseys. Can’t beat that.
“Summertime” was released with perfect timing in May of 1991 as the lead single from the duos fourth studio album, Homebase. The song was produced by Hula and K. Fingers, and was an immediate hit. It spent a week at number #1 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop SongsChart and secured their highest placing on the Billboard Hot 100 hitting #4 there. Eventually it went platinum in America and gold in the United Kingdom and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
It’s late in the day and I ain’t been on the court yet
Hustle to the mall to get me a short set
Yeah, I gotta on sneaks but I need a new pair
‘Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there
The temperature’s about 88
Hop in the water plug just for old times sake
Break to ya crib, change your clothes once more
‘Cause you’re invited to a barbeque that’s starting at four
Besides the critical accolades, Summertime cemented its place as a #CultureClassic because its a musical masterpiece. “Summertime” is a laid back, breezy reminiscence about growing up in Philadelphia and attending barbecues where the whole community showed up to see and be seen. It had all the good vibes of a typical Fresh Prince joint with a more mature tone. With so many classic lines, the imagery Smith creates is so vivid you can smell the food on the grill. And despite being 30 years old it’s still hip-hop’s finest summer jam.
The song samples “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang, which Will Smith nods to with the lyric “this is the new definition of Summer Madness.”
If you enjoyed that look at a throwback Hip-Hop/R&B classic Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Check out more of our #CultureClassics:
Written by @TalentedMrFord