Summer is just around the corner, a perfect time for playlist perfectionists to dust off the compilations of last year, keep a select few not-overplayed tracks and shuffle in a new set of party-starters for those upcoming picnics/barbecues/rooftop get-togethers/block parties/stoop sit-ins that will surely be needing soundtracks. Brooklynites of every stripe and section seem to take particular pleasure in this rite of summer, as we all try to impress and overpower the next sound system over. Here are some hot, homegrown hip-hop hits to help you win those sonic showdowns and move the crowd to their feet.
Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth: "DWYCK"
Just like last summer in Brooklyn was all about Michael Jackson, so this year we should be hearing Guru (RIP) and Gang Starr burners like this one blaring from car stereos and club speakers hourly. Also, look how awesome and summery Coney Island looks in the music video!
De La Soul: "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'"
Sure, nobody goes to the roller disco anymore (do they?!), but the Long Island trio's summer party anthem hasn't lost any of its appeal—and since they're headlining this summer's Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, we'll gladly claim them for Kings County. Not to mention summertime lyrics like: "Oh Mr. Sprinkler, Mr. Sprinkler/wet me for one, Mr. Sprinkler/I'm heatin' high-five in a daze, no split... Sun is on thick and the cheese is rollin' quick/come on, there's no time to hide/season is twist, spinning and winning." Roller skates, sprinklers and cheeseburgers: three summer staples that are best enjoyed together.
Public Enemy: "Fight the Power"
Now, admittedly, Chuck D, Terminator X and their boooooooooyyyyeee Flavor Flav are from Long Island, but in light of it being forever tied to that ultimate Brooklyn summer movie, Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, no Brooklyn Summer Mixtape could be complete without P.E.'s anthem for activism. Plus you can't really argue when Chuck opens the track, in his strong, masterful tone, with: "1989 the number/another summer/sound of the funky drummer."
3rd Bass: "Brooklyn-Queens"
Don't let the title fool you, this classic from the only credible (American) white rappers before B-Real is all about BK. The Queens are just those lovely ladies one chills with on a Friday in June, the last day of school.