To celebrate summer, we’re asking the season’s most iconic superstars to share their warm-weather secrets. Here, DJ Jazzy Jeff—whose new album, M3, is out now—puts togehter the ultimate summer playlist.
There’s a certain nostalgia that hits you when the weather breaks. It reminds you of your favorite summer memories, like sitting outside with your friends when you were growing up. I remember hanging out on the steps with my friends in Philadelphia, listening as every car drove down the street blasting whatever the big hit was at the time.
It was pretty amazing when, in 1991, the song coming through the cars’ windows was “Summertime.” Will [Smith] and I had started working on it right after he moved to L.A. to film The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and he was really missing the East Coast. Like any good summer song, it captured that feeling you get the first day the temperature hits 80 degrees. You can’t help but wish you were at a barbecue when you hear it.
A great summer playlist does the same thing. When you put all the songs together and listen to them in order, there’s no way you won’t feel the essence of summer. They don’t have to sound anything alike or even be in the same genre; what connects them is the fact that each one gives you that summer feeling. So take these songs and press play. By the time you get to the end, you’ll be looking for a swimming pool.