It’s the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere—officially the first day of summer—so even though the season’s lazy days are ahead of us, what better time to start looking back at the evergreen songs of summers past? This morning, the Village Voice‘s Sound of the City blog ran an extensive Q&A with DJ Jazzy Jeff about one of the most enduring summertime songs, his own (with the Fresh Prince) “Summertime,” which turns twenty this year. Will Smith channeled his own nostalgia for Philly summers past (while in Los Angeles shooting the first season of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) into a timeless nostalgic anthem.
The beat is based on a sample of “Summer Madness,” the most laid-back Kool & the Gang ever got, so while it’s not quite the Compton g-funk of Dr. Dre‘s productions, it’s a lot closer to that smooth sound than, say, the samples Eric B. or The Bomb Squad had been flipping. Check out the Sound of the City interview for DJ Jazzy Jeff’s thoughts on the song’s enduring popularity and his own memories of “the Plateau.”
We’ll be looking back at other past songs of the summer as the season wears on. Got a favorite must-hear summer song? Tell us in the comments!
Q&A: DJ Jazzy Jeff On The Enduring Appeal Of “Summertime” [Village Voice/Sound Of The City]