Friday, May 30, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Summertime
Artist: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Album: Homebase (1991)

Some songs just take you back... this is one of those songs for me.

Long before Will Smith was Hancock or Legend or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was The Fresh Prince, one half of a dynamic duo that made simple, easy, enjoyable rap, at least in my youthful opinion at the time.

While most of the work Will & Jazz did together back in the day has lost a lot of it's luster as I've grown up, Summertime has endured.

Sampling Kool & The Gang's "Summer Madness," this track is an ode to the old school days of summer and it makes me nostalgic every time I hear it.

I owned this Cassingle.

Remember Cassingles? Came in a crappy little cardboard case that bent the minute you took the tape out?

Side one was the song, side two was usually the instrumental, which was fine here because you could do the rap yourself. But who needed an instrumental of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" like we had?

Anyway - this song has always been a favourite because it's an effortless track, void of the giggyness that has infected everything Will Smith has done post-Fresh Prince. Except for "Switch" - that joint was tight! It's simple yet fresh every time you hear it. There is no overproduction or complexity to the lyrics; just Will explaining what it is we all long to do ever day in the summer...

I got to see Will & Jazz do this song live a couple years back. They performed at the Prince's Trust concert I went to in London, England a few years back and the whole place went bananas when Will turned to Jazz and said, "Drums please!" (It's the opening line from the song...)

Instantly I was taken back to Chatham - living in Birdland, riding around on my bike every day after school, hanging out on the playground at our school.

Easier times. Simpler times. Happy times.

That's what music is supposed to do for you and this song does it for me.

You may not be able to get the cassingle, but you can download it... and I suggest that you do.

No comments: