Yesterday (September 23) marked the first day of Fall, which means Summer is officially over! Those few eventual, sweltering months always prove to be the most fun - so it's pretty hard to let it go.
But, in honor of the Summer season, I've gathered a list of my top 10 favorite tracks that I had on endless repeats from the beginning of May up until the first few days of September.
Get into it below, as you relive those summer memories while simultaneously cringing about the upcoming icebox-worthy temperatures...
10. Vybz Kartel – “Miami Vice Episode”
Vybz Kartel is known for his hardcore persona, but “Miami Vice Episode” shows off his softer side. The song is the definition of summer – from the flirty lyrics to the delicate piano melody. It’s an easy, laid-back love song that is served best with a chilled Red Stripe.
9. Nico & Vinz – “Am I Wrong?”
Nico & Vinz may be newcomers to the music scene, but this song captured the hearts of everyone worldwide! The song’s message is so uplifting, and you feel damn good when listening to it! I especially love the hint of African music in the track, which is evident in the drum rhythms.
8. SZA feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Babylon”
TDE’s princess SZA captured my heart early this summer with her masterful single, “Babylon” featuring labelmate Kendrick Lamar. The song is moody and filled with weighty drums that wraps around your eardrums beautifully. It’s truly enchanting!
7. Tray Pizzy – “My Borough”
Tray Pizzy, a budding rapper from the Bronx, took over the undercurrent of the NYC rap scene with a sole track – “My Borough.” Featuring YF, the boastful track attacks the listener with its braggadocio lyrics and an intense piano-based production that was meant for radio airwaves. Almost three months has passed since its release, and it still sounds as fresh as ever.
6. Kyla La Grange – “Cut Your Teeth (Kygo)”
I admit that I was late to the Kygo fan club, but as soon as I randomly discovered his Soundcloud a few months ago I was hooked. One song that stood out the most was his remix to UK singer Kyla La Grange’s “Cut Your Teeth.” The Tropical House producer transformed the ballad into a sparkling groove that was perfect for the summer. Listen to it now and get transported to paradise.
5. Lana Del Rey – “West Coast”
“West Coast” was the first single to come from Lana Del Rey‘s sophomore album, Ultraviolence. While I was quite disappointed with the project, I couldn’t get that one song out of my head. Produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, the track is a haunting mid-tempo with gritty guitar flicks, rusty synths and static percussion.
4. BANKS – “Drowning”
I’ve been hooked on BANKS ever since her 2013 debut with “Waiting Game,” and – after many mixtapes and remixes – the Los Angeles-bred singer finally has a debut album out! “Drowning” is the third single off Goddess, and it has become an addiction. It is dangerously seductive, with its bitter lyrics (“Take it from the girl you claimed to love, you gonna get some bad karma. I’m the one who had to learn to build a heart made of armor”) and languid production.
3. M.I.A. – “Double Bubble Trouble”
M.I.A. shook up the music scene with her fourth studio album Matangi, and the single that stirred the most controversy (thanks to the political video) was “Double Bubble Trouble.” But pushing the visuals aside, the song itself knocks like no other. Produced by Mad Decent’s Partysquad, “Double Bubble Trouble” has undertones of early 1980’s Ragga Dancehall with an overlay of violent, synth-heavy trap influence.
2. Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”
I rarely go up for this kind of rap music, especially when the lyrics are incredibly paint-by-numbers basic. But, Wiz Khalifa‘s “We Dem Boyz” (off his latest LP Blacc Hollywood) is just something one has to go up for! The production is bold, the lyrics are easy to sing along to at the club or house party, and the overall vibe makes you feel like the biggest boss thus far – along with your crew, or “boyz” in this case. Shout out to Vine for introducing me to this huge gem!
1. Bobby Shmurda – “Hot Nigga”
There is no surprise who landed at the number one spot on this list! Two words – Bobby Shmurda. The 20-year-old Brooklynite went viral like wildfire when his song “Hot Nigga” (released in July) took over Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Instagram, radio – everything! The song, which has a mouth-dropping 11.5 milion views on Youtube alone, debuted the now-infamous “Shmoney Dance” that everyone and their mama got hooked on. “Hot Nigga” may be a one-hit-wonder, but there is no doubting its tremendous power which made it become the unofficial Summer anthem of 2014!
What were your favorite tracks of Summer 2014? Discuss in the comments below!