Growing up in a decaying high rise in Toronto’s West end, there were always two things I could count on: the radiator not working in the winter, and the apartment being hot as hell every summer. Thus, I was left to my own devices when it came to staying cool. So, everyday I would hop on my bike and ride down to the community pool in an effort to simmer down. In my teens, the pool became a great place to escape my mother’s watchful eye and meet shirtless guys. Now in my 20s, the pool can be a source of anxiety. Cellulite, never quite reaching my goal weight, and hiding from the sun in order to stave off wrinkles and cancer have prevented me from enjoying poolside fun. However, there’s nothing quite like a pool party, and neither you or I should allow our insecurities to keep us from enjoying that big, blue source of refreshing wetness in the middle of a hot day. With that being said, I’ve composed a list of my personal top ten pool party songs, guaranteed to make any pool party wet, wild and full of dope music.
Now, I did have a specific selection process. The songs had to be very reminiscent of summer. They also had to be fun and bubbly with a dope booty shaking beat. These may not be the most hardcore songs but let’s face it, when you’ve inhaled six margaritas and are about to have a heat stroke from the sun and all the hot beach bodies in sight, you just want to kick back and relax, right?
10) I Wanna Get to Know You – G-Unit ft. Joe
A very mellow, sexy track by the G-Unit collective, this summertime song was actually released in the fall. Regardless, it still makes me think of lusty escapades which happen far more frequently when the weather is hot.
9) Why You Wanna – T.I.
Continuing the trend of a tropical infused beat, T.I. actually sampled Crystal Waters‘ Gypsy Woman, which was more of a club track. Perhaps that’s why this song makes me want to party poolside.
8 ) All I Really Want – Rick Ross ft. The-Dream
The video showcases the beauty (and beauties) of Columbia, which is often negatively portrayed in the media. This song is particularly endearing to me because Rick raps about an art school graduate embarking on a sexual awakening. Its more of a love song than a freaky deeky joint and the big band beat makes you want to go out and mingle with beautiful people in beautiful weather.
7) It Was a Good Day – Ice Cube
Even though Ice Cube raps about the harsh realities of a day in the life of a South Central native, he manages to put a comedic twist to make the lyrics more enjoyable than daunting. And the archetypical G-Funk beat automatically conjures up images of L.A. and warm weather.
6) Good Life – Kanye West ft. T-Pain
Somehow I find it far easier to toast to the good life when I’m off school and the sun is shining, than post holidays when I’ve gone broke and the snow turns grey. Something about this song just makes you want to be outdoors on a summer day.
5) Number One – Pharrell Williams ft. Kanye West
Once again, the essence of this summer poolside joint is found in the beat. Electronic and mellow, it’s the perfect background music to getting dazed and faded on a beach chair.
4) The Way You Move – OutKast
OutKast has always been know for a funky, experimental approach to hip hop. This particular joint with horn infused instrumentals is perfect for hot weather and celebration.
3) Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
This old school joint from back when LL was a Kangol wearing, Adidas track suit rocking b-boy is a classic. Doesn’t everyone dream of going to Cali for the ultimate summer experience?
2) Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z ft. UGK
I don’t care that the song glorifies prostitution or that it’s degrading to women. The exotic beat and raunchy lyrics can persuade even the most hardcore of feminists (such as myself) to pop that booty in a string bikini.
1) Beautiful – Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell Williams
Perhaps it was the uber sexy video shot in Brazil, or maybe it was the instrumental that had a South American/Hawaiian fusion. Either way, Snoop and Pharrell wrote perhaps one of the most epitomous summer songs of all time.