If you grew up in a West Indian household, then you know that Spring and Summer was the THING to look forward to. Cookouts, loud music at a relatives house, staying out late, fashion, vibes — it was all too indulgent to be legal. Nowadays we’re all grown up, and sometimes we let our everyday life and responsibilities keep us away from really enjoying fruits of our culture during the warmer months of the year.
Don’t sweat it though.
I have whipped up the ultimate visual playlist that will help us all put the stress aside and properly enjoy the Spring and Summer. Don’t forget your sunglasses and coconut water! We all have to stay properly hydrated and protected from those sun rays while bussin’ a whine or two.
Check out some selects below:
Beenie Man – “Modeling”
As soon as this song comes on, I look to the side and behind me to make sure my Aunt is on her way outside with trays of Curry Shrimp. This song and video is an instant memory to old school bashments (reggae/dancehall basement parties) my family used to throw back in the days. Cups of rum punch and sorrel everywhere, old uncle somewhere in the distance trying to get the young kids to teach him the latest dance. I dare you to listen to this song or watch this video on a sunny, 75-degree day and not want to go outside for a long walk around the corner. Just screams sunny day vibes.
Super Cat – “Dolly My Baby”
While Drake may be credited with meshing Hip-Hop and Reggae/Dancehall in 2016, it was actually Super Cat aka The Wild Apache who blazed trails with the fusion across New York, Jamaica, Toronto and London in the early ’90s. A lot of us would of never heard Puff Daddy or The Notorious B.I.G. rap if it weren’t for this track right here. The video is a hardcore and accurate depiction of what parties looked like back then. This is around the time where things started getting very slow and groovy in the Dancehall — whining and ticking took over — the Bogle Dance also became uber popular.
Sean Paul – “I’m Still In Love With You”
If I could, I’d change the current climate of parties in New York City — and all over for that matter. The fact that men and women don’t dance with each other anymore is truly devastating. I remember attending parties as a teen and knowing who exactly who the young was that I was going to ask for a dance when this song came on. Song and videos like this might make you fall in love with someone you didn’t intended to, so use this one wisely. Seriously though, men and women need to start dancing with each other at parties more. It’s almost a lost art at this point.
Mad Cobra – “Flex”
Many of us were way too young to be singing this song at the time it came out, but alas. The video is 100%, no holds barred, pure Spring/Summer time vibrations. Beautiful beaches, sand, and palm trees… it’s a complete oasis in comparison to the concrete jungle most of us live in during most of the year. Not to mention the outfits were top notch. Don’t be surprised if you catch me out somewhere this summer in an outfit similar to the one Cobra has on at 2:17.
Patra – “Romantic Call” —-
Before we were graced with West Indian gal magic with Lady Saw, Spice, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, it was Patra, The Queen of The Pack, who came out of the gate swinging for the fences. While she was completely sexy and rocked all the latest style trends in her videos, she was a very wicked lyricists and could go at it with any of her male dancehall counterparts. The video for “Romantic Call” is everything I ever wanted out of my Spring and Summer. Lowrider, amazing outfits, and a Tupac cameo, there’s no way you can hate that. If you can watch this video without dancing and wanting to go shopping then I have failed you.
Vicious – “Freaks”
With Doug E. Fresh in tow, this Brooklyn-born Jamaican teenager took over with this jam right here. You can still play it at a party and the whole crowd will still making noise and slapping walls. It’s a wicked tune, or “chune” as we say in the West Indian community. With the video taking place at Coney Island, a couple glimpses of the visual will spark all of your childlike urges to head to an amusement park with your friends and/or family for the day. Six Flags “Great Adventure” isn’t prepared for us this summer.
I can continue to go on and on with more Dancehall classics that can give you the gumption to flourish during this Spring/Summer, but at this point, I’m sure all of you are already feeling like top shottas and dancehall queens. So go out there, listen to these songs or other classic jams from the West Indies and have a blast. After the winter we just escaped, we all deserve to do so.