According to this CBC article it looks like the summer of 2011 is turning out to be a real scorcher with record-breaking temperatures! Rule of thumb to remember, as the summer gets hotter, so do the tunes. A couple of weeks ago I was assigned the task of finding the top 6 Canadian Hip Hop Summer Songs of all time. You can see Part 1 with my first three selections here.
This week I was back again with my final picks! If you missed it, no need to worry you can listen to George and myself discuss the selections here. Before we get into the tunes, I wanted to take a moment to salute everyone who is a supporter of Canadian music. There are so many talented artists in our great nation and the support should start with the very neighborhoods, communities and cities which these artists represent. You may have heard George ask me about being featured in a new series of collectable cards. The series is called "The Legends Of The Fame: Great Canadian Hip Hop Card Collection". I wanted to acknowledge this new music initiative because it's all about promoting Canadian Content. If you or anybody you know is involved with any movement or initiative that promotes Canadian music shoot me a tweet @TheCanConDon because I would love to hear about it. Strombo asked me to put up my card so here is a sample courtesy of Fred E Fame:
Now back to the music! To kick off my second round of summer songs, I wanted to go with something fairly new. I realized that when searching for "the best of" or "classics", newer songs are usually disregarded because they haven't yet withstood the test of time. Although this does make sense, it doesn't go to say that a song won't become a classic. I wanted to pick a song that is hot right now and has the potential of being regarded as one of the best summer songs. My selection was "Miss Right" by Peter Jackson featuring Sizzla Kalonji
Staying with the idea of recent music, there was a song I didn't get a chance to play that I thought would have been good for a potential "classic" summer song. A couple of years ago a Canadian artist by the name of Kardinal Offishall released one of the biggest summer songs of 2009. The song was a huge commercial success in Canada and internationally. This song should be in every Dj's roster for summer parties because it's one of those songs everyone is familiar with. The song is Dangerous featuring Akon.
Moving onto my second selection, I felt that I had covered a lot of the commercial songs so I wanted to go with a song that was a little more "street". Hip Hop has always had an affiliation with artists that come from slums or ghetto's. A big part of the music is explaining the struggle of growing up in these public housing communities and the lifestyle that comes with it. Now this is where a lot of people say Canadian rap fails because many artists try to portray a "ghetto" lifestyle that may not be authentic... Although in many cases this is true, it doesn't mean ghetto's in Canada don't exist.... Yes people, Canada does have some Ghetto's. As Strombo and myself discussed this week, Regent Park is a public housing community located in Toronto, which unfortunately for many years has been known for crime and violence. One song in particular, from a rap group that comes from Regent Park became both an anthem for the summer and the streets. The song is "Born and Rasied In The Ghetto" by Point Blank.
Another great song worth mentioning that has a nice summer feel to it while also portraying the lifestyle of living in a housing community comes from Bishop Brigante. Glamorgan also known as "Section 6" is another housing community in Toronto known for being a rough place to live. Bishop does a great job of providing insight into the lifestyle of living in section 6 while maintaining a positive and hopeful message. The song is called About 2 Change featuring Mikey G.
For my final selection this week I wanted to once again end with a song that is undeniably one of the greatest Canadian Hip Hop summer songs of all time. I had to go with "Crazy World" The Rascalz featuring Notch & Sazon Diamante. The Rascals completely capture the essence of summer in this song while Notch & Sazon Diamante contribute that Latin spice, and anyone who's ever partied with me can tell you how necessary the Latin spice is for a party! (Ask Strombo, he's seen me party!) Watch this video and you'll understand.
Ok all joking aside, Notch & Sazon Diamante do add a different flavor to the song which I believe is a huge part of it's success. The Notch you hear on this song has come a long way and is today a well respected Spanish urban recording artist. Sadly Sazon Diamante past away shortly after recording this song but his talent will live on through his music such as the classic verse he delivers on this song.
So there you have it folks, those are my top picks for best Canadian Hip Hop summer songs. I hope you enjoyed my selection and I hope you all continue to support Canadian music whether it be Hip Hop or any other genre. I know there are a few songs I didn't get to include so I'll leave you with a few honorable mentions. Enjoy!
Ghetto Concept - Krazy World
Shad - Rose Garden
Kardinall Offishall - BaKardi Slang