With brutal 100+ degree temperatures stretching from the southwest all the way to the northeast today, most of the country is in the midst of a record shattering heat wave. Here at MTV HQ in New York City, the many billion tons of concrete are combining with the sweltering heat and humidity to create a nice brick oven effect that makes you feel like you are slow roasting just walking down the street. So that’s nice.
When it gets hot like this there are only a handful of things we want to do: have a beer by the pool, splash around at the beach or hide away in an air conditioned bunker. We imagine you feel the same, so we’ve put together a nice little heat wave playlist to get you through these tough times.
“Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
It’s kind of become the go-to summer anthem, hasn’t it? Before Will Smith was the gigantic movie star he is today he was the Fresh Prince, and he and his buddy Jazzy Jeff were busy checking out girls who were “dressin’ less” and enjoying the kind of good-natured summer fun – BBQs, double-dutch jump rope, cruising around in your car – your mom would certainly approve of.
Any song that starts with the words “Man it’s a hot one / Like seven inches from the midday sun” is a good song for a day like today. The song debuted on the Billboard chart in early August of 1999 and carried the summer well into fall, spending 12 weeks at No. 1.
“Summer In The City,” The Lovin’ Spoonfuls
This thing is the theme song of just about every urban resident in the U.S. right now, right? The track features a series of car horns and a jackhammer to convey what a summer in the city sounds like. That seems just about right to us. (It’s amazing how little things have changed since the summer of ’66, am I right?)
“Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry
This song isn’t really about hot weather specifically, but the video makes us long for all things summer. The video opens with Perry and her boyfriend cruising down a California highway in a convertible with the wind blowing in her hair. The whole crew is headed to the beach, of course, and we get plenty of shots of pretty young things splashing around. Swimming pools and sexy times are also involved.
“I’m a Slave 4 U,” Britney Spears
The same thing applies to this Spears classic. The track itself is Spears’ homage to being a slave to the dance floor, but the clip is set in a heat-ravaged futuristic urban metropolis that has the pop star and her crew of dancers sweating it out during a particularly hot and heavy dance party. Seriously, look at the sweat dripping off these folks. It reminds us of how we looked when we got off the subway this morning.
“All Summer Long,” The Beach Boys
You can’t have a summer/heat wave playlist without at least one Beach Boys song. We picked this one because it’s a great “remember how awesome summer is” song, which is easy to forget when the temp starts creeping north of 90. Lyrics like “All summer long, we’ve both been free / Won’t be long ‘til summer time is through” remind us to take advantage of the summer before it’s over and we’re complaining about how cold it is.
“Cruel Summer,” Bananarama
Is there really a better word for this weather than “cruel”? Enough said.
“Summer Nights,” John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
Things get a little more bearable when the summer sun goes down. It’s all about scantily clad love, strolling while drinking lemonade and making out under the dock. You know, the good stuff! Just don’t forget to stay safe out there, folks! Drink lots of water, apply the sunscreen liberally and have tons of fun while it lasts. After all, as Sandy and Danny found out, when it “turned colder, that’s where it ends.” Luckily, we still have a few months of warm weather to enjoy.