- DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince – Summertime
Every BBQ playlist starts and ends with this classic by Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince. Before he was saving the world in Independence Day and helping Uncle Phil find his neck , Will Smith was giving us classic Hip Hop classics like this.
- Frankie Beverly & Maze – Before I Let You Go
The 2nd single from the band’s debut live album LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS, this song sounds just as smooth as it did 35 years ago when it released.
- Naughty By Nature – Feel Me Flow
The legendary rap group Naught By Nature has given up countless classics such as “O.P.P.” “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Uptown Anthem” but no Naughty By Nature song sets the mood at a BBQ more than “Feel Me Flow.”
- Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
This release from the King of 70s soul music was an instant classic and topped 3 different billboard charts and to this day will get ur drunk uncle up out his seat to bust a dance move until he slips a disc.
- Shade Shiest Ft. Nate Dogg- Where I Wanna Be
While the credits say it’s a Shade Shiest song, don’t get it twisted, this is indeed a Nate Dogg song. The both soulful and rugged sound he gave this and every other song he appeared on is something that will truly be missed in the game and will never be duplicated.
- Michael Jackson – P.Y.T
No music list of any theme is complete without The Goat Michael Jackson. There’s many songs from MJ that can be played at a BBQ, but in 2016 with Wale making the remake with “MY PYT,” it’s only right we go with the original. As long as you have some pyt’s around, you can’t go wrong.
- Kanye West – Good Life
“PYT” is such a great a song, it helped birth another summertime classic, “Good Life.” With Kanye using samples from “PYT,” T-Pain lacing the hook and Kanye arguably at his apex, this song epitomizes the word timeless.
- The Gap Band – Outstanding
There’s a reason artists like Charlie Wilson can remain relevant after being in the game for 40 years. For certain artists it seems like everything they touch turn into gold. He’s helped craft hits for Snoop, Justin Timberlake and of course himself as the lead singer of The Gap Band and no song from The Gap Band will bring the warm summertime feel of nostalgia more than the classic “Outstanding.”
- Snoop Dogg- Beautiful
It’s only right we follow Outstanding with another classic featuring Charlie Wilson. With help from Pharrell , Snoop gives us a classic that can be enjoyed by all age groups, which isn’t always the case for Snoop, but is necessary at a BBQ that will most likely have children and senior citizens who’s always ready to yell “that’s not music!” present.
- Zapp and Roger – Computer Love
This has and will always be a banger, but I gotta be honest. The scene from “Menace 2 Society” with Caine rollin up to the BBQ in the Mustang on chrome with this track blastin is so embedded in my head, I can’t help but think of this as a summertime anthem. With that said, this song’s influence is immeasurable. From the thousands of people implementing auto tune to their music to The Goat Tupac using the hook from this song on Temptations to the dozens of people who has sampled this song, “Computer Love” is a bonafide classic.
- Wreckx-N-Effect – Rumpshaker
Teddy Riley is one of the most underrated producers of alltime. He’s mastermind of legendary groups like Guy, Blackstreet and Wreckx-N-Effect who all have “summertime anthems”, like “No Diggity” and “I Like,” but if your BBQ is filled with fine ladies, Rumpshaker is the jam you wanna throw on.
- R.Kelly – Backyard Party
While a lot of the songs on the list were added due to the vibe and nostalgia the song brings, this song by the king of R&B was created specifically for a BBQ. Another great summertime anthem by Kellz is the 2003 hit Dance In The Name of Love.
- Outkast – The Way You Move
Arguably the greatest rap group of all time, Outkast has reinvented themselves numerous times throughout their career. In 2003 they released the Grammy Award winning double disc album that would go on to sell over 10 million copies. One of it’s biggest singles with the smooth “The Way You Move” with Big Boi handling the rhymes and Sleepy Brown holding down the vocals.
- DJ Ghost Town – My Boo
Most kids today would call this the “Running Man Song” but way before it’s recent resurgence into the young Hip Hop culture, the So So Def classic My Boo was controlling dance floors around the world.
- Super Cat Ft. Biggie Smalls – Dolly My Baby
Being part Jamaican, it’s only right that one of the first songs Biggie every featured on is a reggae classic. The song also features a verse from Puff Daddy that most people don’t even realize is him until told so.
- SWV Ft. The Wu-Tang Clan – Anything
What happens when two of the biggest groups of the 90s collab on a track? A timeless classic is created…… well sometimes. Anything has the perfect summertime vibe and a verse from Method Man that I recommend to every young Hip-Hop fan who want’s to know what the definition of “flow” is.
- Ja Rule – Livin It Up
Say what you want about Ja, but the brotha knew how to make hit records. Most were songs that your girl sings along to in the car until you wanna jump out the window, but “Livin It Up” is a song that even the fellas can sing along to.
- Earth Wind and Fire – Let’s Groove
I can’t even put into words how much I love this song. To many including myself, EWF is the greatest group of all time and on most days. “Let’s Groove” is my favorite song from any artist from any genre. One of those songs that can be appreciated any and everywhere.
- Tupac – I Get Around
From my favorite group of all time to my favorite solo artist of all time. Almost every fan of Hip-Hop that I know, knows every word to this song. This is one of those jams you put on and watch everybody rap along to during a game of spades and you’re almost guaranteed to see somebody bust out this dance move
- Zhane – Hey Mr DJ
Zhane is an extremely underrated group in my opinion. In the 90s they were cranking out hits, one of my favorites being the collab “It’s a Party” with Busta Rhymes. However, their biggest song was “Hey Mr. DJ,” rightfully so, because to this day this song will have everybody turnin up at any BBQ or party.
- LL Cool J – Around The Way Girl
Uncle L has so many hits, it’s difficult to just choose one for a playlist. He mastered the art of of blending the smoothness of R&B to the ruggedness of Hip-Hop, which resulted in him having a extensive catalog of hits.” Around The Way Girl” just embodies the vibe of the summertime that involves getting fresh to go out and bag some honeys at the BBQ or standing at the bus stop, suckin on a lollipop.
- Luther Vandross – Never Too Much
This doesn’t even need an explanation, just press play.
- A Tribe Called Quest – Check The Rhime
It’s no surprise that Tribe is considered the greatest rap group of all time by many. They’re conscious enough to be respected by backpackers and Hip-Hop’s more mature audience and they’re raw enough to be appreciated by Hip-Hop fans who mostly listen to “gangsta” rap. Which is the reason why A Tribe Called Quest will always be a go to group to play at any party function.
- Lucy Pearl – Dance Tonight
In 1999 Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest , joined Raphael Saadiq from Tony!Toni!Tone! and Dawn Robinson from EnVouge to form the supergroup Lucy Pearl. I still be on the verge of tears (thug tears of course), when I think about the fact that they only made one album. “Dance Tonight” is the lead single to their debut classic album.
- Groove Theory – Tell Me
To cap the mix off is the classic “Tell Me.” There’s certain songs that can be put on repeat and listened to all day with no cares and 20 years after it’s release, that’s still the case for “Tell Me.”
The Wu-Tang Clan – Ice Cream
This is a little too raw for the children and grandparents, but once they’re all out the house and it’s just you and your friends, throw this in the mix.