Ah, Independence Day. Otherwise known as the only day of the year where you can wear as many tacky combinations of red, white and blue as you want, grease up that George Foreman grill, day-drink and barbeque to your heart’s (or liver’s) delight and yell “FUCK YEA, AMURRICA” to all your fellow patriots. July 4 is also the set release date for Jay-Z’s highly-anticipated and highly-publicized Magna Carta Holy Grail, his first solo studio album since 2009’s The Blueprint 3. In the spirit of the occasion, this week’s picks are brought to you by what may quite possibly be one of the greatest Pandora stations of all time: “Hip Hop BBQ.” Read on to listen to and watch the superb music videos for the first 10 tracks played by this glorious gift from the internet radio gods and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
P. Diddy – I Need a Girl (Part 2) feat. Ginuwine, Loon & Mario Winans
Much like an evolving Pokemon, Sean Combs has gone throughout the years from being Puff Daddy to P. Diddy and finally, to the understated yet assertive, Diddy. In addition to his timeless collaboration with Nelly, “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” Diddy also blessed us with “I Need a Girl,” and more importantly, “I Need a Girl (Part 2).” Not only does the remix feature the much-underappreciated Ginuwine (Ginuwine Appreciation Week: coming soon to a Tunesday near you), but it also includes one of our favorite R&B one-hit wonders, Mario Winans.
Regulate – Warren G feat. Nate Dogg
Def Jam’s biggest single and a definitive part of the golden era of 90’s hip-hop. Rest in peace, Nate Dogg.
I’m Real (Remix) – Jennifer Lopez feat. Ja Rule
Alas, the great return to JLo AND Ja Rule’s true glory days. I’m pretty sure the former still looks exactly the same, but what happened to the latter? Not only is this song a demonstration of thug love at its finest, but its video is also excellent proof that JLo doesn’t like basketballs.
The Next Episode – Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt & Nate Dogg
The anthem as we know it.
Dilemma – Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland
Following his debut album, Country Grammar (Read the track list – he wasn’t kidding. The grammar is horrendous.), Nelly brought us Nellyville, which features memorable hits like “Hot in Herre,” “Pimp Juice,” and of course, “Dilemma.” Kelly and Nelly share for the vocal spotlight in this sweet throwback about flirty neighbors and the seductive powers of Nelly’s Gucci bucket hat.
Beautiful – Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell, Uncle Charlie Wilson
‘Pharrell.’ That’s enough to convince you, right? Heartthrob aside, “Beautiful” is a love ballad in rap form from 2003 that was produced by The Neptunes and hit the top of the charts for its silky chorus and signature Snoop quality.
Rump Shaker – Wreckx-N-Effect
You might not know who Wreckx-N-effect is, or even that this track was titled “Rump Shaker,” but this is one of those songs that everyone recognizes at a house party. Classic.
No Diggity – Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen
Yeaaaaauh. This one’s the biggest hit from everyone’s favorite male R&B group. No diggity, no doubt this track is smooth as brown sugar and catchy as hell.
Just a Lil Bit – 50 Cent
We all like to chuckle (just a lil bit) when it comes to the topic of 50 Cent and G-Unit, but let’s take a second to recognize real talent when we see it. Beneath the wifebeaters and gangster image is a group that put out a relative amount of solid, quality jams. The production on “Just A Lil Bit” is what gets it appearances on playlists like this, and the same is to be said with infectious tracks like “P.I.M.P.” and “Wanna Get to Know You.”
California Love – 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre, Roger Troutman
Expect no less – the golden grand finale.
Hopefully I’ve more than convinced you to tune in to “Hip-Hop BBQ” for all your party needs from now on. Reminiscence in these great hip-hop hits and spread the love! It certainly helps to be reminded of what past artists brought to the table and how the standards of today’s chart-toppers compare.
As always, comments, feedback and suggestions for next week are welcomed! Peace out, west side.
Contact Ashley Chen at [email protected].