Summer's clichés are just as important as its realities. As long as we hope and believe that it's endless, breezy, and free—that each day could very well be the best one yet—then summer will continue to captivate. Maryland rapper Innanet James' "Summer"...
Summer's clichés are just as important as its realities. As long as we hope and believe that it's endless, breezy, and free—that each day could very well be the best one yet—then summer will continue to captivate. Maryland rapper Innanet James' "Summer" sounds just how we think the season should. G-funk synths (courtesy of the Kount's "Hey" instrumental) are blown out to beam with absolute joy. The song constantly moves while staying relaxed enough to bask in its own warmth. It's among this unspoken tension that James hints on the obvious, unexciting truth that good things eventually close. We rush to the beach on a sunny day because it may rain tomorrow, and it will certainly snow by December.
While James senses the season's brevity, "Summer" maintains its pure naivety, never giving voice to the possibility of any endings. Similar songs, like Justin Timberlake's "Summer Love," are misguided in comparison, as Timberlake pleads for something more extensive than just "summer love." James sees no reason to anticipate the end, but again, he doesn't waste time idling in the warm weather. When the hook repeats, "and I just won't find no lover like you," James convinces himself that there'll be something more—but it's the simultaneous acknowledgment that something must happen now to makes summer special.
Ultimately, it's not just the underlying push-and-pull of hope that makes "Summer" so irresistible. James' voice is inviting—his flow could never be mistaken for singing, but it has a natural melody and rhythm. At one point, he self-awarely and playfully dips into plainspoken patois ("dirty wind"), and his wordplay is complete fun, especially when he spins, "you my favorite Mary, but Ms. Parker's fine, and matter fact let me park and blow Ms. Parker's mind." "Summer" feels good just like summer feels good. It's intuitive, which James summarizes succinctly and self-evidently: "Summertime shine like summertime do."