A buddy of mine made a post on Facebook the other day talking about the song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. They are one of my favorite all time rap/hip hop groups. The production quality of their songs was always so clean, and the Fresh Prince was just an all around dope MC. I loved their music because it was always upbeat, and I could listen to them without getting a beating from my mom for adult language/terms/etc.
In 1991 the music video for the song Summertime had just dropped after an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. At the time I freaked out big time and my little-kid-brain exploded. The Fresh Prince brought a different vibe with a laid back flow in comparison with the group’s other songs. My brother had gotten a hold of the 33” vinyl record of the song which also included a million remixes on it (not literally, but many singles at that time always included several remixes of a song including its instrumental). For years afterward that song was the way that I had proverbially “christened” my summer and set the tone for such a glorious time (i.e. no school).
As I’ve gotten older obviously things changed. In college I was stressed out of my mind on a consistent basis from both taking an obscene amount of credits year round, and working year round. Summers would just blend in with the rest of the year as would happen when learning to “adult”. After getting married, things were no different. The focus switched to my spouse, kids, and trying to create a career for myself. Again, adulting to the max! So as I read my buddy’s post it instantly took me back to that time of “christening” my summers with that song.
I decided that I should get back into the swing of doing that sort of thing again as a way to start a new tradition with my kids. In sticking to my roots I started this summer for my kids by playing “Summertime”. My hope is that they will take this tradition and incorporate it into their own lives in their own individual ways. My kids are just old enough to the point that they are just starting to develop their own taste in music. So far I’ve found that my sons tend to like more rock and pop rock styled songs, whereas my daughter enjoys songs that are simply silly in nature and not tied to any one genre. I want this to be something that they can look back on when they get older that would create feelings of nostalgia and fun to remember back on.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about creating memories to look back on with fondness. It can also be about creating a mentality and focus as a driving force for a period of time. It’s about putting some positives in your life at little to no expense to yourself or anyone. Keep it simple, keep it fun.