Entering the summer with a sloppily assembled summer playlist is like entering winter with a sloppily assembled wood cabin.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll carefully construct your summer playlist, with the intent to share it with your friends (which is possible now thanks to Spotify and blank discs). The end goal is, of course, for your summer playlist to be better than all of your friends’ summer playlists. This is a challenging task. The model summer playlist must be happy, catchy, and fun. It must be addictive and contagious. It must balance melodic songs with pump-up songs. It must be versatile, able to be taken both to the beach and on a rainy drive home from vacation. Summer playlists are delicate creatures, requiring careful attention during assemblage. Following this recipe might not assure you a victory over your friends’ playlists, but it’s an excellent start in creating the Summer ’14 Super Playlist.
1. Start with Beyoncé. Always start with Beyoncé. And don’t be scant! Three songs, four songs, five songs; you can never have too much Beyoncé.
2. Throw in some Justin Timberlake to get your soft/soothing/sexy/sensual fix.
3. Something from the 90s. Really, anything from the 90s. Just listen to 90s Hits on Pandora for a few hours and then add everything you’ve heard.
4. The top five songs from the Country Music Billboard list.
5. The Kendrick Lamar/Imagine Dragons performance from the Grammys on repeat for 45 minutes.
6. One song by Ariana OR Demi OR Selena. One song total! This will be your most difficult decision.
7. Limit Katy Perry. Maybe one song.
8. MAXIMIZE JASONNN DERULOOOOOO! At least eight songs!
9. Luke Bryan, but just one song to remind yourself of his butt.
10. Your favorite song from each Drake album. No more, no less.
11. Some Xzibit, obviously. I recommend ‘End Of The World,’ because it preaches a good message for kids and because it breaks the unofficial record for how hard one can possibly go on a hip-hop track.
12. ‘Devil Town’ by Bright Eyes.
13. Akon’s ‘Lonely’ OR Akon’s ‘Right Now (Na Na Na)’ OR Akon’s ‘Smack That.’
14. Pitbull, but just to appease him. No, he’s not good. Yes, you’re right to dislike him. But we have to keep him thinking he’s popular so he won’t explode. Just throw ‘Wild Wild Love’ in there and look the other way. You did your job.
15. Three songs TOTAL by Ed Sheeran, Eric Church, Blues Traveler, and Eli Young Band.
16. Be liberal with Sean Kingston and Ludacris. Obviously, you’re going to want to put as much in there as possible, but do your best to limit yourself to three our four tracks.
17. Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Ms. Jackson.’ Because obviously.
18. Either R Kelly’s ‘Ignition Remix’ OR Nelly’s ‘Hot In Herre.’ NOT both.
19. As much Lil B as money can buy. Assuming you’re seeking an ultra-harsh bedtime lullaby, I recommend either ‘Katy Perry,’ ‘Fuck Kevin Durant,’ or ‘3 Stacks.’ All three are heralded as “must-watches” by Lil B himself.
20. ‘Turn Down For What,’ because, nope, we’re not done with that yet.
21. Your favorite Rick Ross beat mixed with your favorite Lil Wayne verse. Hire a professional to do this. Very difficult to accomplish at home.
22. Try to avoid T-Swift, but if she’s a must, then slip something in from her first album and hope no one notices.
23. If you could convince every country artist to remake ‘Wagon Wheel’ and then hold The Great ‘Wagon Wheel’ Tournament of 2014, that’d be sick.
24. Six songs total from this collection of artists: Hot Chelle Rae, blink-182, Rihanna, Macklemore, Ke$ha, Paramore, Barenaked Ladies, Pink, Avril Lavigne, 3OH!3, Owl City, Bruno Mars, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa.
25. Six songs total from this collection of artists: Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Train, Britney Spears.
26. As much of the ‘Frozen’ soundtrack as possible.
27. As little Miley as possible. I understand this might still mean six or seven songs. That’s fine.
29. Ugh, fine. ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea.
30. NOT Frank Ocean, because he’s spring. Not Lorde; she’s fall. And obviously not the Game of Thrones theme song; that’s winter (if it ever comes.)
31. Not Calvin Harris’s ‘Summer’ because that’s giving in to propaganda. On that note, nothing with the word ‘summer’ in the title at all, unless it’s Bryan Adam’s ‘Summer of ’69.’
32. Absolutely not Cee-Lo Green, LMFAO, or The Script. That was only funny in 2011.
33. Oh, and hire DJ Khaled to oversee the operation.