It's Goin' Down by The X-Ecutioners (featuring Mike Shinoda & Mr Hahn)
I remember there was this one summer when nu-metal dominated the airwaves. There was Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Korn, and a lot of other bands that were mixing rap and rock together. One of the best nu-metal songs that I still listen to today actually came from a group of DJs, The X-Ecutioners. Through them, I discovered turntablism and I never looked back. It's why I collect vinyl records today.
Back to the Past (回到?去) by Jay Chou
Besides beaches and sweating, summer also means love to me. I met my first love in summer school. I was 13 and it was the type of innocent puppy love that you only experience once but remember for the rest of your life. We've gone our separate ways now but we are still good friends, and every time this song comes on, I'll be reminded of that magical summer and will relive it just for a few minutes at least.
Kick, Push by Lupe Fiasco
In another life, I would've been a skateboarder and this would've been my anthem to ride around town with. There's no better time to be grinding and skating on the streets than in the summer. Fiasco's track describes the beauty of being on the board from the skater's perspective, sadly something that I can only imagine.
Summertime by Beyonce Knowles (featuring P. Diddy)
Back in 2003, before Beyonce became Mrs Jay-Z and Diddy was still calling himself P. Diddy, she released this sizzling love track for the film The Fighting Temptations, in which she played the main female character. While the film bombed, the song got a lot of airplay as everyone can relate to the catchy tune's lyrics about just how lovely it is to fall in love in the summer.
Fallin' For You by Colbie Caillat
Everything that Caillat does just screams summer to me. Whenever I think of her music, I picture swimming, surfing and the beach, which are all featured in the music video for this melodic love song. It's only fitting that she's from Malibu, California.
Breakn' a Sweat by Skrillex
This has been my jam for this summer. I've listened to it at least once every day for the past couple of months, and it still gets me hyped up and makes me want to start moving. There is a question as to whether he's a real musician or not, but I think he's a hit-making genius.
Deliver Us by In Flames
It's that time of the year when bands start hitting the summer music festival circuit. Well, not in Hong Kong. I would love to go to one of these shows and just feel the raw power of the performances, especially by the likes of this Swedish metal band.
Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z (featuring Alicia Keys)
Beyonce's husband also gets a nod on my playlist with his infectious song about the city I grew up in, New York. Although it was released in October 2009, I was still hearing it very often when I moved back there in 2010, especially on those summer nights that I spent watching my favourite baseball team the Mets play.
Awnaw by Nappy Roots
The guys who make up the hip hop group Nappy Roots always seem so chilled. They spend their time hanging out on their farms, rapping and eating watermelons. They even named their debut album Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz. Who doesn't like to sit back with a nice, juicy piece of watermelon on those suffocating summer nights?
Hong Kong Kowloon by 24Herbs
Since I can't skateboard, I do the next best thing: walk. When the sun is out and the weather is nice, is there anything better than wandering the streets of our fair city and discovering all the places tucked away from the masses? This track from local hip hop group 24Herbs is perfect for that. With its catchy beats and neighbourhood name-dropping lyrics, it's full of Hong Kong pride. 852!