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As you get ready to grill for the 4th, these are the jams that should be playing according to  Check out the list and see if you agree.



“Summertime” (DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince)

The 90s began with this ode to summer that instantly became a classic. While Will Smith’s career as an actor has long surpassed his music career as The Fresh Prince, this song instantly gets heads bobbing as it heralds in the change in season.

“Square Biz” (Teena Marie)

While Teena Marie’s hit from the 80s was one of the first tracks to have a woman break out into a rap on a song, “Square Biz” gets us up and dancing long before her signature flow that comes near the end of the track. The glossy instrumentals and her rousing vocals match any party mood which makes this song a cook out necessity for soul music lovers.

“Before I Let Go” (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly)

Reader Dexter Nixon wrote in that “anything Frankie Beverly” makes the playlist for his cookouts. And we agree. Our favorite is their 1980 hit “Before I Let Go” which has withstood the test of time with its groove factor.

“Brick House” (The Commodores)

When asked what she wants to hear at her cookout, Virginia-based singer Robin Ewell DeLozier wrote, “Funk, and nothing but the funk!”  The Commodores’ 1977 hit “Brick House” is a funky track that brings the funk from beginning to end.

“Flashlight” (Parliament)

Parliament was on everyone’s list, so, how do you narrow it down? We picked “Flashlight” from a random draw, because the reality is that Parliament can keep the cookout popping from start to finish.

“Give It To Me Baby” (Rick James)

Rick James was another with hit after hit that keeps a cookout grooving. “Give it To Me Baby” may be a bit raunchy if the cookout has a large underage crowd, but it’s one of the songs that the grown-ups most likely won’t be able to get enough of.

“Long Walk” (Jill Scott)

Jilly from Philly brings jazzy soul to your cookout with this hit single that keeps it smooth while still bringing 100% groove.

“Award Tour” (A Tribe Called Quest)

Hip-hop lovers will be the first to tell you that A Tribe Called Quest are hip-hop royalty and their hit “Award Tour” a classic. This tune simmers with soul – an instant party starter at any outdoors event.

“You Rock My World” (Michael Jackson)

Michael Jackson hits are endless, and at a cookout you could probably play his songs the duration of the event and still have some leftover. So picking out a favorite was hard, but we selected “You Rock Your World” for its fun quality that never skimps on the beat.

“OMG” (Usher)

Kids and adults love this song that gets the party started and keeps it going. This track laces Usher’s strong vocals with auto tune, but no one really cares. The beat is really all that.

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