The 10 Best Summer Songs of the '90s

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Let's play a game. Anyone know "Never Have We Ever?" Good. We'll go first.

Never have we ever found ourselves saying the words, "But there were so many good Will Smith songs!"

Well, until this blog, that is.

Apparently there are an abundance of epic summery songs by the '90s version of Will Smith, and we're a bit puzzled by that fact. Go figure.

And while we're a bit embarrassed of our Will Smith prowess, what we're not afraid to admit that we love ourselves some summer jamz. We love them enough to put together a list, in fact, of the best '90s summer songs for your enjoyment.

Unfortunately, they can't all be Will Smith songs -- although there are indeed enough to fill this blog -- because really, what '90s artist can compete with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince himself.

Now get jiggy with it.

10. "Back And Forth," Aaliyah This little ditty was off of Aaliyah's '94 debut album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, and it was the single that launched her into the R&B big leagues. It's also an awesome little breezy summer number, and Aaliyah was the very best, so we'll just ignore the creepeh factor of the fool who wrote it. Let's move on from that subject, shall we?

9. "All For You," Sister Hazel This Sister Hazel number, recorded in '94 and then re-recorded in '97, is about the only song that the alt-rockers are known for. Luckily for them, it's a sweet little tune, full of some rad harmonies that remind us of those beachy summer days back in college. Too bad Sister Hazel never managed to do much more than this, but we'll take victories where we can get 'em. We're okay with this one-hit wonder.

8. "No Rain," Blind Melon So, we would venture to pull a Kanye on this one and tell you that "No Rain" has one of the best music videos of all time, but that's not what this list is about. Still, we have to give just a little nod to that clumsy little bee and the alt-rockers who made it possible. The love for that video extended to a love of the song, which then led to this song being one of our favorites for a '90s summer jam. Tell us it doesn't remind you of dancing around all carefree during the dog days of summer. You can't.

The jamz continue on the next page.

7. "Jump," Kriss Kross Kriss Kross'll make ya...jump, jump? Yes, these saggy pants sportin' kinder-rappers were awesome, and they managed to put out one of the most solid summer songs of the '90s, despite them being oh, not old enough to drive. They could jump though, and that was almost as good.

6. "Fantastic Voyage," Coolio Cars. BBQ's. Half-nekkid ladies. Fantastic voyages. Come on; everything about this song screams summer, and the fact that Coolio, with those tight-ass braids and whatnot, was the one that brought it to us only sweetens the deal. They just don't make hip-hop, or cornrow-sportin' rappers, like they did in the '90s. But that's okay; if you resurrect this song, you'll be transported right back.

5. "Mo Money Mo Problems," The Notorious B.I.G. Oh man, how we miss Biggie. It was all about the mo' money, mo' problems motif back in the '90s, thanks to Puffy and Ma$e helping to fill out the song alongside that husky-voiced rapper. This song is the perfect summer jam, even if Ma$e did go all rogue pastor on us, while Puffy did...well, whatever it is he did. Became a mogul or something? We don't really know.

4. "California Love," 2Pac Summer songs always need the right amount of party added to them to make them legit enough for those mid-year antics, and that's where 2Pac, and "California Love," excel. He's all about gettin' down with the city of Compton, because why not. California loooooooove.

The jamz continue on the next page.

3. "The Thong Song," Sisqo Uh, it's a song. About thongs. On the beach. In the summer. This is very much a summer song, and we very much like it because booties. The end. (Side note: Sisqo was much better before he unleashed the dragon, no? For shame, Sisqo. For shame.)

2. "Miami," Will Smith Ooh, good old Will Smith. He was like the summer song top dog back in the '90s, and although there are a number of choices in Will Smith's summer song repertoire, nothing can top "Miami." Odes to South Beach and the hawt women who flock to it are ripe for the summer pickin's. This song had big Willy style all in it.

1. "This Is How We Do It," Montell Jordan If you didn't play this song at a summer party in the '90s, well, you're missing an essential element for proper nostalgia. You can remedy that little issue by playing it at every summer shindig you have from now on, because Montell Jordan and "This Is How We Do It" were -- and are -- basically everything you need for a proper throwdown. Well, that and beer. And perhaps Montell's neighbor. We hear she's got much flavor.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.