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DJ Jazzy Jeff's Ultimate Playlist

Rizzle Kicks Summertime 2.jpg

Nothing short of a hip hop legend, DJ Jazzy Jeff rose to fame alongside The Fresh Prince, aka Mr Will Smith, as they scored a string of hits in the late eighties and early nineties, scoring two grammys along the way.

Still touring the world as a hugely respected DJ, we caught up with Jazz as he announced the release of an updated version of his classic track Summertime, performed with British duo Rizzle Kicks (who you can see above), in association with Very.co.uk.

Read on to discover Jazz's choices for his Ultimate Playlist, along with the stories behind the selections. Prepare for some massive tunes...

To shop the look, or to take advantage of one of the 10,000 free music downloads of the track available visit: Very.co.uk/summertime

Listen to Jazz's Playlist on Spotify here


Favourite Sad Song

"My favourite sad song would be Maxine by Donald Fagen. I think I was going through a breakup at the time and the chorus structure basically kind of led to my sadness in the song, so every time I hear that song I go back to the time that my heart was broken."


Favourite Movie Soundtrack Song

"I have a couple of those... I would probably say Shadowland from Bamboozled by Bruce Hornsby. Well you know, I tied together with the movie and what the movie was about, and it’s a beautiful song. Bruce Hornsby might be one of my favourite musicians mainly because of the voicings that he uses when he plays - it always puts me in a certain mood. That is one of my favourite songs from the soundtrack. Also - Shape of My Heart by Sting... it was at the end of Leon: The Professional."


Favourite Song From Your Childhood

"It would probably be the extended version of the Funkadelic's One Nation Under A Groove. We used to have block parties and y'know, just growing up in Philadelphia, it was a guy who used to live across the street - who was actually one of the guys who got me into DJing - he used to put a big giant speaker on his porch in the summertime and he would start playing music, almost for the whole block, starting at noon. And I never forget the day that that record came out, the radio station made this long announcement that they were gonna play the full version of this song and he recorded it and he just played it all day, every day and I just remember how much of a monumental song that was for me."


Favourite Song That No One Else Knows

"Patrice Rushen - Didn’t You Know. It was on her first album... I had a neighbour who played albums... and he would let the full album play and I remember this song coming on and I fell in love with this song, so I would just wait... like you would know when he put the Patrice Russian album on and would let it start playing and I would basically just sit on the porch and wait for that song to come on... but it's not a popular song, very few people know it because it is a deep deep album cut off her first album."


Favourite Club Anthem

"It would probably be 50 Cent's In Da Club. There were songs that were bigger - but social media, radio, internet... that was the perfect storm, and I have never been around a song that was that big. I never play anything more than once and I remember doing an event and I played and it and everyone went crazy, and about 15 minutes later somebody came up and requested it and I didn’t play it - and then five minutes later somebody requested it again... and I remember a guy walked up to the DJ booth and he put two quarters down on the desk and walked away. And I remember looking like 'two quarters? Ah... 50 Cent!' And what I did is - I played the song and I let the song play and when the song got to the first hook I mixed it back in from the beginning and started it over. I did that for 45 minutes and the dance floor was jam-packed and I was like, 'I have never seen this kind of an impact from a song in my life'."


Favourite One Hit Wonder

"Tainted Love by Soft Cell [their only hit on US shores]. I will still play that in some of the classic sets that I do, but I've never heard another song from them. If you can be in front of a thousand people and you can play, or even say 'sometimes I feel I want to' and a thousand people will say 'GET AWAY'... when you have those kind of songs that are that infectious, then it's kinda like 'wow, this is great!". Maybe it's lightning in a bottle."


Favourite Lyric From a Song

"It probably would be Lil Wayne... he said “Real G’s move in silence, like lasagne”. My wife had to explain that one to me that the 'Gs’ in lasagne are silent! When he said that I was like “Ah...I don’t get it?” and when she explained it I went "that’s the craziest lyric I’ve ever heard!" I was like, "that's genius!"


Favourite Current Song

"It would probably be Alright by Kendrick Lemar. I listen to the entire album like it is one song for me. Me personally, I think that is one of the greatest overall albums I’ve ever heard: production wise, lyric wise, the mix, the collaborations - there are all kinds of musicians on that record that people don’t know from Robert Glasper to Ron Isley to George Clinton that there's a reason that record sounds the way it does.

"You know, to me, I get upset cause there is so much music that people make that they deliberately make it easy. I grew up on a time that... there wasn’t anything about Parliament or Funkadelic that was an easy listen. I think to really appreciate music, I think it shouldn’t be easy. I think lyrically songs are too easy... I’m not really in love with a lot of the current production because it's very basic, everybody uses the same drums and the same drum pattern and it's kinda like, I want something that is gonna challenge me as a listener, because those are the ones that really touch your emotion. I want to be able to have to listen to it four or five times... I’m in love with the new Hiatus Kaiyote album: the first time I listened to it I was kind of like, "Ah this is OK", and my son actually made me listen to a song on it - and I loved the song so much that I revisited the album, and that's one of my favourite albums now."


Favourite Song From Your Own Music

"I think I would absolutely have to say Summertime and even the new version of Summertime that Rizzle Kicks did. You work your career to have something that's either life-lasting or something that stands the test of time. Every journalist wants to write that piece that someone is gonna be reread ten years from now later; every musician and producer wants to make that record that someone is gonna ask, "What's your favourite record?" and someone says it. To be a part of Summertime that, from the day that we made it, we knew it was a good record, but we had no idea that people would be caring about this record 20 years later - it is a blessing. Rizzle Kicks are good guys - they remind me a whole lot of Will and myself."

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