Summer Jams with an Urban Vibe

AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL, Summer Jams with an Urban Vibe

School’s out for summer. Parents, the kids are now yours full-time, at least for a few months. That means that summer road trips, vacations, youth, and summer camps are on the horizon. So it is time to upgrade your music playlists and diversify it. I have a few songs that you could add and enjoy. 

“Feel Alright” Erica Campbell

This song screams “summer anthem.” Erica’s alto vocals weave throughout this call-and-response jam that fits well in family reunions. Her husband, producer Warryn Campbell, has been laying down the dopest production for over 20 years and has not lost a step. The video, directed by Rich Laru and featuring Nick Tosti’s excellent cinematography, showcases Erica and her extended family’s vibrant colors and joyful moments.



The Walls Group “He’ll Make A Way (feat. Teddy Riley)”

Let’s return to the late ’80s and ’90s and grab the architect of New Jack Swing, Teddy Riley and combine his talkbox with Gen Z singers The Walls Group. Do the running man to this one because the retro feel will make you want to dance. But, the message is clear that God will make a way, even in the ugliest situations. These folks are singing, so it can be a part of a little “church.” It goes “up” when they get to the vamp, “Somehow, He’ll make a way/Somehow He’s make a way for me.” 


Jstu & Hyper Fenton “Laugh Daily” 

People can forget to find joy daily with the all-consuming news and fear-mongering in the world–even by the most devoted Christians. So gospel artists Jstu’s and Hyper Fenton’s reminder is well needed on your playlist. The song has a mid-tempo beat with added guitar strums to make it infectious and repeat-worthy. I enjoy conversing with women who share a passion for living life to the fullest, embracing the simple joys of everyday living, and ultimately finding purpose and happiness by dedicating their lives to God.


Lauren Daigle “Kaleidoscope Jesus” 

I’m being rebellious for including this song. I’m frustrated with the criticism that Lauren has been receiving about “selling out” or her music not being “Christian enough.” Silly, I know. People can enjoy the songs on her new self-titled album that point them to Christ. “Kaleidoscope Jesus” deserves to be on the playlist for its creative way of describing Jesus and its chill vibe. The way the flute and bass lead in is just right. Then, the raspy “You got out Your way to make feel like I’m the one You love” kicks in. Add this. Lauren does it just right. 


James Fortune “Voyage (Feat. Waka Flocka Flame)” 

James Fortune, a veteran in the Gospel music field, has always been one to venture out of the norm stylistically. So “Voyage” is just another one added to his repertoire. I appreciate the island vibe that matches the song’s theme, where James expresses gratitude for God’s continual presence. It’s a summer vibe punctuated by hip-hop A-lister Waka Flocka Flame’s testimony of leaving his wild ways of living behind: “I was going hard in the paint for a breakthrough/Lost brothers, but I never lost you/Lost, but I’m found now, the wild boy calmed down/You know I owe it all to you/Jesus wept, mama cried too….” 


Bizzle, Miles Minnick, and Fatman Scoop “No L’s” 

Christian pop artists Bizzle and Miles Minnick are a tandem that makes folks “run it up” when they collaborate. Bizzle dared to include the ultimate hype man, Fatman Scoop, in his song “No L!” Why should this song be included in your summer jam playlist? Well, the track is high-energy West Coast. Miles and Bizzle both eat up their verses while Fatman Scoop does what he does best. Come on. Kids, run it up. Parents get on board. Let the window down and scream with Fatman Scoop, “It ain’t hard/All you gotta do is trust God!”


Torey D’Shaun “Peep” 

“Do you want to live in the Light or not/Is you gon’ fight the good fight or not?” Pop artist Torey D’Shaun has taken up a challenge with this energetic song. But, despite the party vibe, Torey encourages us to live a life of faith in Christ. Dance teams better choreograph something to this one, but plan on being tired because the BPMs are high. This is another heater.


Other songs on the playlist include: 

  • Social Club Misfits – “Rendezvous  (feat. Torey D’ Shaun) [Luke Johns Remix]
  • THROWBACK Family Force 5 – “Bzrk”
  • Madison Ryann Ward and Ty Brasel – “Unknown” 
  • Tye Tribbett “Live” 
  • Jstu and Hyper Fenton – “Summer’s Back” 
  • Scootie Wop –  “Dairy Queen” 
  • DJ Mykael V, nobidyl, and Starringo – “Lay Low.” 
  • Britt Nicole – “Gold” 
  • CalledOut Music & Imrsqd – “Walk with Me (feat. Samm Henshaw)
  • Mali Music – “Walking Shoes” 

Dwayne Lacy is a long-time history teacher in Houston, Texas. He also has a passion for diversity in unity in music and the church.

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