Arts Desk

An Early Nomination for D.C.’s Song of the Summer: Shy Glizzy’s “My City”

Over the next few months, we will wring our hands endlessly over what deserves the title of 2013's Song of the Summer. Could it be by Daft Punk, or Snoop Lion, or Rihanna, or uh...oh forget it. As Esquire eloquently put it last year, "The whole notion of a 'Song of the Summer' is a bullshit media construct"—and then explained, the long way, why it would nominate this song by The Walkmen anyway. (Which: No.) The Song of the Summer is a bullshit media construct—the cultural and apparently empirical dominance of last year's "Call Me Maybe" notwithstanding—but a benign one.

So here's my early pick for a D.C.-specific song of the summer, even though it came out last summer: Shy Glizzy's "My City," featuring Garvey the Chosen One and Boobe. You probably know the rapper for his frequent beefing or, more recently, his surprisingly gloomy, self-reflective mixtape Fxck Rap. "My City" is way more fun. Consider:

  • It chimes with our current era of mostly nonembarassing sports teams—even D.C. United get a couplet. Gio Gonzalez should make this his walk-up music.
  • It has a solid spread of local cultural references: Ben's Chili Bowl, New Balances, Rayful Edmond.
  • Its citywide pride is hard-felt (that chorus is massive) without going totally kumbaya. "I'm cool with all the whites," raps Boobe in the third verse. "I wanna see the city black."
  • Glizzy has a street poet's heart but a pop rapper's voice—which is why KE on the Track's synthy, pleasure button-pushing beat totally transports.


So there. Anyone got a better Song of the Summer pick?

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