The song that singlehandedly defined a generation
1999 was a beautiful year for many reasons. Freddy Prince Jr. was doing things, and Britney Spears was still a girl, not yet a woman. And while we were all playing Oregon Trail and hitting each other with slap bracelets, Lyte Funky Ones, better known as LFO, was creating a song so stunning, lyrics so genius, it changed the rap game forever.
Rich Cronin, Devin Lima, and Brad Fischetti stepped out on the scene in 1995. With bandanas, blonde spiked hair, and all-denim everything, these guys embodied all that made up their era. By 1999, LFO had the fine art of rhyming mastered. Their song “Summer Girls” revolutionized what we knew to be music. When everyone thought the internet was going to explode and kill us all, it was “Summer Girls” that pulled us through, “Summer Girls” that gave us the courage we needed to continue on.
The first verse begins: “Hip Hop Marmalade spic and span/ Met you one summer and it all began/ You’re the best girl that I ever did see/ The great Larry Bird Jersey 33.” Yes. These words bring to mind a quote said by that Jamaican guy, Bob Marley: “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” That’s exactly what this song does. It just feels so good, so right.
These true intellects casually refer to William Shakespeare as Billy, because when it comes to poetry, Bill is a peer, if not someone to look down upon.
“Like the color purple, macaroni and cheese, Ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees/ Call you up but what’s the use?/ I like Kevin Bacon, but I hate Footloose…When I met you, I said my name was Rich/ You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch.” These words would make the heart of Buzzsaw Prose & Cons editor Robert S. Hummel skip a beat, and bring tears to his eyes.
LFO had other songs and went on to release another album after this, but who cares? Nothing could ever top this masterpiece. When the band’s front man/songwriter, Rich Conin, sat down and wrote the words, “There was a good man named Paul Revere/ I feel much better baby when you’re near,” did he know the amount of lives he would be saving?
Conin passed away from Leukemia in 2010. My guess is that heaven was missing a genius, and my hope is that Conin is up there right now schooling John Lennon and watching over all the girls who, for reasons way beyond me, are still wearing Abercrombie and Fitch.
Jodi Silberstein is a senior journalism major who knows that she’ll never love anyone the way she loves denim bucket hats. Email her at [email protected].