It's the unofficial start of summer this weekend, and not much music (beyond Latin freestyle) scans "SUMMER" as explicitly as the spate of hits (and misses) from a few years ago featuring the pivoting, clap-happy Diwali Riddim. It's in Lumidee's "Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)" (one in a multi-year line of ubiquitous summer songs by one-hit wonders that I include Rihanna's "Pon de Replay" in — even though she obviously was not a one-hit wonder, she felt like one when her debut single came out).
Riddims are an essential part of dancehall, but never have they reverberated through the U.S. pop charts as noticeably as in this case. Diwali, which started to blow up in 2002 and is credited to Jamaican producer Steven "Lenky" Marsden, was kind of like "Ashley's Roachclip" for the naughts — some rhythmic ideas are so great that they need to be spread out over multiple songs to be adequately appreciated. Here's a salute of my favorite salutes (in order: Wayne Wonder "No Holding Back," Sean Paul "Get Busy," Cecile "Respect Yuh Wife," and The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian (Todd Terje's 'Dub Like an Egyptian')"):