LUDACRIS – “Saturday (Oooh, Oooh)”

Rhetorical question (the answer’s no): has there ever been a style of music so warmly suited to lazy summer hedonism as hip-hop? I may not have a big green stash and the pocketfuls of cash are running lower than they really ought to be, but watching out for big ol’ ass (or your chosen equivalent) is a universal right and right now my universe is looking good: back in London, the bus up to work twice a week, sunlight filling a half-unpacked room in a house which feels more like home after two weeks than Oxford did in 18 months. The nearest shops there were a 25 minute trudge, and an easy stroll over the road to the garage still feels like a wonderful freedom.

Simple pleasures need simple songs, and “Saturday” qualifies. Three song-carrying hooks in the chorus and the rest of the track takes care of itself. Ludacris isn’t the most surprising or subtle of rappers but he knows how to set a mood and keep it – clownish horniness on “What’s Your Fantasy”, Stagger-Lee menace on “Southern Hospitality”, and a street-king bonhomie here. It’s his best track yet, and a reminder that however dystopian, dysfunctional or dispirited hip-hop gets at its uttermost edges, party jams are forever near the music’s heart.