Ever since Craig Mack and the rest of Bad Boy Entertainment gathered a remix lineup for the ages, big name collaborations have been tossed out frequently. Big hits become classics when some of the famous names in Hip-Hop lend a verse or two to the original hit track. Sometimes, putting a new beat on it just isn’t enough.
Remixes are still strong into the future. The recent “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe (Remix)” is proof enough. Not only are famous artists coming together to make remixes, the up-and-coming rappers also benefit majorly.
Take someone like Rocko, for example, with the notoriously popular song “U.O.E.N.O. ft. Rick Ross, Future“. Aside from the fact that Rick Ross and Future are both enormous names (and the significance of the rape lyric controversy), countless artists from Wiz Khalifa to all of Black Hippy have done remixes. Naturally, this only ends up making the original song more popular, leaving Rocko with his first ever Top 50 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. This is happening throughout the rap game, and very often.
It’s definitely positive for the genre, and positive for the culture. It’s teamwork at it’s finest.
Here are my 5 favorite remixes that I’ve heard throughout the years:
Sway & King Tech – The Anthem ft. RZA, Xzibit, Eminem, Tech N9ne, Pharoahe Monch, KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Jayo Felony, and Chino XL
Being the hosts of The Wake Up Show, it’s not surprising that Sway & King Tech were able to gather an impressive list of legendary features. “The Anthem” dropped in 1999, catching a number of these listed MC’s still in their primes. Eminem was just beginning his mainstream rap career, with the personality of Slim Shady. Pharoahe Monch, Xzibit, and Tech N9ne were all making popular music as well, making waves in the Hip-Hop world. KRS-One and Kool G Rap both tagged along as well, adding a strong OG presence.
Each rapper performs at a high level, producing some hilarious rhyme schemes. Take Eminem’s line here for example:
Climbed out of a nice house/through the front window and heard this guy shout/hey that’s my couch!
(While this is not an official remix, the gigantic list of famous names on a DJ track deserves recognition)
Pharoahe Monch – Simon Says (Remix) ft. Lady Luck, Redman, Method Man, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and Busta Rhymes)
Pharoahe Monch achieved major success with “Simon Says”, which logically meant a ridiculously ill remix was right around the corner. Sticking to an unorthodox method, Pharoahe Monch writes a new verse for the occassion, and makes it just as good (if not better) as the original verse. He absolutely takes home the title for best performance.
That’s expected when the Queens MC takes the mic, though.
Redman and Method Man are one of the best unofficial Hip-Hop duos of the ’90s, and this remix is a great snapshot of both in their prime. Both are rightful legends in the industry, and have made a name around having fantastic feature verses.
Also around this time, Busta Rhymes was still in his “wild style” phase, spitting verses with flows as strange as the clothes he wore. His videos were strange, and voices maniacal, but you just had to love it; it was original and innovative.
Kanye West – Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix) ft. Jay-Z
I’m not a business man, I’m a business, man/let me handle my business, damn
The immortal line from Jay-Z made this song a remix miracle, and all but cemented Jay in the list of greatest feature rappers of all time. Kanye in the past has mentioned how he felt about the verse, that Jay “kicked his ass” as mentioned on the song “Big Brother”.
Late Registration was a Hip-Hop classic, and this remix only made it better. The original single was made to deliver an important message, while the remix made it fun and friendly.
Talib Kweli – Get By (Remix) ft. Mos Def, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes
Funny how Busta Rhymes makes his way on to so many classic remixes.
Talib Kweli’s “Get By” is arguably his best single of all time. It’s definitely one of his favorites. This remix did it justice, as this heavily popular group of various MC’s made a solid amount of music with each other throughout the early 2000’s.
This version of Kanye West is long gone, and the same can be said about this version of Jay-Z. Jay was in his Black Album days, a period of heavy inspiration and clever wordplay. Kanye was making music from the “everyman’s” perspective, writing about his struggles and joy in every day life. This writing style was seen through all of College Dropout and Late Registration.
It was all quite different than the Kanye we know and love today.
Dj Unk – Walk it Out (Remix) ft. Andre 3000, and Jim Jones
Being a huge Outkast fan, I absolutely love this track. Andre’s verse was one of the best feature verses he’s ever done, as well as one of the few we’ve gotten to hear over the past decade.
DJ Unk made it big with this song, but never caught the same attention again. At least we got quite a collaboration.