I was reading an article the other day that boasted their version of the all-time top 10 remixes to rap songs.
With the exception of one, I disagree on all of their choices.
I know they were only limited to ten choices, but since they are a magazine and they must cater to the consumer, there were some pretty cookie-cutter and PC selections made. I guess they didn't want to ruffle their readers' feathers.
Even though it all comes down to opinion, some opinions are held in higher esteem than others simply off the basis of breadth of knowledge. And XXL's opinion -- in my opinion -- is a weak cop-out of an attempt to please all parties.
Furthermore, if DJ Premier and Pete Rock do not make up most of your list, then there is a serious problem.
If we're talking about straight up Hiphop music and not all this other madness masquerading as authentic representation of the culture, then 2Pac's "California Love" remix honestly has no place on this list.
Not to mention XXL's criteria for the list is limited to "songs that were remixed with new beats." So why, pray tell, is Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full" remix on that list? It has the exact same beat as the original except that it is about 3 minutes longer than the original and features an Indian woman's vocals.
And while I'm a Wu-Tang head till the end, and even though I loved Raekwon's "Rainy Dayz" remix, if we're talking about the top ten remixes of all time, how could this song be on there? It was a great song, no doubt, but top ten?
And for as many songs as DJ Premier has remixed, how is the only one on XXL's list Big L's "Ebonics" remix? I love Big L and consider him one of the greatest rappers ever, but Premier is a remixing machine and to be 100% truthful, the "Ebonics" remix was not even close to one of his greatest efforts. It's still Primo so of course the track is dope, but it's like comparing an iPod shuffle to an 80 gig iPod -- both are great, but one clearly stands out more than the other.
The only songs on XXL's list that I doff my cap to are Tribe's "Scenario" remix, PE's Shut Em Down Pete Rock remix, and The Fugees' "Nappy Heads" remix. The rest are highly questionable.
Below are some very viable options to replace most of the choices on XXL's list (in alphabetical order):
Gang Starr - The Militia Feat. Big Shug Pete Rock Remix
Das EFX - Jussamen Pete Rock Remix
Blackstar - Respiration Pete Rock Remix
Jeru the Damaja - You Can't Stop the Prophet Pete Rock Remix
Gang Starr - Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot) Large Professor Remix
Jungle Brothers - J-Beez Comin' Thru Remix
Common - Resurrection Large Professor Remix
House of Pain - Jump Around Pete Rock Remix
Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up Diamond D Remix
LL Cool J - Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Remix
Fat Joe - The Sh*t Is Real DJ Premier Remix
Jeru the Damaja - Me or the Papes (Me Not the Papes) DJ Premier Remix
Showbiz & AG - Next Level DJ Premier Remix
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It Remix
Ultramagnetic MC's - Poppa Large East Coast RemixAnd these choices are just the tip of the iceberg. This is all I could think of in five minutes, but I know there are better, more significant remixes that have left undeniable impacts on their listeners. And NaS's "Street Dreams" Trackmasters remix with R Kelly is just not one of them.
If you think I've left off any remix that is crucial to real Hiphop please drop a note in the comments section and I'll add it.