Remixes have long vexed me: gratuitous overexposure of a song or worthwhile artistic endeavor? (My co-hort Royce is rolling his eyes as he reads this.) I know remixes have their place in deejays’ crates and the dance clubs. But casual listening is another story.
I don’t necessarily think a remix waters down an original, but it certainly might steal some of its thunder. That depends, of course, on the producers behind it. On this track, though, off Mr. Lif’s 2006 release Mo’ Mega, I’m coming around to see the value of different production.
The original version of Brothaz is produced by El-P, who never (as far as I know) has made a soft beat. It holds true here, his gritty, concrete style complementing Lif’s political diatribes.
Then there’s the remix by 9th Wonder, whose responsible for the production on one of my favorite albums of the year in Murs’ Murray’s Revenge. On Brothaz, he takes the edge off – it’s more soul than street. It’s debatable whether the style fits with the Important Message Lif is trying to get across, but a remix is probably more about what the producer can do than the emcee.
Mr. Lif | Brothaz (original)
Mr. Lif | Brothaz (9th Wonder remix)