Saturday, August 05, 2006

"f*ck your (re)mix!" #2 [Jemini's "Brooklyn Kids"]

With "f*ck your (re)mix!" #1, Common's "Ressurection" remixes, I was again surprised by how many people went with the "Large Professor" remix; I've always felt like the "Extra P" remix was the certified version. I feel on this particular subject, a poll of readers of hip-hop blogs is appropriate, because most people visiting have developed taste in hip-hop...i.e., it's not a "casual" relationship with the music. I expect a consensus to emerge on every remix (naturally agreeing with me), but clearly it didn't happen with the "Ressurection" remixes; heads are divided. Anyways, on with the second edition:

Jemini the Gifted One "Brooklyn Kids/remix"

Jemini's been getting a lot of love on blogs the last few years, and it's good to see..."Funk Soul Sensation" got a lot of love when it dropped, and Jemini was clearly a dope, original MC. Everyone loved the A-side ("Funk Soul Sensation"), but the B-side ended up being cause for debate.

Jemini's "Brooklyn Kids" actually only had one remix, and the comparison here is between the Straight Mix (original) and the Remix. It's obvious to me what the correct answer is here, but let's go to the numbers once again. The link above contains both mixes, in case it's been awhile (or never) for you.

[UPDATE, 7/6]
OK, I'm going to do some truly hip-hop nerd shit and breakdown exactly why I think that the Straight Mix(Original) is much doper than the remix, in an obvious attempt to sway votes. If anything, this is proof I've thought waaay too much about this shit, but fuck it.
You could look at any aspect of the beats: the intro, the basslines, samples, or how the beat was contructed around the lyrics...the Original mix is superior. Bottom line, the Original mix is truer to the spirit of the song: A journey through Brooklyn's mentality, in the context of time ("Old School y'all...New School y'all").

Take the intro.
* In the Original, you have the opening (keyboard line/sample?) slowly swirling down, before hitting its bottom note and dissipating...taking you down into the mindstate Jemini focuses on. Then the beat drops, and you're there, with Jemini as your tour guide.
* In the Remix, you have a sample (a constant tone) fading in, then the bassline drops in. The effect is just straight sinister. But sinister is just one aspect of the mindstate. Other adjectives you could use might be ruthless, competitive, loyal, creative. I think it sells out the cut to start with a tone that simple.

Or the basslines & samples.
* The Original rocks a simple bassline in support of the melody line of the samples. Samples are basic, but work perfect with the drums. The drums casually (but purposefully) march ahead; the sample feels sluggishly attached to them. The effect is like walking through mud with a swagger.
* The Remix completely relies on the bassline and chimes; neither feels intertwined with the movement of the drums. The bassline creates its own counter-rhythm, which distracts from the cyclical march of the drums. Those chimes feel like an obvious attempt to stay sinister. "Ohhh, that minor bassline is ILL!" why? because it's minor? doesn't it just make you think of a guy sitting around with a keyboard?

And the way the beat is constructed around the lyrics.
* The Original pulls the track out in layers to emphasize lyrics; maybe the samples will go, maybe the drums will go, but the results is that it keeps you focused the lyrics. It also gives you the sense of broader movement, through the layers of the track.
* The Remix drops the drums out briefly at times, but not to the same effect. It sounds more like one chunk of sound, and less layered than the original as well. Too simple.

Hip-hop is the shit because it creates situations like this; I'm into a lot of other genres, but you can't discuss the music and ideas quite like you can with hip-hop (uh...if you're into that shit, nerd). PLEASE drop your own reactions to the music in the comments, if they inspire you...oh, yeah, and vote below so we can simplify all this shit to one word.


Blogger P-Why? said...

I thought the original was doper too..
The beat on the remix is nice, but it's too sinister for the song i feel

5:16 AM  
Blogger aj said...

yeah again on espie's page i'm playing the minority - to be honest, depending on mood and amount of alcohol i could almost go either way on this one. but i think it basicaly comes down to chimes vs. keyboard, and the keyboard is the weaker sample. that's all. i think the keyboard makes sense for the retrospective topic of the song, but, to me, its kind of like those kids who go out breakdancing trying to dress exactly like they did in 82. why use an intentionally old-sounding hook just to talk about what it was like back in the day? it just comes off a little cornier to me -

8:30 PM  
Blogger Tired & Broke said...

I gotta go with the Remix my friend.... I love the dark feeling it brings... HELLA PROPS for upping this I've been looking for a good version of that remix for a while, and blessed the masses with it... PROPS once again my friend...


11:05 AM  
Blogger Klay Doe said...

The remix is too dope. I had the tape back in the day and listened to it until it popped. Been looking for this for a while. Thanks for the memories!

7:18 AM  

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