Sometimes I wish that record labels were more daring in how they handle business. Hip-hop is huge; hip-hop is a worldwide influence. Sodas and shoes have been remixed. I just wish that more albums would be remixed.
Really, Sprite was “remixed” a few years ago and Nike has fed a niche market with remixed versions of some of their most popular shoe models, allowing artists to put their individual stamp on shoes. I just wish that more music was remixed.
I can remember falling in love with remixes. I can still vividly recall rushing home from the record store with new singles that had a remix or two on them. Sometimes only the beat was changed but sometimes they had new lyrics too. I’m part of a generation of that’s used to the notion of a remix, so nothing is really held sacred.
I love Illmatic. I think it’s a classic album. But I’d also love to hear what beats Kanye would put to those vocals. For that matter, I’d be curious to hear what Madlib, Danger Mouse, 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Primo or Pete Rock would do. Sure, the 10th anniversary edition of Illmatic featured a handful of remixes, but I’d really like to hear one producer (preferably one of the aforementioned) provide the beats for the entire album.
It would be just like what Jay-Z did with the Black Album; except that I’d be willing to pay for it. If Columbia, which owns the masters to Illmatic, released “Kanye West remixes Illmatic” it would sell, especially if they released it in limited quantities.
Plus, this idea isn’t just limited to classic albums. Maybe the Pete Rock version of Nastradamus might actually be worth listening to. Who knows?
Now, I’m not saying that I’d spend good money on the Mannie Fresh version of Illmatic—then again maybe I would. I mean, I’ve certainly got that collector mentality and if it’s a series of limited edition album remixes, I could probably be persuaded to buy an album remixed by a producer I’m not that fond of.
Seriously, considering how often Puff desecrates Biggie’s vocals, you’d think that Ready to Die would have already been released as a remix project and available for sale.
And this project could be a great showcase for producers. Swizz Beats would be able to show that he can do more that just club bangers and maybe Madlib could show that he can do more than just quirky.
What I’m saying is that in a time of shrinking revenue streams, hip-hop could very easily stay viable by allowing the present to remix the past. I know that I’m not the only person who would pay money for it. Now, if only the labels could make this notion a reality…
Tags: Danger Mouse, Diddy, DJ Premier, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Madlib, Nas, Pete Rock