Wow. It’s always a humbling experience to hear how much true talent there is out there making music that flies under the radar. I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in this contest, I know you all put hard work into your remixes and I wish there didn’t have to be one singled out as the “winner”. They are all dope to me in one way or another, so I had to come up with some criteria for justifying the pick. This brings up a more philosophical question –What is a good remix? Is it just a dope beat with the same lyrics over it, or is it a completely different take on the original, whether in style, mood, tempo or sometimes in this case a whole different genre. I think everyone’s answer to that would probably be different, so here’s mine: at best I feel a remix not only re-presents the song but has some contextual tie to the original and delivers a new musical take without sacrificing the original feel. For instance, I appreciate the number of dance and house remixes that were done but a few of them seemed to lay the vocals on as an afterthought. If the rhymes aren’t riding the beat, I feel like the song is better off as a beat and not a “remix”. On the same note, the breakdown was definitely the curveball in the remix. And sometimes everything was going well up until that point but he beat never recovered coming out of it. I know it was a difficult thing to hook up but hey, if we had done that and it was a fixed tempo all the way through, any person with any beat could have laid the vocals over it and been done. At least this showed who put the extra effort into the project.
This all being said, there were alot of remixes I really liked personally, but I had to narrow it down to my top ten picks, not of taste or personal preference, but how well they served the rhymes and the original track (and yes I listened carefully to every single entry, which is why it took 20 days to get results):
My (I apologize in advance if it’s not your top 13) top 13 in no particular order:
Ilpikaso Remix (page 9) – I like this because it reminds me of a dark era of Los Angeles music, back alley smokey stuff. They get props for being the only one I can remember who hooked up a newly recorded chorus. Double’s verse came back in correctly on the one (a lot of people missed that one). Wall of sound stuff, really cool. People Under the Stairs – ‘Hit The Top’ (ILPIKASO Remix) by peopleunderthestairs
Fdel Remix (page 8) – Yeah! Filter, drumbreak, loops, Grazing in the Grass. Very nice. Takes me back to a happy place. A good example of keeping it styling and simple. Beat was open enough to let the lyrics breathe and they rode the beat just right. Could have been on ? or Next Step easily, good shit. People Under the Stairs – ‘Hit the Top’ (fdel Remix) by peopleunderthestairs
King Kooba Octoberhest Mix (page 7) – I love how the keyboard sample sounds wobbly, like the record was still speeding up to speed at the downbeat. Reminds me of a record I would drop early in the night at a house party. I’m with this. I feel like it offers a really good take on the original, more mellow and musical but still party oriented. Transition works really well too, the strings are clutch. People Under the Stairs – ‘Hit the Top’ (King Kooba Oktoberphest Mix) by peopleunderthestairs
Doc Delay Remix (page 1) – Funky funky shit. Probably one of the funkier ones in the lot,. So that being said, this dude gets 1000 points for the drum fills and flams. Insane programming, some next level shit. And then you get the breakdown. Everyone needs to check this out for a good example of how a remix “breaks it down”. Harmonica? Check. People Under The Stairs – Hit the Top (Doc Delay Revision) by peopleunderthestairs
L.O.V.E. Mix (page 1) – As soon as this came on I was open. I remember reading about how back in the day Puffy would give you 15 seconds for a beat to catch your attention. This had me at jump, I was like oh shit, its on. And for those of you checking things on a laptop, try to imagine being in a packed club and hearing the horns come in, transitioning to the beat! Stampede kid! Damn, why couldn’t have Double K’s verse come back in tight on beat?!! People Under The Stairs – ‘Hit the Top’ ( L-O-V-E Remix) by peopleunderthestairs
It was close man, so close, but the way the producer handled the breakdown came to the deciding factor. DJ DOCDELAYWINS! Why? His breakdown kicked serious ass, and it would probably get more spins than the original version on a twelve inch.
2nd Place: Four way tie between FDel, McGost, L.O.V.E., and King Kooba. Here’s why they didn’t take first: McGost lost me on the breakdown, I like jazz and all, but it didn’t keep time with the partying and handclapping in the back. L.O.V.E remix would have won hands down but completely fell apart when double k’s verse came back in (which really hurt me because I thought this was the bangenest beat), King Kooba really professional I just wish he had done a little more during the breakdown. FDel was dope but for sample clearance issues I would have to tuck this one away (that;s a REALLY obvious loop – I think that song was a billboard #1 for like a year when it came out)
My Dream remix 12”:
People Under The Stairs Hit The Top (Vocal)
People Under The Stairs Hit The Top (Inst)
King Kooba Octoberfest Remix (Vocal)
Many thanks again to everyone who participated, It’s very humbling to hear how dope everyone is, it makes me grateful we’ve had so much support over the years when most of yall are just as dope. I tried to justify my picks and reasoning behind it, remember there is no “best” it’s just music man. And lastly, sorry for the delay in announcing the winner, we just got back from tour in Africa and I wanted to give each remix the attention it deserved.
This remix contest is sponsored by Vans & SoundCloud. For more information on People Under the Stairs and the critically acclaimed Carried Away record click here.
Posted by: Jonthecorner on December 3, 2009 @ 12:31 PM
Posted in: Contests