June 18, 2008

The Newcomers: Remot

I'll be honest, I was burned out by all of those godforsaken Black Album remixes that flooded the Interweb after Danger Mouse found mainstream attention with his The Grey Album. Sure, some of them actually featured some good music, but most of them have no reason for existing. For that reason alone, I elected not to check out any of the American Gangster remix projects that came about after Shawn Carter unleashed the acapellas of that critically-acclaimed album upon the blogosphere.

Personally, I still wonder why he chose not to release the vocal tracks to Kingdom Come, and this is coming from a guy that actually liked a lot of that album, but I digress.

Anyway. Apparently Hip Hop DX had an American Gangster remix competition, and this cat Remot won. I had seen the name on a couple of blogs here and there, but only recently was I persuaded to actually give the project a spin. And it turns out that it's pretty damn good.

Remot's beat selection for Jay-Z's American Gangster tales do something that the disc's original producers couldn't really pull off: evoke a soulful feeling of the actual era, all while securing the audience's interest in the actual lyrics. Remot's take on "Blue Magic", especially, is a wonder to behold. He completely discards the 1980's feel of the original track (which is risky, as that was it's appeal) and makes the song a more potent substitute for actual Blue Magic. As an added bonus, he completely deletes Pharrell Williams on the hook, which is fantastic, since nobody really ever wanted to hear Skateboard P sing an En Vogue song at karaoke, let alone on an actual album track.

"American Gangster" and "No Hook" also sound better in Remot's skilled hands, and probably would have actually been considered for inclusion on the actual American Gangster soundtrack, were it not for the fact that they were recorded in freaking 2007. Shawn and Nasir Jones share the booth on "Success", a song that I never really cared for in its original incarnation, save for the show-stealing performance by Nas, but Remot's musical backdrop makes the pairing of the two hip hop giants sound like a triumphant victory for music in general, as it should.

Max isn't one for lying, so I will mention that I still prefer the original "Ignorant Shit" to Remot's version, although he does reinvent the track as a perfect soundtrack for driving around late at night with no real destination in mind. I just prefer the Isley Brothers-sampling original (and I mean the original original, without the Don Imus-baiting verse tacked on.) I can't say that I'll be listening to "I Know" on a regular basis. I'm also mildly disappointed that there is no remake of "Fallin'", at least not on my copy, but I love the original track so much (minus Bilal's inane singing) that I don't know if there's much that Remot could have done with it.

All in all, though, Remot's American Gangster remix album is well worth your ears. (It's actually so good that I had to change the Hip Hop Isn't Dead policy of offering downloads. Yeah, it's that good.) It's probably best that you jump on the bandwagon now, since he's also been doing some work with blogger favorite Donny Goines and is poised to make some moves in the near future. Get in on the ground floor, and take yourself back to a time when hip hop wasn't on life support.

Oh, and support good music. You chose this genre for a reason, people.

American Gangster (remixed by Remot) (click here to download)

Remot's MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/remotmusic

Bonus: Donny Goines - Play Out In The Rain (produced by Remot)


(Do you have anything that you want Max to hear? Drop me a line at the email address on the right. If it's good, I'll see what I can do.)


  1. Yo, you should have mentioned that Remots version of Hello Brooklyn completely shatters the original. I hated that song when i first heard it, but Remots version seriously got me to listen to it and enjoy it.

  2. this kid Remot is a beast, and a good dude as well. i love the soulful vibe throughout the entire album. this guy knows what he's doing when it comes to beats. shit is incredible. HHLD4L!

  3. insane. good looking max.

  4. the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusinessJune 20, 2008

    OK. I'll download this one. But, generally, I really don't have time for this type of shit.

  5. shit is weak.