October 20, 2015

Remixed For Your Pleasure: Prefuse 73 - "Hideyaface"


There are plenty of artists you two probably never thought you would see mentioned on this blog, not because of a lack of talent or any type of bias, but simply because I've already got so much shit on my plate.  There's a wide world of hip hop out there, most of which I'll never even scratch the surface of, which is why these random series of articles are beneficial.  Now watch carefully as I seamlessly transition this paragraph into a discussion about Prefuse 73.

Scott Herren, born Guillermo Scott Herren, which sounds like a lie, is a producer who alternates between genres like your girlfriend burning through outfits before you go out tonight.  His hip hop side comes out as Prefuse 73, who has released numerous albums and EPs to underground audiences as far as you can throw your backpack.  His third album, Surrounded By Silence, was released in 2005 to critical acclaim, and includes a whole bunch of guest artists you two would probably recognize, especially on the subject of today's post, "Hideyaface", which features both Ghostface Killah and a pre-Run The Jewels El-P.  Yep, you read that sentence correctly: both El-P and Pretty Toney appear on the same goddamn song.

"Hideyaface" is an enjoyable diversion, an exercise in two different schools of lyricism over a melodic instrumental that bumps along nicely.  Ghost comes through with a sense of humor, even giving the listener an update on whatever happened to that bird he used to have attached to his arm, while El-P's brand of abstract threats and simple give-no-fucks attitude comes through in every seething syllable.  I'm not entirely convinced that Ghostface Killah knew there was going to be a guest on "Hideyaface", but El-Producto's intro name-drops both participants, so someone was aware of something here, at least. Prefuse's work on the beat approximates a type of boom bap that most of New York had given up long before, with the pounding drums accompanied by sonic flourishes that drill this shit into your brain.  "Hideyaface" runs for three minutes and fifteen seconds, a pleasant excursion into the world of off-the-radar rap made easy with the addition of a dude everyone's heard of, and then fades into the next track on Surrounded By Silence, never to be heard from again.  Right?

Nah.



What you have above is El-Producto's own remix to "Hideyaface", and it is more antagonistic in every fucking possible way.  There's still a melody, and there are still hard-as-fuck drums, and both Ghost and El's lyrics are retained, but the former Company Flow member turns everything up to eleven, bringing forward the shit-talking and dropping any pretense that these guys were smiling while recording their verses.  Which is no small feat, since Tony Starks's bars are exactly the same: it's amazing how a change of scenery alters context.  Prefuse 73's name is, of course, still attached to the track, but any mark that he made on his original cut is erased by his guest, who also took it upon himself to add one hundred percent more disembodied vocals.

The "Hideyaface" remix does what any good remix is supposed to do: it repurposes the original material in a bid for a wider audience.  Not that any mainstream radio station would touch any of these guys, obviously, but the underground spans quite a few different levels of fandom, and the addition of an El-Producto instrumental automatically boosts the track's profile, especially today.  Hell, if there are Run The Jewels fans reading this who never bothered to listen to a Ghostface Killah verse until today, then I'm happy to have done my job exposing you to another side of hip hop. 


The "Hideyaface" single ends with a reprise of sorts, Prefuse 73's "Shaolin Finale" version of the track, which features our host taking back what was supposed to be his for an instrumental outro that amps up the dark moodiness, just in time for Halloween.  Neither Ghost nor Jamie appear on this version, though, so I've included it here simply for entertainment purposes.  Just listen to it. It's good, right?  Now why the fuck wasn't the original song laid over this beat?

GO WITH THE O.G. OR THE REMIX?  Remix by about a million points.  Besides, unless the GZA appears on Run The Jewels 3, you're not going to hear any Wu-Tang Clan members over an El-P beat anytime soon, so enjoy the novelty, at least.  By the way: that idea is free, guys.  The Genius is expecting your call.

-Max

1 comment:

  1. I heard the remix about a million times before I finally tracked down the original. I was disappointed.

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