Everyone seems to be a hater these days (hell, it seems to be what keeps the blogging community, and much of the internet, running strong). Hater is the new hipster and if you don't believe me, walk up to a group of hipster looking kids and I bet you they will be hating on something, very likely hipsters.
One common thing that has been said through the years about an artist's second album is something along the lines of "Well, it's pretty good, but not as good as their first album." This is why artists dread their second album so much, they know that it will be compared to an overblown opinion of their first album (ironically, sometimes, it is not actually being compared to their first album at all but their first major release which might actually be their second album) . This inability to listen to an album as an individual has always sort of irked me.
Recently a video of a very talented piano player, named Ryan Leslie, surfaced of him improvising along with Lil' Wayne's single "lollipop"
I personally love what he does with the song and this video reminded me that the original isn't always the best and sometimes the 2nd can overshadow the 1st. This is the case with a lot of remixes but below are some that are so good, it's hard for me to listen to the original again(mpFrees included).
Q. Tip told Kanye West about the situation with the Blood Diamonds of Africa and he decided to make a song about it to raise awareness and he actually made two songs, one addressing the subject about it, and the other...well, let's just say not so much. I bet you can guess which one got played on MTV. That aside, Lupe used the beat in one of his mixtapes and absolutely slaughtered the track. He called his song Conflict Diamonds and while I don't know if it would technically be a remix, I think this is one of his stronger tracks lyrically and worth a mention.
She Wants to Move, by N.E.R.D was remixed and they added Common, Mos Def, Q. Tip, and De La Soul. With that sort of lineup and the musicality of N.E.R.D., it's hard to go wrong with a track.
With a more up tempo beat and Kanye and Consequence spitting on Dwele's Hold On, it's pretty hard to go back to the original.
Being a fan of Musiq, I was happy to see him come out with a new album last year. Being a fan of Lupe as well, I was happy to see him remix Musiq's new single buddy.
Although I am a fan of the Neptune Sound, Ratatat did a great job or remixing Jay Z's track Allure and even adding in B.I.G. in seamlessly for a feature.
Although I'm not the biggest fan of Young Jeezy, I haven't been able to listen to the original of Superstar ever since I heard T.I.'s swagger and wordplay in the remix, I often find myself fast forwarding straight to his part.
John Legend and Clipse are a good contrast stylistically. I am a big fan of both so with the added beat to the tracks and lyrics laid down by Clipse, I haven't been able to listen to the original track of Heaven Only Knows since the remix was released.
Finally, one of my favorite remixes of all (I have put this on way too many mix tapes). Kanye put together a great solo track for Talib when they made Get By (Would you believe he was about to give it to Mariah Carey?!?). When it came around for the remix, they assembled a line up of Mos Def, Jay Z, Kany West, and Busta Rhymes for a song that begins strong and keeps its intensity for all 5 minutes and 44 seconds.
Oh yeah, Kanye recently released a remix to lollipop and I have to say that it doesn't take too much to make this song better. Although the whole voice box thing is overplayed, Kanye really brings his word play game out on this one and Wheezy does the same, causing them to drop the repetitive and dragging hook. I have to admit, for the funny word play alone, I do enjoy the remix.