The Other Bridge Wars – Rap Remakes Part 1
Wednesday June 08th 2005,
Filed under: Features
Written by:

The Bridge

I was recently thinking about rap remakes, and the fact that – unlike almost every other form of popular music – hip-hop remakes and cover versions almost never work. Answer records and songs sharing the same loop could be viewed as “covers” in a way, but remakes in the more traditional sense usually spell disaster.

Possibly the most covered classic is MC Shan‘s “The Bridge”. This timeless QB anthem has been recreated by Mobb Deep (“The Bridge ’94”) and Kamakazee (“Bridge ’95”), while Marley Marl recruited Tragedy and Iman THUG to recreate his masterpiece on “The Bridge 2000”. The following year, QB’s Finest decided to keep beating a dead horse and assembled an all-star cast including Capone, Cormega, Marley Marl, Millennium Thug, Mobb Deep, Nas, Nature, and Tragedy Khadafi to join Shan on L.E.S‘ rendition of “Da Bridge 2001”. Hopefully we won’t see another remake until at least 2010. The Pete Rock remix of Screwball‘s “You Love To Hear The Stories” also features Shan performing a verse from the original “Bridge”, which pretty much qualifies it as another remake (I’m just glad they didn’t call it “Bridge ’98”).

Every version of “The Bridge” features it’s some sort of reference to the original, whether it be the signature high-pitched stabs that set it off, the gritty drum track or sections of Shan’s vocals. The fact that Marley was behind the boards on the ’95 and 2000 editions certainly helped maintain the credibility of these tributes, but even without his production finesse the other versions have all been pretty good. This is notable since almost every other “2000” update of other hip-hop tracks has resulted in pale imitations of the originals. It’s also worth noting that no one in the Bronx has felt the need to remake BDP‘s “South Bronx”, with the exception of KRS-One reheating it for “South Bronx 2002”, which I made a point to avoid at all costs.

Here’s the full-set of “Bridge” songs for you to check out, in lo-fi glory. Feel free to vote for the best remake (or even the original recipe) and I’ll post at high quality in a Steady Bootleggin’ post later in the week.

MC Shan – “The Bridge” (Bridge Records, 1986)

Mobb Deep – “The Bridge ’94” (unreleased)

Kamakazee – Bridge ’95 (white label, 1995)

Marley Marl featuring Tragedy Khadafi and Iman THUG – The Bridge 2000 (Pirate, 1998)

Screwball – “You Love To Hear The Stories” [Pete Rock Remix] (Hydra/Tommy Boy, 2000)

QB’s Finest – “Da Bridge 2001” (Columbia, 2000)

Thanks to Tyson, Jamaal and Super-C for helping out with the audio.

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13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

nice post, its amazing how many times this song got ‘remade’

i never even heard about the mobb deep or kamakazee versions

Comment by mega montana 06.08.05 @

Peace to Super Corey. UGHH represent!

Comment by Brian Beck From Wisconsin 06.08.05 @

great post. There are obvious reasons why rap songs don’t get covered. It’s not like singing a ballad. Same reason why people who have shit ghostwritten for them get knocked. With rap, there has to be originality. But i think hip-hop has enough history now that some covers can be accepted in order to pay homage to old school rappers…ie. rappers delight

Comment by Geekbird 06.08.05 @

glad to help anytime….word the fuck up!

holla if ya ever need anything

good looks on the Bridge 2000….needed that ish right thurrr

Comment by Super-C 06.09.05 @

Great post-

Never heard the Kamikaze version its pretty dope tho and its not that blatantly biting the original.

Random fact- did u know Mega wrote Shan’s verse for Bridge 2001?

Comment by Air Alex 06.12.05 @

I think it’s safe to say the original is the best but of the remakes I’ve got a lot of love for the Kamikaze version and the QB Finest version has some nice verses on it too. One of those Kamikaze cats has the illest voice. The one who does the first verse. He’s so ill on “Snakes” and the way he starts the verse there with just “CLOWNS…”
Too dope.

Comment by beez 06.12.05 @

the Kamikazee joint is the hottest as far as overall flow goes – reminds me of a new school rapper on the grind these days named Kritikal (who made some noise RIPPING the still tippin’ beat).. The Kamakazee beat is fresh too – reminds me of the ill water drop samples that the Gangstarr protoge, jeru the damaja had on that one tune..

the mobb deep instrumental is brilliant, but the lyrics is lacking..

for old school posterity, I’m gonna have to vote for the original, with Kamikazee a close second.

thanks for one of the most captivating hip hop blogs out there homie – its much appreciated


Comment by DJ Mad Wax 06.14.05 @

Yo Brian Beck…..How can I get in touch with you?>

Comment by Diddict 06.14.05 @

I’m suprised no one’s mentioned Trag and Iman’s version. Easily my pick of the remakes on account of a beat that makes me want to break shit.

Comment by Robbie 06.15.05 @

does heltah skeltah’s “Chicka Woo” make the cut as a remake? lol

firing all cylinders as always mr robbie. great post


Comment by obifromsouthlondon 06.20.05 @

me too robbie. i like the trag/iman thug. it is good for knocking those of you over.

Comment by thesurgeongeneral 06.25.05 @

I thought the original version produced by Mike Herron was the better version.

Comment by Ruube 09.07.05 @

Guys, I need that mobb deep ish!
Please post it at high quality!

Comment by mastercee 09.18.05 @

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