Stop The Symphony!
Monday September 03rd 2007,
Filed under: Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
Written by:

The greatest posse cut ever? Sure. But Marley Marl‘s signature Juice Crew anthem also stands as the most remade rap song of all time, doubling the number of songs that recreate “The Bridge”. Marley’s first shot at a sequel was luke-warm on all fronts (Little Daddy Shane?), lacking the energy of the original, although G Rap still kilt it. The man once known as NYC Cutter had a third stab at it on his Re-Entry album, assembling a rag-tag bunch of MC’s including the dude from Real Live, a member of World Renown and some random dame called Miss Man (?!) for “Foundation Symphony”. Frankie Cutlass couldn’t track down Master Ace so he grabbed Shante instead for his “Cypher Part 3”, but then forgot to get G Rap to write her verse. Biz Markie also has no business on appearing on a “Symphony” remake, despite his J-U-ICE membership.

Even worse are the remakes that don’t involve Marley or any of the original members. I’m still scratching my head over the inclusion of both “Symphony” and “Symphony 2000” on that shit-tacular Out Of Business album that EPMD released. As if that’s not retarded enough, it’s actually exactly the same song (beat, verses and the whole nine) with different guests inserted on each version! That’s worth a Fuckouttahere award right there. There’s also another imaginatively named millennium version that never really came out, as KRS-One somehow convinced the House of Hits to re-do the song for the talentless Truck Turner, who has to rate as the worst BDP weed carrier of all-time. If not for appearances from Big Pun and the Kool Genius, this version wouldn’t have even rated a mention.

Master Ace’s remake is just plain weird. Not sure if he ran out of beats when he was making Take A Look Around, but he decided to make a dolo version over the original. Guess he didn’t want anyone to forget he was once on a song with Kane and G Rap. The intro piano that you hear on the video version of “The Symphony” has also gotten a little run, as it forms the basis of the classic “Hip Hop Drunkies”, courtesy of Tha Alkaholiks and that drunken maniac ODB. The trend shows no sign of stopping, as UGK recruited Kane and G Rap for yet another shot at the old favorite for their new album. At this stage, I think it’s only right that there be some sort of charter drawn-up to prevent any further remakes, tributes or even lyrical references to “The Symphony”, lest they tarnish the memory of this great song and the fine work of “Dusty” Marl. Please show your support for this important cause at the bottom of this post.

Marley Marl feat. Master Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane – “The Symphony”

Marley Marl feat. Master Ace, Craig G, Big Daddy Kane, Little Daddy Shane and Kool G Rap – “The Symphony II”

Marley Marl feat. Larry-O, Seven Shawn, J-Wells and Miss Man – “Foundation Symphony”

Frankie Cutlass feat. Craig G, Roxanne Shante, Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane – “Cypher Part 3”

EPMD feat. M.O.P – “Symphony”

EPMD feat. Redman, Method Man and Lady Luck – “Symphony 2000”

Master Ace – “Four Minus Three”

Tha Alkaholiks feat. ODB – “Hip-Hop Drunkies”

UGK feat. Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap – “Next Up”

Marley Marl – “The Symphony” video:

Should All Future Remakes of The Symphony be banned?

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48 Comments so far
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Another one you forgot about… Marley Marl also produced “Flow On (New Symphony)” for his first draft players at the time, The Lords Of the Underground, with De’1 and Sah-B (that had a nice Pete Rock remix), which in turn spawned a sort of unofficial sequel, “Da Underground Sound” by De’1 featuring LOTUG and Sah-B.

Also, I liked The Symphony part 2… though the video mix where he switches back and forth between the two versions of the song has a little more energy than the album version or the remix.

Comment by Werner von Wallenrod 09.03.07 @

And there’s another one: the “Affirmative Action” Remix on the b-side of “Street Dreams”.

The Truck Turner track did come out as a 12″ on Jive.

Comment by Krisch 09.03.07 @

not really a remake but that Capleton/Meth joint ‘Wings Of The Morning’ used the Symphony beat.

Comment by step one 09.03.07 @

even the black crowes had a hit by stealing otis’s joint. thats a really good beat.

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.03.07 @

speaking of EPMD, was ‘Its My Thing 99’ really necessary?!

Comment by step one 09.03.07 @

Even Snoop had a re-make on the NL Top Dogg album.

Comment by Funk Jones 09.03.07 @

Wings Of The Morning used the break but it wasn’t a posse cut, nice track though especially when it dropped.

I know you only feature unsung heroes most of the time, Robbie, but an EPMD feature would be cool.

Comment by silent minority 09.03.07 @

that epmd song is my least favorite thing they ever did. I think they may have just called it that because well.. it had symphony music.

Good call on the firm song.

Comment by bbatson 09.03.07 @

Good post robbie . i got sick of all the symphony rehashes .. lol @ shante’s verse on cypher

Comment by DOLO 09.04.07 @

Robbie can you do something on Traum and Mastamix records, which I think is the label NYOIL is on?

I just heard the Live From Hell track from last year and I have to say I haven’t felt a track like this for a long, long time.

Does any have the Natural Born Killas comp by them?
I’m buying that shit asap.
How comeone nobody mentioned this shit? I’m playing it on repeat non stop.

Comment by silent minority 09.04.07 @

I like that new UGK one.

Comment by Mike G 09.04.07 @

Traum – Live From Hell (2006)

Comment by silent minority 09.04.07 @

Funkoars had a remake on their last LP. Not bad, not great.

I havent listened to it yet but Im looking forward to that Masta Ace track, he’s an all-time great emcee.

Comment by Coxman 09.04.07 @

Can’t help myself but the phrase is “I couldn’t care less,” not “I could care less.”

Comment by Alex 09.04.07 @

^ Guess you don’t hear many rappers getting interviewed, huh?

Comment by Robbie 09.04.07 @

Correction – that Traum track is from 1997 originally, I got it wrong since it was the bside to a Cormega 12 last year.

When I heard it I thought to myself how it sounded very 90s and funnily enough it is some 90s shit.

Does anyone have his Mad Dreams 12?

Comment by silent minority 09.04.07 @

Correction – that track was first released in 97, I was going by the release date of the Cormega 12 which featured this on the bside.

Has anyone got the Traum – Mad Dreams 12?

Comment by silent minority 09.04.07 @

Don’t 4get that Dipset had a remake of this joint too, and as u would suspect its very 4gettable….

And Alex stfu, we kno what the hell he meant


Comment by Tired-N-Broke 09.04.07 @

Yeah, I notice you don’t mention the Dipset remake. They had their b-lineup on there though

Comment by Tray 09.05.07 @

Altought that EPMD album was average at best
I always thought that the the Symphony track with M.O.P was the best track on there, and a banging-ass song anyway.
Especially when they go “E. M.O.P M.D”….

Hot shit on a lacklustre LP.

Comment by Question Marc 09.05.07 @

hey robbie, whatup with a kool g interview, that would be fresh, and i agree, endless remakes of songs just destroy the integrity of the original unless it is a truly good remake, the ones listed in the interview and the comments make it seem a bit redic, i copped M.O.P.’s last shit and it was mostly garbage, they are really hit or miss, they were on point with ante up, but tend to disappoint 75 percent of the time

Comment by gstatty 09.05.07 @

Sorry but i personally got tired of that 89′..i liked the posse cut-ness better than the beat which i have to say was dope but repetative to say the least im not sure of it merits the title best posse cut ever??

Comment by Don P.M.ES 09.05.07 @

“Yeah, I notice you don’t mention the Dipset remake. They had their b-lineup on there though”

I thought dipset was a b lineup!!!

Comment by turtle 09.05.07 @

M.O.P is fucking dope and Dipset is fucking wack and that’s all I gotta say.

Comment by Mike G 09.05.07 @

don pmes that beat came out when my father was a teenager…it’s effin classic. thats stax right there homie….

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.05.07 @

oh yeah thats def the best posse cut ever…whats better? uptowns kickin it? buddy? live at the q?

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.05.07 @

LA LA is my favorite posse cut

Comment by cv 09.05.07 @

if la la is ur def young

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.05.07 @

one more thing…saying a loop is repetitive is like saying water is wet.

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.05.07 @

Personally i don’t have a favorite however iv rated the ‘Juice Crew Allstars’ cut since school dinners, so it comes a close first or second maybe to Self Destruction which i also really like;dope song and concept.
The Symphony wasn’t even the best cut on the Marley Marl In Control vol.1 imo, but who cares? lol.

Comment by Don P.M.ES 09.05.07 @

too many dope posse cuts from that era. Scenario, Live At The BBQ, Headbanger etc arethe obvious mentions. I used to like the Rhyme Syndicate joints on the Ice T albums (fuck Twista, Nat The Cat is the truth!!). Flava In Ya Ear & I ShotYA remixes are heavy aswell

Comment by step one 09.05.07 @

The posse cut was a brilliant idea in the days of old to highlight new talent,I think it has been abused to some degree,but..damn didn’t we get some classic posse cuts”?
1.”brothers in action”-Lakim Shabazz
2.5 men an a mic-Special Ed
4.Grand finale-D.O.C.&N.W.A.
5.MOney in the bank-Kool G.Rap
6.Goda are taking heads-King Sun &P.R.T.
Classics man.classics.

Comment by Roger Jones 09.05.07 @

ha ha self destruction and juice crew all stars over the symphony? wowzers…self desturction?that wasnt even a song…that was every popular song out at the time……juice crew all stars doesnt even need to be spoken on…

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.05.07 @

“let that shit come down…alright…uh that’s fucked they gonna play Symphony”

-something close to that from the intro to the “Off & On Freestyle Mix” w/Finesse.

Oh, it’s been abused, but Nas did come with those “Where Are They Now” remixes and that was worth it to me…done right, the posse cut is still gonna get a ton of airplay in my headphones.

Just wait till Lil’ Mama starts dropping posse cuts, she’s gonna rule the world.


Comment by jowhite 09.05.07 @

Headbanger is my fave posse cut. Later on, Day One -DITC. Probably forgetting some shit though.

Comment by silent minority 09.05.07 @

Best posse cut song is every song on Enter the 36 Chambers.

Comment by Mike G 09.06.07 @

where’d all dem media go?

Comment by Big B Texas 09.08.07 @

Some of my favourite poose cuts no order:

The Symphony
Live At The BQQ
Back To The Grill Again
1,2 Pass It
It’s Time To Build
Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)
I Shot Ya (Remix)

Comment by Kevin 09.11.07 @

i guess its only me, but i was checking the credits on the UGK album, and the drum programming was done by K-Def. and the slap sounds like a joint off willie boo boo, now robbie like you said in a previous joint, who turned the knob is the real producer right? i guess marley was just a glorified mixer and a&r on that joint.

Comment by e-breaks 09.16.07 @

Mad Dreams is on the Natural Born Killas Vol. 1 CD. I just did a new joint with Big Noyd that Ayatollah produced that will be out on itunes on the 26th. NYOIL is on my label he has a P & D deal with my company Masta Mix Records. Mad Dreamz the album will be out dec. of this year, I got brand new joints with Cormega, Lil Fame, Noyd and Screwball. for more info you can go to

Comment by Traum 10.20.07 @

Traum, I hope you have more joints like Live From Hell. I will cop you lp as soon as you drop it. I’ll probably pick up Natural Born Killas vol 1.

I heard snippets of a Big Noyd track on your myspace, to be honest I wasn’t feeling it that much. Maybe because it wasn’t finished.

ust hoping there’s something similar to Live From Hell-beats and lyric wise coming from you.

Comment by silent minority 10.21.07 @

Damn spelling in that comment is messed up…..

Live From Hell is the shit, though.

Comment by silent minority 10.21.07 @

Yea it’s alot of that Boom Bap like live from hell on the LP. That joint was from 97 but the style is pretty much the same.

Comment by Traum 10.21.07 @

yo you guys should really keep it up and maybe you might just fall into a record deal i love what your doing and i will look forward to seeing your name in the future of music

Comment by recordman5798 02.14.08 @

Dipset had their own version.

Comment by Scotty Rock 05.13.09 @

Big L ripped the Symphony beat on his posthumous LP Harlem’s Finest. The song was called Hardpack 125 and was a “freestyle” (meaning the DJ was cutting the break and he did it in one take) Big L’s last verse was crazy!!!!

Comment by 5 Grand 05.25.09 @

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