The Search For The Most Unnecessary Remixes On A Twelve Inch
Thursday July 01st 2010,
Filed under: Crates,Features,In Search Of...,Not Your Average,The Unkut Guide
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Hip-hop was the music of the twelve-inch single up until the ’87-’88, when the rap album became it’s own animal, as opposed to a collection of singles. But the Maxi-Single wasn’t going to just lie down and take that shit lightly, and it struck back like CAP-One, “the object is more…not the biggest or the beautifulist – but more”. Once having remixes out the ying-yang caught on, that shit went nuts. It was almost as if some of these A&R kids were competing to see how many big-name producers they could get on one single! Either that, or dudes were just too blunted to make a concise decision, so they figured, ‘Fuck it, throw ’em all on there!’ Next thing you know, there are seven different mixes of the same song to choose from.

Here’s a prime example – the third single from Leaders Of The New School, ‘The International Zone Coaster’ came complete with a ‘Re-Remix Edit’, ‘Remix’, ‘Ultra Shandilere Tango-Trixx Mix’, ‘Zone Flight Z9ZU Mix’ and the ‘Radio Edit’ (which was actually another remix!). The problem was, all the mixes were good so trying to figure out which one to rock was a pain in the ass. Das-Efx gave us ‘Real Hip-Hop’ with four versions (Premier‘s LP Version, Pete Rock Remix, Solid Scheme Remix and the PMD Remix), while King Tee‘s ‘Diss You’ featured the ‘Dance Mix’, ‘Dust Mix’, ‘Single Edit, ‘Club Mix’ and ‘LP Version’, as well as two instrumentals. No shots at King Tee The Great, but that song didn’t need one version…

From here, things really got out of control, with the introduction of the double 12″ remix fad. The earliest example of this that springs to mind was the Rebel MC / Double Trouble 21 Remixes, which featured ‘Street Tuff’ as the ‘Scar Mix’, ‘Club Mix’, ‘Robin Albers ‘The Indian’ Mix’, ‘Norman Cook Mix’, ‘Longsy D Remix’, ‘Ruff Mix’ and the ‘Bass Heavy Mix’, in addition to ‘Just Keep Rockin’ as the ‘Hiphouse Mix’, ‘DMC Mix’, ‘Sk’ouse Remix’, ‘Robin Albers Mix’, ‘Hiphouse Remix’ plus various dubs! All of them were garbage, obviously. Remember the endless remixes of East Flatbush Project‘s ‘Tried By 12’? Ninja Tune included eleven alternative versions of this indy track that most notable for it’s original loop rather than the vocals. Were Trip-Hop versions worth the effort? Of course not.

But it wasn’t all bad news though, as The Roots had a run on Geffen which resulted in some of the best value-for-money rap singles ever. For example:

Silent Treatment (Kelo’s Mix-Clean)
Silent Treatment (Da Beatminerz Mix-Clean)
Silent Treatment (Street Mix)
Silent Treatment (Da Beatminerz Bonus Beats)
Silent Treatment (Black Thought’s ’87 You And Yours Mix-Clean)
Silent Treatment (Question’s Mix-Clean)
Silent Treatment (Radio Edit) 4:32
Silent Treatment (Kelo’s Bonus Beats)
Silent Treatment (Black Thought’s Bonus Beats)

Let’s not forget the five different – and equally superb – versions of ‘Distortion To Static’ and ‘Proceed’. But thanks to Craig Mack‘s ‘Flava In Ya Ear’ remix, everyone figured out that the easiest way to do a remake was just to invite a bunch of MC’s to rap over your original beat. Combine that with the virtual extinction of the vinyl single, and the art of the rap remix has become somewhat of a forgotten discipline, with the exception of endless Black Album and Nas bedroom remixes.

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31 Comments so far
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Jungle Brothers continued the trend of unnecessary remixes with about 73 mixes of each single off the “Raw Deluxe” album.

Comment by CrateDigga78 07.01.10 @

I always wondered what pocessed The Roots to do all those remixes.

Comment by hl 07.01.10 @

a good example is that double 12 inch of das fx remixes

Comment by mikki dee 07.01.10 @

on and the gravediggaz 1800 suicide double 12

Comment by mikki dee 07.01.10 @

Maybe I’m missing something here, but what was wrong getting all those different remixes back then ?
To me it was something I really miss… Ain’t nothing better than all these Pete Rock, Buckwild – you name it – remixes they had on almost every single back then!

Comment by Blanco 07.01.10 @

Hammer had the “Get Bucked Mix” on his 2 Legit 2 Quit single. pointless

Comment by @classicmaterial 07.01.10 @

Das EFX Rap Scholar remixes were pretty gash too. Some of those remix singles were pretty good, liked the Roots ones for example. Remixes in general are a good thing but enough is enough. There’s a couple of Guru/Jazzmatazz remix singles too which aren’t all that

Comment by boogs 07.01.10 @

there’s also a Gang Starr You Know My Steez remix 12″ that’s great, in fact I prefered the remixes to the original version

Comment by boogs 07.01.10 @

Now Tribe Called Quest usually had good 12″s but they messed up when they let some UK cats remix Bonita Applebaum.

The original Bonita Applebaum was fire. The remix was fire, with the Isley Brothers beat. But there were 2 more UK 12″s that came out with Bonita Applebaum remixes. I have both of them. All in all there’s about 5 or 5 versions of Bonita Applebaum and truth be told, the album version is my favorite.

I hate buying a 12″ and there’s 3 or 4 versions of the same song. I can understand a radio version and a street version. Or a remix with another MC rocking the mic. But c’mon, make up your mind and put the best version out. And then put a unreleased song on the b-side. Its that simple.

ANd never let anybody from the UK remix your music, especially if your name is Rakim and its between 88-92.

Comment by 5 Grand 07.01.10 @

Organized Konfusion “Stress” remix with Extra P was reason enough to seek out the single.

As well as Black Star “Respiration” Pete Rock remix with Black Thought.

Comment by Fishscale 07.01.10 @

As I started reading this post, the first thing that popped to mind was that Rebel MC single (which I own), which of course was cited shortly thereafter…

Comment by Tim 07.01.10 @

the uk remix of bonita with the rhytym is a dancer if that is what u r talking about? put me on…put me on….put me on…..uhhhh club classic and heavily sought after in nyc. the records listed that people said dint need remixes were wack to begin with. King Tee at ur own risk remix by marley is unfuckwitable. I guess the record has to be hot in the 1st place to eveb try and remix it huh.

Comment by mercilesz 07.01.10 @

i miss the remix years 1991-1995:

best stuff:

slick rick “it’s aboy”-large professor remix
ice-t “lifestyles of the rich and infamous”-dj premier remix
ice-t”mind over matter”-kcut remix
PE”shut em down”-pete rock remix
kool g rap & polo”bad to the bone”-large professor remix
nonchalant”5 ‘o clock” K-def remix

Comment by mario "class of 1988" 07.01.10 @

Personally I think this U.K remix of Bonita Applebum is up to par with the original. It was also huge on the clubs in early 90’s.

Comment by Grass 07.01.10 @

the why remix that grass posted is horrible…thats not the one i was talking about. its the other side of that record. rythym is the dancer and hey hun hey hun….

Comment by mercilesz 07.01.10 @

beside mash ups the ‘original’ remix is dead.
i don’t wanna hear no more mc’s hoppin on a track wit a few mediocre bars and call that shit a remix.

Comment by swordfish 07.01.10 @

I agree 100% about never letting some faggit producer from the UK remixing your shit. 99% of those remixes are straight trash.I even hate the way they press records in the UK. I don’t mind 2 or 3 different remixes on a record, but dude was on point sayin put the album version, radio edit, instrumental, remix, remix instrumental and then a non-album track. Its a simple formula actually.

Comment by Shaun D. aka Wicked 07.01.10 @

that youtube bonita applebum remix is warm trash

Comment by planb 07.01.10 @

What I want to know is why to this day are there radio edits on vinyl? Seriously, who’s playing the fucking wax somewhere where they have to worry about a swear word? Is there some club for 5 yr olds really into hip-hop that I don’t know about?

Comment by Theilf 07.02.10 @

Also, that Pete Rock Remix of Shut ’em down is just about the greatest remix ever.

Comment by Theilf 07.02.10 @

‘Shut Em Down’ is top 5 status, easy.

Comment by Robbie 07.02.10 @

Artifacts’ Buckwild “C’mon Wit Da Get Down” Remix. Amazing. And Busta Rhymes is actually tolerable on it.

Comment by vollsticks 07.02.10 @

Vollsticks, you’re on point about that Artifacts remix by Buckwild featuring Busta. Pure dopeness. Also don’t forget about their Dynamite Soul 12″ which had a remix with Madd Skillz (just Skills now) and a non-album version b-side, “Who I am.”

Comment by Bug 07.02.10 @

Agreed on Shut ’em Down. Buckwild’s remix of Funkdoobiest “Rock On” is amazing too.

Comment by keatso 07.02.10 @

That rock on remix was ill. scritti politti – tinseltown to the boggie down (Beatnuts Remix) was FIYAAAH!

Comment by delivery_bwoy 07.03.10 @

something about the 90’s that had artists remixing their hits just to sell more copies

Comment by gstatty 07.03.10 @

Pete Rock had the early 90’s on lock with the remixes
Jeru – Can’t Stop The Prophet remix
Das EFX – Jussumen remix
House Of Pain – Jump Around remix
P.E. – Shut’em Down remix

Comment by Mec0ne 07.04.10 @

and the A.D.O.R. remix too..

Comment by dj blendz 07.04.10 @

Cosign all the above. I had a Too Short “Paystyle” CD Single that somebody left at my crib with a D.J. Premier mix of “In The Trunk.” I never gave a damn about Too Short until I heard that and then I gained a new appreciation for him – which is to say I bumped the dogshit out of that remix at least.

Comment by A'Pex 07.05.10 @

Channel Live “mad izm” (original buckwild remix), butter!!!!

Comment by Jaycee 07.05.10 @

I agree 100% about never letting some faggit producer from the UK remixing your shit.

Opinion of a full on idiot.

Comment by Jeezy 02.17.11 @

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