There was a time in hip hop and R&B where artists did not feature another artist on their track –unlike today. The original artist would croon their melodic voices on the track or rap hard bars that sounded as rich as gold. However, whenever that hip hop or R&B artist featured a guest artist on their track for a remix, sometimes the remix was better than the original song. As I teleworked one night during COVID-19, my husband and I listened to remixes that were better than the original songs. He and I created the following list of ten hip hop and R&B tracks where the remix was better than the original.
#1 “Touch It Remix” by Busta Rhymes ft. DMX, Papoose, Lloyd Banks, Missy Elliott, Rah Digga & Mary J. Blige
This remix may touch the hearts of a lot of people because it is one of nostalgia. The original song by itself has hard beats that would make anybody nod their head. Busta Rhymes had bars that showed his skills of fast rapping without losing his tongue in the mix. When he had all those rappers drop their bars on this song, it may have reminded others how the remix was better than the original. Does anyone remember when a cheerleading squad from 106 and Park’s Wild Out Wednesday killed their dance routine to the original “Touch It?” He placed those girls in the song’s remix video. BET, where are those girls now?
#2 “I Look Good Remix” by Chalie Boy ft. Slim Thug, Juvenile, & Bun B
This remix will take others to the mid-2000s. The original song already had metaphors and word play that was reminiscent of that era. However, the remix has other crooners on the track that added even more metaphors and word play. To this day people probably bob their head to lyrics, “On My Momma (Momma) On My Hood (Hood) I Look Fly (Yeah) I Look Good (Good) Touch My Swag (Swag) Wish You Could (Could) I Look Fly (Yeah) I Look Good (Good).”
#3 “It’s All about the Benjamin’s Remix” by Puff Daddy (today Diddy) ft. The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim, & The LOX
Puff Daddy and Bad Boy ran the airwaves in the 1990s. To this day, people love the remix to this song, “It’s All about the Benjamins.” Everyone loves to talk about how Lil’ Kim killed the verse by letting others know why she is the queen bee. She rightfully knew she was the only female in the Bad Boy family and holds her own. Her attitude shows she did not care what was said about her profanity. Lyrics: “Uh, uh, what the bloodclaat Wanna bumble with the Bee, huh? Bzzz, throw a hex on the whole family (Yeah, yeah yeah) Dressed in all black like The Omen (Say what)?”
#4 “Throw Some D’s Remix” by Rich Boy ft. Andre’ 3000, Murphy Lee, Nelly, Jim Jones, The Game
When was the last time anyone heard from Rich Boy? When was the last time anyone heard of Murphy Lee? Who cares? This remix of the song still cannot stop others from rapping the lyrics. One of the refreshing things about this remix is it still makes people dance and bob their head. But it may be still refreshing because it makes one think “Where are these artists now?”
#5 “My Chick Bad Remix” by Ludacris ft. Diamond, Trina, Eve
The original song featured Nicki Minaj. However, that remix really showed how women have the talent to be in a male dominated rap game. The remix featured an up-and-coming artist named Diamond. But heavy hitters with over a decade in the game were integral: Trina and Eve. Taj Stansberry, director of the video for the remix, had this to say in an interview with Vibe Magazine:
“Not a second went by on that set where someone didn’t come up to my left or right ear and let me know, ‘You know this is a big responsibility, right?’ followed by a laugh. Chaka, Luda and everybody at DTP was saying it. Everybody was well aware that this was a big moment for female rappers.”
#6 “I’m So Hood Remix” by DJ Khaled ft. T-Pain, Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil’ Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman and Rick Ross
My fingers went through so much to type the name of these artists featured on this remix. One thing a person knows about DJ Khaled, he always manages to put over five people on a song – and the song will not be horrible. This remix had rappers that hail from Atlanta, New York, Florida and New Orleans. For a flashback, this came out in 2007. Which verse is your favorite?
#7 “Flawless Remix” by Beyoncé ft. Nicki Minaj
This remix is another hit where females show there is more to them than being a pretty face. Beyoncé personally wanted Nicki Minaj for the remix to her song, “Flawless.” A song where Beyoncé gets a little cocky, but here’s more information about the remix. In Nicki Minaj’s Hot 97 interview in August 2014 she detailed how it came together:
“A month or two ago, Gee [Roberson] called me when I was on my way to Vegas and said, ‘Beyoncé wants you to remix to ‘Flawless.” After I got proper medical help and started breathing again, I was like, ‘What?’ She sent me a version that she wanted. She told me, ‘I want you to be you. I don’t want you to hold back.” I said, ‘You sure?’ She said, ‘Yeah. I want you to be you and do you.”
Raise your hands if you are glad that Nicki did not hold back with the lyrics.
#8 “Right Here (Remix)” by SWV
Known as Sisters with Voices, the original song, “Right Here” is over 20 years old. However, it is a song about relationships that several generations can relate to. The women’s vocals blended in so well in the original. But the remix sampled Michael Jackson’s 1984 hit, “Human Nature.” Michael Jackson okayed them to use the sample and gave it to them for FREE. Fun Facts: Teddy “No Diggity” Riley did the remix. Pharrell Williams is in the background chanting “S-W-V.”
I had to add the SWV remix because anyone who knows me, knows I love “Human Nature.”
#9 “Let’s Get Married Remix” by Jagged Edge ft. Run DMC
There are plenty of engagement parties and weddings that still plays this 2000 hit (it turned 20 this year). The original song had a soft tone that resonated with people, but the remix had a faster rhythm. The remix samples Run DMC’s “It’s Like That,” which is one of the best-selling singles of all time. This remix connected people from several different music eras.
Side Note: My husband played this song 20 times the weekend he proposed to me.
#10 “Still not a Player” by Big Pun ft. Joe
Who else forgot this song was a remix? There are radio stations to this day that plays this song for their throwback hit of the day. Most stations play this remix more than the original song. That piano and other instruments make the song smooth, sultry, and having everyone thinking of their days in the club. Who could forget the infamous verse:
“Every pretty round brown hoe wanna go down low But this Boogie Down pro-fessional, I’ma let you know Once I quit the blows, get your clothes, cause you got to go I could go downstairs, little brown hairs everywhere (You nasty Big) I don’t care Round here they call me Big Pun, if you with the big guns Thick tongue, known to make a chick come.”
What are your favorite parts of this song?
I know there are songs that I did not have on this list. But I already know you rapped the lyrics to these remixes that are better than the original song.
Here are a few that I did not have on the list but have very interesting facts.
#1 Mariah Carey and ODB “Fantasy” – I was in a lip sync contest with this song in high school.
#2 Usher, Beyoncé and Lil’ Wayne “Love in this Club Remix” – My best friend and I listened to this song on the iPod (remember these?) on the bus back in the day.
And for the new schoolers . . .
#3 Meg Thee Stallion and Beyonce “Savage Remix”
#4 Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj “Say So Remix”
Please comment and share this list. What were you expecting to see on the list? Which ones were you shocked to see?
Katrina Wilson is a Carolina girl figuring out the Northern Virginia atmosphere. You can follow her on Twitter at KatrinaMWilson_.