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7 Hip Hop Remixes That Were Better Than the Originals

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Unlike most other genres of music, the hip hop remix goes beyond just tweaking elements to the original song. In many cases, a remix cannot only redefine a track’s identity, but reach even greater heights than the song it was created around. In fact, there are some remixes that are are so much more popular than their original counterparts, a lot of people mistakenly think that that’s the only version of the song. Here’s a quick crash course on the top seven hip hop remixes that really outdid themselves.

1) Craig Mack “Flava In Ya Ear” (Remix) (featuring Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, & Rampage) 

Poor Craig Mack. Assembling some of New York’s hottest rappers of the moment probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but this star-studded assembly all but assured that no one would ever reach back to play the OG version. But then again, it enabled Bad Boy Entertainment’s first signee to cement himself in history on one of the label’s most beloved tracks, which is not the worst thing in the world.

2) Puff Daddy “All About the Benjamins” (Remix) (featuring Lil’ Kim, the Lox, & Notorious B.I.G.) 

Speaking of Bad Boy…it would be difficult to do a list about hip hop remixes and not include a song by the man who claimed that he invented the damn thing. This song and its accompanying video typify the legendary run of the label driven by the man who would be Diddy. With its hard-hitting rhymes and hypnotic loop, this is the sound of a collective of artists at their creative and commercial peak.

3) Talib Kweli “Get By” (Remix) (featuring Mos Def, Jay Z, Kanye West, & Busta Rhymes)

BK emcee Talib Kweli’s Kanye West-produced single “Get By” was already the biggest hit of his career, but adding his partner-in-rhyme Mos Def and the out-of-nowhere surprise of Jay Z helped catapult this song to a whole new level.

4) Public Enemy “Shut Em Down” (Remix) 

Public Enemy had always favored the more bombastic sounds of their in-house production team The Bomb Squad, but hip hop super producer Pete Rock was able to marry the lyrical urgency of Chuck D with his signature jazzy swing that somehow made for the perfect fit.

5) Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire “The Last Huzzah” (Remix) (featuring Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown, & El-P) 

Look familiar? Some of 2011’s most notorious emerging underground hip hoppers (and pre-Run the Jewels veteran El-P) let their freak flags fly on this remix to Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire’s “The Last Huzzah” while also paying homage to the aforementioned “Flava In Ya Ear” clip.

6) Mobb Deep “Shook Ones Part II” 

The Queensbridge duo took a slept-on 12-inch single that failed to make much noise early in their career, and gave it an update with a menacing beat and classic verses that would transform it into one of the most iconic 90’s hip hop songs of all-time.

7) De La Soul “Buddy (Native Tongue Decision)” (featuring Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jungle Brothers, Monie Love, & Queen Latifah)

The “Buddy” remix served as a coming-out party for the vibrant Native Tongues collective in the early 90s, demonstrating the sheer amount of personality and synergy that its members (many of whom popped up on the funky groove) shared with one another as well as in their solo careers.

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