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Remix Report Card

Were There Any Good Remixes for the Summer or What?

“Flicka Da Wrist,” “Fuck Up Some Commas,” “Post To Be,” and more get graded in the latest remix report card.

by Al Shipley
16 July 2015, 9:00am


Photo courtesy of Freebandz

The past three months have seen some big hits, often R&B tracks, get the all-star remix treatment. Fetty Wap ascended to the level of frequent guest star, Wiz Khalifa opened up about his divorce, and three fourths of an iconic group rapped together for the first time in years.

Continued below...

“Classic Man (Remix)” by Jidenna featuring Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar rarely jumps into the mix to appear on rap or R&B hits—in the last couple years he’s mostly done so for crossover collaborations with the likes of Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons. So it seems like Jidenna’s celebration of elegant yet streetsmart manhood must have resonated with Kendrick for him to want to hop on the track. The “casket man” riff is corny, but otherwise his verse is pretty good, and it’s fun to hear him rap over an unapologetic club banger in contrast to To Pimp A Butterfly.

Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: B

“Flicka Da Wrist (Remix)” by Chedda Da Connect featuring Fetty Wap, Yo Gotti, Boosie Badazz, and Boston George

First of all, what the fuck is a Boston George? It sounds like some kind of obscure sex act, possibly involving defecation. Chedda Da Connect sets off the remix with a new verse, and while it’s always interesting to hear an artist cough up a new flow for their own hit after a few months of exposure to the original, he’s not much of a rapper in either version. Yo Gotti sounds so at home on the beat that it feels like it could’ve been his to begin with, although then we’d be settling for mere competence not far above Chedda’s. Boosie, however, brings things into life in the way he usually does: “The streets talk about my hundred goons / Got out of jail, came home, oh! My house a hundred rooms!”

Best Verse: Boosie Badazz
Overall Grade: C+

“Fuck Up Some Commas (Remix)” by Future featuring Rick Ross and Big Sean

Big Sean has mastered a certain kind of circular logic where simple word association takes the place of actual wordplay, as demonstrated multiple times here: “threw a party with Future, that’s Futurama,” “I’ma empire it 'til my empire big as Empire.” Rozay takes to the sharp angles of “Commas” less naturally than Sean but sounds better on the beat.

Best Verse: Rick Ross
Overall Grade: D

“Hot Boy (Remix)” by Bankroll Fresh featuring Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and Turk

All four Hot Boys haven’t been on a track together in over a decade, although all but Turk reunited on B.G.’s “Ya Heard Me” in 2009. Now, with B.G. locked up since 2012, we get another 75 percent Hot Boys reunion on the remix to Bankroll Fresh’s hit homage to the New Orleans supergroup. Turk sounds especially excited to be in any kind of spotlight again, and Wayne sounds surprisingly heartfelt shouting out his old groupmates, but Juvenile just goes off.

Best Verse: Juvenile
Overall Grade: B+

“I Bet (Remix)” by Ciara featuring T.I.

Much like the “Body Party” remix, this doubles the tempo to recast the song in the mold of a classic “1, 2 Step” Ciara dance cut, and it rules. I always hated the original “I Bet,” but once you remove the knockoff “U Got It Bad” beat, the song’s wounded sass comes across better. T.I. pokes a little fun at the total lack of mystery around who the song was written for, wisecracking “Who you talkin to?” at Ciara before beginning his verse.

Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: A-

“I Don’t Get Tired (Remix)” by Kevin Gates

“I don’t get tired” was the Kevin Gates meme before it was the breakout Kevin Gates radio hit, but he really means it. He doesn’t need any guests for the remix, not even the August Alsina hook. He’s going to rap for 80 consecutive bars, practically unspooling the entire story of career, complete with tangents about Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse, and he’s still not going to get tired.

Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: A

“Marvin Gaye (Remix)” by Charlie Puth featuring Wale

Next time Wale acts all frustrated and confused that people don’t respect him, remind him that he jumps on tracks like this. The sad thing is he actually sounds like he’s putting in an effort here. Like he really likes the song.

Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: D

“Planes (SoX Remix)” by Jeremih featuring Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment

In the long, protracted saga of Jeremih’s still as-yet-unreleased third album, “Planes” has been a particularly frustrating chapter. The Chicago singer appeared at a hometown show by Chance The Rapper over a year ago and debuted a version of “Planes” with a verse by Chance and a dazzling horn arrangement by his band, The Social Experiment. Then the studio version of “Planes,” sans horns and with a truly horrendous verse by the more bankable J. Cole was released and recently became a radio hit. After all of that, The Social Experiment finally liberated a remix of “Planes.” And for better or worse, it is a remix, not the original Vinylz beat with Donnie Trumpet horns as heard in the song’s live performance but a whole new track by Lido that doesn’t quite work as well. Still, it’s great to finally get a studio recording of Chance’s verse, which is bawdy with a disarming sweetness that Cole’s verse lacks.

Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: B

“Post To Be (Remix)” by Omarion featuring Dej Loaf, Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign, and Rick Ross

What do you when you remix the “eat the booty like groceries” song without Jhene Aiko around to repeat her signature catchphrase? You get Trey Songz to sample the line in his verse and riff on it, “Had that pussy like ‘clean up on aisle 3.’” Ty Dolla $ign’s verse is surprisingly lifeless, like he ran out of ideas for the song after helping to pen the original. But Dej Loaf taps into the loopy singsong energy of the song, tossing an unexpected interpolation of The Sound Of Music into her goofy 16.

Best Verse: Dej Loaf
Overall Grade: B

“Somebody (Remix)” by Natalie La Rose featuring Jeremih, Fetty Wap, Sage The Gemini, and Troy Ave

Natalie La Rose’s breakout hit was anchored by Jeremih, one of the great hook men of our time, and on the remix two more come in for reinforcements. There’s also Troy Ave, who’s trash as expected, but he’s only eight bars of trash. Meanwhile La Rose gets lost in the mix even more than before.

Best Verse: Fetty Wap
Overall Grade: B-

“Somebody Else (Remix)” by Rico Love featuring Usher and Wiz Khalifa

Rico Love is as much an A&R man as he is a performer, so it’s no surprise that he expertly curated the remix to his latest single, adding two famous divorcees to the mournful breakup song. Wiz Khalifa is not one of rap’s great introspective thinkers, and he hasn’t made a lot of music lately that mirrors his real life drama since splitting with Amber Rose. But here he digs fairly deep and musters maybe more emotion than he did in phoning in a Paul Walker eulogy, addressing some angry and frustrated bars to Amber before shrugging, defeated, “Truthfully, it ain’t you, it’s me.”

Best Verse: Wiz Khalifa
Overall Grade: B-

Al Shipley does this every three months, and he's relieved that he didn’t have to listen to any French Montana verses this time around. Follow him on Twitter.