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'Old Town Road' Is Responsible for a Remix Renaissance

This week alone, artists like Lizzo, Saweetie, and Pop Smoke have released major remixes that extend the shelf life of their songs.

by Kristin Corry
Aug 23 2019, 5:31pm

Photo of Lizzo: Burak Cingi/Redferns, Photo of Saweetie: Joseph Okpako Redferns

Artists aren't afraid to remake the same song a handful of times if that means having a shot at a No. 1 song, thanks to Lil Nas X. Diddy might have claimed he invented the hip-hop remix in 2002, but "Old Town Road"'s 19-week reign at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart revitalized the value of the remix. The viral song was infectious on its own, but Lil Nas' popularity increased with each collaborator: Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey, and BTS' RM. Now it looks like artists are taking a cue out of Lil Nas' book, because in the past week alone, Saweetie's "My Type," Lizzo's "Truth Hurts," and Pop Smoke's "Welcome to the Party" have all received star-studded remixes.

It's a tangled web that Lil Nas has weaved, and many artists are looking to replicate his success by taking advantage of streaming's loopholes. This may result in an oversaturation of the remixes, which is a slippery slope, one where musicians are using a broken system to their advantage. For now we're in a remix renaissance, and our only request is that every remix be as good as the ones that follow. Get ready to be remixed to death.

"My Type Remix," Saweetie featuring Jhené Aiko and City Girls

All-women posse cuts are a rarity, but Saweetie's "My Type Remix" follows the camaraderie led by Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj in a "Hot Girl Summer" world. Jhené Aiko trades in her hushed vocals for the bravado she put on display on 2015's "Post To Be." "That's the type of shit that make a bitch DTD/ That's drop them draws, I'ma lock them jaws / You ain't never had a bitch from Slauson," she raps. When it comes time for Yung Miami to close the track, she does so with unshakable confidence. "I go viral when I talk, period," she raps. Saweetie's new rendition of "My Type" brings us one step closer to an updated "Ladies Night Remix."

"Truth Hurts," Lizzo featuring DaBaby

We never imagined DaBaby would try to an answer Lizzo's question of the decade: "Why men great 'til they gotta be great?" He turns Lizzo's memorable one liner—which Hillary Clinton recently pretended to know—into one overflowing with the South Carolina rapper's confidence. "I just took a DNA test and it told me I'm the realest, pretty chocolate nigga out here with some good dick," he raps. He uses his flow to bounce over "Truth Hurts" piano keys, which match the effortless energy of his off-the-wall videos perfectly. DaBaby's presence on the song feels like a ploy to revive the two-year-old song, even if it is still eligible for consideration at next year's Grammys. Our only question is, what took so long to get DaBaby on this beat?

"Welcome to the Party," Pop Smoke featuring Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj's verse on Pop Smoke's "Welcome to the Party" is probably the closest thing we've seen to Old Nicki in years. The Queens veteran and the Brooklyn newcomer unite for a sound that is as New York as a bacon egg and cheese from your favorite bodega. "Never backtrack if I ain't fucking with you / You can't sit with us, but you might could go," she raps. Nicki is probably the only one who could sneak a Mean Girls reference on one of the grittiest songs out now, and we're not mad at it.

"Welcome to the Party," Pop Smoke featuring Skepta

The more remixes for "Welcome to the Party," the better. The song's production drew parallels to U.K.'s grime scene, which makes Skepta's appearance on the track the only thing that makes sense in this world. He takes Pop Smoke's execution and elevates it. If Pop Smoke is claiming to have molly, xan, and lean, Skepta ups the ante and mentions "X, shrooms, and acid." The U.K. rapper's delivery is so convincing that when he says, "Got heavy metal like a bench press / It's a waste of time sending death threats," you believe him.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for VICE. Follow her on Twitter.