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This is the Remix!: When the Remix is Better than the Original (Part 2)

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A couple weeks ago we were successfully able to determine that Diddy did not in fact invent the remix.

Thus, the dastardly album cover at left — by the way, is Diddy wearing leather pants? — represents a complete fallacy.

Shame on you, Sean.

There is, however, admittedly significant evidence pointing to Diddy’s influence and accomplishments as a remixer — at least within the Hip Hop/R&B community. Many of the examples I gave of songs whose remixes turned out to eclipse their respective originals in terms of either quality, popularity, or both, are indeed the work of Diddy and his Hitmen production crew over at Bad Boy Records. So I’ll definitely give him his fair share of credit for bringing us remixes of “Only You” from 112, “Fantasy” from Mariah Carey, and Usher’s “I Need a Girl.”

All three of these remixes far surpassed their original versions in their measure of street cred and mass appeal, if not in actual chart performance. Yet given today’s differing musical climate, one hot with digital downloads, highly-targeted Satellite radio broadcasts, more music channels than ever, and the overall increased accessibility of music, I would wager that all three remixes would fair far better by Billboard’s measurements today than when they were originally released. Simply put, more people would know about them, more people would hear them, and more people would be able to obtain them, giving the remixes a much broader reach.

In the television industry, viewers are often known simply as “eyeballs” — the more eyeballs your advertisements have on them, the more they are worth. The same should hold true in the music industry: the more “eardrums” a certain song attracts, the more valuable it becomes and the higher it rises on the music charts. For example, as of this writing Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” is the number nine song on iTunes’ top downloads. Song number ten? The remix of “Lollipop” featuring Kanye West. Similarly, the album version of Usher’s hit “Love In This Club” sits at number forty-eight. The remix, “Love In This Club Part II,” sits at number forty-nine. In both cases the original versions were officially released well ahead of their respective remixes, so given enough time, it’s entirely possible that the remixes will end up being downloaded as much, or more, than the original songs.

Okay that’s enough outta me.

I promised a second installment of songs whose remixes eventually became more popular than the originals, so let’s get to part two of this ever-expanding list:

Craig Mack: “Flava In Ya Ear” Original vs. “Flava In Ya Ear” Remix (Thanks to IDK reader great8ross for this classic)

De La Soul: “Buddy” Original vs. “Buddy” Remix

Black Moon: “I Got Cha Opin” Original vs. “I Got Cha Opin” Remix

50 Cent: “Outta Control” Original vs. “Outta Control” Remix

DMX: “Ruff Ryders Anthem” Original vs. “Ruff Ryders Anthem” Remix

Wyclef Jean: “Gone Till November” Original vs. “Gone Till November” Remix

Dream: “This Is Me” Original vs. “This Is Me” Remix

Total: “Sitting Home” Original vs. “Sitting Home” Remix

Casely: “Emotional” Original vs. “Emotional” Remix

Talib Kweli: “Get By” Original vs. “Get By” Remix

Das EFX: “Mic Checka” Original vs. “Mic Checka” Remix

Lloyd Banks: “Warrior” Original vs. “Warrior” Remix

Busta Rhymes: “Turn It Up” Original vs. “Turn it Up/Fire it Up” Remix

Diddy: “Last Night” Original vs. “Last Night” Remix

Swizz Beats: “It’s Me Bitches” Original vs. “It’s Me Bitches” Remix

I think that’s enough for the second installment…look out for a possible third installment in another couple of weeks. As always, all suggestions are appreciated — let’s see if we can get some more this time.

– Jonathan

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