(Photo via Pablo by Buffer)
What does it mean to be a blogger or writer when a song or album is released by a mainstream artist? For one there are a sea of posts of the original content so you as a reader get to pick and choose who you want to give your click to on the internet. For writers and bloggers, there’s a second wave that comes after these releases. That wave is an inbox filled with “freestyles” and “remixes” to these popular songs. I feel it’s ok for artists to rhyme over popular tracks for exercise but honestly, I have no intention of listening to these songs. The reason why I don’t accept these songs for submission: they lack creativity. It’s easy for an aspiring artist to pirate the beat, use the same flow, and then slap it on their Soundcloud account. There’s nothing about this that stands out and tells a blogger or writer who YOU are as an artist.
This year I’ve been challenging artists to make creative music videos with “Creative Videos Only”. I also want to challenge artists to be creative when remixing songs from mainstream artists. Hip-hop is supposed to be fun and have style, not be copy/paste like everything in the game has become. Today I wanted to highlight a few artists that have taken it upon themselves to standout in a scene that is cluttered with copycats.
Inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” single a couple weeks back, Alabama artists Richard Daniel, TwentyEight Flavors, K1NG ELJAY, D Gut, and Mel. Crozby flipped the script (literally). ELJAY chops the Mike Will Made It produced track and adds the third verse as each artist takes turns just having fun on Kendrick’s standout lead single from DAMN. Instead of taking the instrumental and adding their own verses, these artists thought outside of the box and did something that many would never think to do. ELJAY proves his ear for sampling and chopping is on point with this one, in case you needed a reminder.
“Mask Off (Klass On)”
I’ve been following Milwaukee’s Klassik for a few years now and he’s easily one of the best live performers I’ve had the pleasure of catching at a show. This was three years ago so he’s only improved the quality of his music along with his live show. Never one to back down from reimagining a song, Klass takes on Future’s “Mask Off” and delivers the best version that’s not the original. Klassik blends beautiful piano melodies and sampling as he breathes new life into the song, converting it from it’s trap roots to an even more powerful, classical sounding ballad. If you like his version, there’s footage of him doing a live set for Milwaukee’s Hear Here from the beginning of this year as well (think NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series).
I hope this post inspires you to have fun and create something new with someone’s song. Think about all the ways you can make something original out of a song that people will be hearing or have heard over and over again. Hip-hop was built on sampling but each artist put their own creative twist on these samples to make them popular. Think about that the next time you’re downloading an instrumental for the hottest song out right now.
Want me to hear your creative version of a popular song? Email me with “Creative Remix” in the subject line: JoeHovasMF@gmail.com