Remixes & Blues Pt. VI: Drake
Aubrey Drake Graham’s come up has been a strange one. Some of the same pitchfork-holding haters that were spewing fire at the Canadian rapper-come-singer about twenty-four months back have gradually been transformed into those fans that now DIY owl chains and whisper YOLO before job interviews. Somehow Drizzy’s charm is quite irrefutable at the end of the day, whether you like it or not. There’s no denying that this has greatly been catalyzed by many established artists openly repping the Toronto artist and coolly reworking his music, eradicating the entire concept of him being a guilty pleasure and attesting to the fact that Drake’s output is simply fun. After all, why would you hate on someone who has the confidence to present himself as a real, hard, traditional sense of the archetype rapper while still wearing his heart on his sleeve a hundred percent- and being ridiculously successful while combining the mismatched two? We succumbed to his music’s charisma quite immediately and Drake has been a Truants mascotte for quite some time now. As vicarious fans we’ve been collecting remixes over the years from some of our favourite artists that relentlessly reworked Drizzy tracks into something special, as well as running into very talented fresh blood whilst constantly being on the lookout for quality remixes. Read on as we take a look at some of the highlights you’ll come across while traveling the ridiculously large galaxy of Drake remixes on the Internet.
Before getting into our hearts with his haunting and heartbreaking “Only Me & U” EP on Palms Out Sounds last year, Kansas native Norrit caught our attention on the Palms Out blog with this Late Nite Refix of The-Dream featured and produced “Shut It Down” from Drake’s debut “Thank Me Later”. It’s a gentle little take on the final two interlude-like minutes of the original track, with Drizzy’s soft-hearted murmurs being chopped and screwed over an almost arctic sounding rhythm. While the breakdown of musings at the end of the original sound a tad cynical, Norrit transports them to a more hopeful habitat despite its lonesomeness where we’re happy to spend our late nights dancing on our own.
Strangely enough, the artist behind the one remix that explicitly stood out of the oceans of “Forever” remixes that have flooded our speakers remained unknown to us for ages, until we started snooping further for the purposes of this post. As a follow-up to his first Comeback Season mixtape back in 2007, Drake put out the another mixtape about three years ago on the down-low, presented together with October’s Very Own camp and the now defunct long-standing fan base All Things Fresh. While “Comeback Season 2″ was clearly an agglomeration of left-over tracks and lazy verses over artist-favoured beats with the average track lasting no longer than two minutes, it still had its shining moments with the Moments In Love inspired “Come Real” and this mysterious “Forever” remix being the most prominent ones. Provided by A.G. Da Beast On Beats, this one is filled with victorious strings and mood swings that accompany all the original verses of “Forever” to create something a little more impressive than the original.
Download: Drake – Forever (A.G. Remix)
If you’re an avid Truants reader, there is the slight chance that you might be sick of us talking about this one over and over again, but we’ll stop writing about Deadboy’s Slo Mo House Edit of “Fireworks” when we grow tired of listening to it and evidently this isn’t destined to ever happen. The fact that the absolute essence of the original track has been captured so effortlessly in this little edit despite cutting out all but one line from the original remains astounding. Coincidentally it was released on this exact day in 2010 on the consistently marvelous Well Rounded Records’ Cash Antics Vol 2, and two years after the fact this is still the most uplifting anthem for us to shed nonchalant tears over here at Truants.
As ardent Drake fans even we can’t deny that at the time of “Forever”‘s release, the track’s chorus left us all a bit confused with its over-the-top, almost satirical-sounding hook describing rough struggles for a kid we all once knew as a Canadian child star. The original beat also contributes to the irony of it all with the abundant use of airhorns contributing to what we almost sense as sarcasm at times. Jason Chung, alias Nosaj Thing took the liberty of creating a remix of this cheesy number that warps it right into the setting it was initially intended for. This remix sounds seraphic and serious at the same time, with magically resonating synths being simultaneously supported by hard-hitting beats that clearly mean business. Instant classic.
Download: Drake – Forever (Nosaj Thing Edit)
If you aren’t familiar with Sinjin Hawke’s remix of DJ Khaled, Drake and Rozay’s “I’m On One” collaboration yet, we’re puzzled. The track, which we offered up for download with several other of Hawke’s R&B Bootlegs last year, premiered about halfway through Jacques Greene’s incredible mixtape for Allez-Allez, oddly blending in perfectly between Koreless and Sampha’s “On The Way” and Boards of Canada’s “Basefree”. In a way this makes perfect sense as it ties in with the complete versatility of this remix: on the one hand, it’s a track that oozes sensitivity and tenderness but at the same time maintains a very convincing, almost curt vibe that possesses chameleon characteristics in that it will shift itself along to the mood you find yourself to be coloured in.
Leave it to James Blake to choose something completely different related to Drake to remix rather than the usual number one singles that everyone takes on to give their own spin to. During the Hessle Audio showcase on Boiler Room last year, Blake dropped one of his fleeting Harmonimixes right before Blawan’s “Iddy”, this time centered around a freestyle that Drake spitted during a Tim Westwood session. Continuing on in the calm, composed and groovy manner that every Harmonimix seems to follow, this is one of the most oddly special and endearing remixes that has hit our ears in times.
While going through the Drake remixes depository of the internet, we stumbled across many an outlawed Lunice versus Drizzy bootleg. Some of these bootlegs were slightly haphazard but when one finally gets the combination right, you can expect a staggering rapture of Canadian virtue. The best one we found yet is Lunice’s hypnotic “Hitmane’s Anthem” taken of his “Stacker Upper” EP, slightly speeded up and mixed with Drake’s biggest hit single and probably his most remixed track yet, “Over”. It’s only a simple edit, yet the fusion of these two tracks works so incredibly well that it deserves a place up here. Big up John Doe for this one.
Berlin-based Adam Port of Keinemusik is known to have a knack for adding elements of style and sophistication to whatever he’s putting out, and his surprising edit of Drake and Lil Wayne’s “The Motto” is no different. While it might seem like an odd combination at first, this AP edit of “The Motto” ends up working out seamlessly. Port manages to lift the track up into a more groovy, light-hearted and danceable atmosphere where it’s no longer just an anthem to blast in the car, but perfect for the dancefloor as well.
If anyone was surprised that Darq-E-Freaker’s recent leap into producing for Danny Brown was such a fruitful collaboration, there were signs that you could’ve seen it coming that his path down the Hip-Hop road was imminent and prone to succeed. About a year ago, the London grime overlord put up his mammoth take on Drake’s “Over” that brings forth a much more vigorous, almost restless tone rather than the calm and triumphant original that makes for an instant strike that’s sure to get any filled dancefloor hyped up.
Download: Darq E Freaker vs. Drake – Over The Hype
The overabundance of Joy O refixes and edits isn’t necessarily a good thing, and unless you produce under the Actress alias it’s better not to touch any of Joy O’s back catalogue. Actress that is, but if your name is DJ Dial then we’re cool with you doing you. Having done unofficial remixes for the likes of Shlohmo, Lunice and Jacques Greene, Benett took Joy O breakthrough single “Hyph Mngo” and put the vocals off “Money 2 Blow” over the instrumental, the collaboration between Drake, Birdman and Lil Wayne taken from Birdman’s fourth studio album “Priceless”. It’s an uncomplicated track, yet A Very Effective DJ-Tool. Not only makes this for good listening on the dancefloor, it is the best Joy O bootleg for any setting we ever had.
Stream: Joy Orbison- Hyph Mngo (Dj Dials Vocal Remix)
Last year, Brodinski released two compilations: one was filled with electronic music and the second one was rap-themed. A lot of Truancy consorts contributed to the collection: NGUZUNGUZU remixed Filip Filip and Shanel, the infamous Bok Bok edit of Lil Scrappy was on there and Brenmar too adapted a track by his homegirl Cassie. A rap compilation isn’t a rap compilation without Drake Graham on there however, and the bottle is on the half-Berlin based half-Paris based producer MikiX The Cat. He picked “Over”, and although leaving much of the vocals intact he wrote an entirely new 25 mill instrumental for the track. Although the instrumental is way more simmered down than the original work by Boi-1da, he tipped over the track to one that you’d want to hear in the midst of the night rather than a set opener or closer. The admixture is very focused on percussion and bass with several synth lines and besieging choirs floating in the background, but the center of the remix are Drake’s verses still – and that’s exactly how we ‘bout it every day.
Stream: Drake – Over (Mikix The Cat Remix)
New Jersey native and Brick Bandit crew member Nadus should be ranked top notch in your ones to watch list for the instant future if you’re doing things right. His recent remix of Kuhrye-oo’s “Human Rights” that was released on UNO NYC is simply appallingly good and could alter the very dimension you find yourself in. Luckily Nadus is generous in sharing his talents in the form of his many dancefloor-friendly edits through the channels of his Soundcloud. This Drake edit of The Weeknd featured “Crew Love” works in the same vein as Deadboy’s formula: cutting out all but one or two lines and coos from the emotionally congested original and still managing to capture the very core of the conveyed message. By infusing elements of juke and his own signature sound into his edit, this Nadus remix translates into a more energetic and wholly satisfying version to listen to.
Stream: Drake ft. The Weeknd – Crew Love (Nadus Remix)
There are countless reasons why you should be loving and listening to Los Angeles native Shlohmo. If his internet BFF relationship with The Weeknd isn’t enough of a seal of approval for you, here’s another piece of evidence. Shlohmo has remixed several tracks of Drake to give his own interpretation to them, but this remix of “Marvin’s Room” is the one that stands out in being some of his best output. Drizzy’s original track is too emosh to handle as it is, and Shlohmo’s take takes it into an even more isolated, almost industrialized setting where Drake’s muffled vocals are cushioned in a beat that’s luscious to listen to and have on repeat for a cool day or two.
Stream: Drake – Marvin’s Room (Shlohmo’s Thru Tha Floor Remix)
Stream: Drake ft. The Weeknd - Crew Love (Shlohmo Remix)
Stream: Drake – Club Paradise (RL Grime Screw)
Stream: Lil Wayne - With You Feat. Drake (Screwed By Brodinski)
Written by: Sindhuja Shyam & Immy Soraya