Monday, May 26, 2008

Busta Rhymes: Don't Touch Me Remix

Chances are you either don't remember the hip hop posse cut, or it's a vague image in the back of your brain stuck in-between your memory of Gumby flat tops and Horror core rap. It's hard to believe now, but at one time the hip hop posse cut was a common occurrence on just about every major hip hop album that dropped. MCs would form allegiances with artists outside of their immediate group simply out of the fact that they were fans of the other artist. They asked a group of MCs to jump on a track with them and the other MCs happily obliged. What would result was a tour de force of lyricism with the next MC trying to outdo the other in a friendly competition over the hardest beat they could find. However, somewhere along the way the hip hop audience heard less and less posse cuts on albums. Chalk it up to industry politics, artist animosity or just plain disinterest but it's obviously clear that the posse cut is becoming a lost art.

No one in the current hip hop climate knows the power of the posse cut like Busta Rhymes. As a member of the Leaders of the New School early in his career, Busta made a name for himself as a solo artist by completely destroying any posse cut he landed on (including the completely classic verse on Scenario). Therefore, it is not surprising that at this point in his career Busta chooses to help usher in the new posse cut renaissance disguised as the remix. The original version of "Don’t Touch Me" is what you would expect from Busta, an energetic lyrical rant over minimalist jungle drums. The remix breathes new life into the track by giving each artist on it a chance to reinterpret the song. Everyone holds their own here but Lil Wayne turns the beat into a drug induced playground as hip rips the track in half and Nas sounds about 10 years younger as the track seems to re-energize him. Also, it is always great to hear one of the originators of the posse cut Big Daddy Kane.

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