Audio Two: Top Billin (Nomadic Remix)
From Back to the Beat (2006)
I’ll be honest, when I first checked out Nomadic’s Back to the Beat, my first thought was: why is this remotely necessary? After all, it’s not like songs such as “The Message” or “My Adidas” needed to get remixed. The point of something being classic is that it was just right the first time. Especially in the post-mash- up age we live in, sometimes I wish folks would stop twiddling with the past and start making some s— for the future.
Yet, what I came to appreciate with the better of Nomadic tracks is when they stay true to the aesthetic era that the original song appeared in. While this remix of “Top Billin” probably doesn’t like someone would have whipped it out in 1988, it has that right kind of sound which makes it plausible, certainly more so than trying to lace a crunk beat behind it or something. More to the point, it sounds great – I really love the vocal touch on here and more importantly, the remix beat sounds believable with Milk D’s verses. I liked it well enough to ask Nomadic for a higher bitrate version of it in case I ever felt like Serato-ing that sucker. The point isn’t that it’s better than the original. It’s not. But I don’t think Nomadic aspires to out-do the very song and beat that inspired him to begin with. I think he just wants to play around and see what he can come up with. In this case, it seems to work well.
Also good off this tape: JVC’s “Strong Island” and MC Lyte’s “Paperthin” remixes.