Jay-Z: Never Change (Dilla Remix)
From Jimmy Green’s What if J Dilla Produced The Blueprint? (2009)
It’s a bit odd that in 2009, someone would mash-up Jay-Z’s 2001 album, Blueprint with a series of J-Dilla beats. Furthermore, let’s just answer the question:
If Dilla had produced The Blueprint, Jay-Z would have taken an L. That’s no diss on Jay Dee but c’mon now – it’s not like Kanye West and Just Blaze were exactly slacking on what’s arguably one of the best produced albums this decade. What’s next? “What if J Dilla Produced It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back?” (Note: maybe Def Jam should release the acapellas to that album).
All this said, I have to admit that I am loving this remix of “Never Change.” I’m not saying it’s better than the OG, I’m just saying it’s good – so laid-back yet slightly sinister.
And it really brings to mind how Burt Bacharach compositions (in this case, “The Look of Love”) make for potentially great sample fodder given that 1) they’re familiar enough to catch our attention and 2) they’re generally classics in basic, simple but rich songwriting and arrangements. When I was listening to this, I immediately thought of another mash-up from a couple years back:
Biggie and Lil Wayne: If You See Me Walking
From Mick Boogie and Terry Urban’s Unbelievable: A Tribute to Biggie Smalls (2007)
This time, it’s a flip on a pre-Isaac Hayes version of Burt’s “Walk On By.”
And heck, if we’re going own the memory lane of “rap songs flipping Burt beats” then we can’t forget this twist on Johnny Pate’s version of “Look of Love”:
Show and A.G.: You Know Now (Buckwild Remix)
From Goodfellas (Payday, 1995)
And just to really blow your mind, here’s the Jackson 5 throwing down their take on Isaac Hayes’ version of “Walk On By.” The LP version of this appeared on their live Goin’ Back to Indiana album.