CURRENT: Cousin Stizz – “Shoutout” [Gravez Remix]

Boston rapper Cousin Stizz’s “Shoutout” has been online for over a year now, but with the recent release of his debut mixtape Suffolk County, the budding rapper’s 2014 track receives a remix from Gravez. Instead of reconstructing “Shoutout,” Gravez utilizes the many great things present in the original and positions them in a slightly new light. Stizz delivers his rhymes with a stoic, matter-of-fact clarity, and the rapper offers subtle, illuminating truths. The arpeggiating synths in the original take on a more prominent role, giving the track an almost whimsical, dreamlike quality. “Shoutout to the money / Love, the drugs / Shoutout to the money from the drugs,” Stizz raps to the point it becomes a mantra. As he flips pounds, he flips the script on the narrative of drug use in the black community. If money is power, and drugs make money, then, well, you do the math.


CURRENT: Jeremih – “Planes” (Lido & The Social Experiment Remix) [ft. Chance The Rapper]

Jeremih slowly made the way from budding R&B superstar to an underground R&B sensation, thanks to the outstanding “Bo Peep (Do U Right)” released in 2013 with producer Shlohmo. Just last year, he released one of the year’s best radio singles, “Don’t Tell ‘Em” featuring YG. That song – along with the J. Cole-assisted “Planes” – is set to appear on the singer’s third LP Late Nights. The “Planes” remix features a verse from Chance The Rapper as well as production from his backing band The Social Experiment, and it deftly magnifies each artist’s strengths.

Jeremih is as smooth as ever, and the way the remix builds – from the streets to the sky – gives the singer a stronger backdrop to deliver his message. Chance The Rapper joins in on a last minute verse, bringing the mile-high party along with him. This “Planes” remix finds Jeremih, an artist very much at the center of modern R&B, and Chance The Rapper, an artist left-of-center in rap, meeting in the middle, 5,000 feet in the sky.

CURRENT: Fetty Wap – “My Way” (Remix) [ft. Drake]

As the Fetty Wap takeover continues, the rapper-singer just received perhaps the biggest cosign an artist can get in 2015: a verse from Drake. He’s already helped iLoveMakonnen and Migos turn the commercial corner, and he’s now jumped on Wap’s “My Way.” The rising rapper is carving out a space for himself as one of the genre’s go-to hookmen, and “Way” is perhaps even more hook-filled than the smash “Trap Queen.” Drake even latches on to the song’s melody during his verse, providing the track with his Midas touch. “They should call me James, ’cause I’m going hard(en) in this bitch,” raps Drake, continuing to make waves with nothing more than a shrug. “Baby, won’t you come my way,” sings Fetty Wap on the hook. Turns out we’re already there.

CURRENT: Charli XCX ft. Rita Ora – “Doing It” (A.G. Cook Remix)

Sucker snuck into the 2014 release calendar when it dropped in late December. The timing took some shine off the True Romance follow-up, but the album is still packed with great moments from one of pop’s best voices.

Highlight “Doing It” first got a makeover when Charli enlisted Rita Ora for the single version of the track, and now with PC Music’s A.G. Cook turning the song into a SOPHIE-esque jam. Luckily, both remixes help flesh out “Doing It”, pushing the themes of female empowerment and unbridled revelry to their logical conclusions. More significantly, both work because of the original’s obvious charm. “It’s been a long time, since we’ve been around / So come on, let’s keep doing it like we’re doing it now,” she confidently sings on the chorus. Charli XCX has a lot of reasons to celebrate. Now, she has friends to party with.

CURRENT: Beyoncé – “***Flawless” (feat. Nicki Minaj)


The flawlessness that is Beyoncé’s late 2013 masterwork hasn’t resulted in the smash runaway singles we all expected (I see you, “Drunk In Love” and “Blow”). But that hasn’t stopped Yonce being on the tip of everyones’ tongues, and her internet-rattling remix of “***Flawless” featuring Nicki Minaj is the victory lap we’ve been waiting for. “Of course some time shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator,” Beyoncé asserts, taking the terrifying video of sister Solange and husband Jay Z in an elevator altercation into her own hands, and when she follows that with the original’s “My sister told me I should speak my mind / My man make me feel so damn fine,” she’s able to make that incident feel like nothing more than a minor blip on her impressive career arc. And then there’s Nicki, whose verse is introduced by a sublime sample of OutKast’s raucous “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”, which even inspires Bey to join in for a few bars. Minaj delivers a verse fit for royalty, and perhaps her best this side of “Monster”.

CURRENT: Small Black – “Lines of Latitude” (Dave Harrington Remix)

Last week, Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label released the excellent debut single from Nicky Sparkles, “It’s Your Life”. Now, with the release of issue 37 in Other People’s singles catalog, here is Jaar’s Darkside collaborator Dave Harrington remixing Small Black’s Frankie Rose-featuring “Lines of Latitude”.

Already featuring a smooth, sprightly melody, Harrington’s remix pushes the tempo faster, while waves of gorgeous synths cascade into Rose and vocalist Josh Hayden Kolenik’s delicate harmonies. The resulting climax is not unlike the feeling one gets while on a roller coaster; here, we find ourselves discovering the thrilling heights one can reach with both feet firmly on the ground.

Download Dave Harrington’s remix of Small Black’s “Lines of Latitude” over at Other People for the price of a $10 monthly subscription.