Remix Tuesdays: Ultramagnetic MCs.

This week, before I get into the actual remix writeup, I’d like to highlight two other sites who have been doing this weekly remix thing longer than I have.

More Than Milk do something called ‘Remix Tuesdays’ too but their featured remixes tend to be of the indie/electronic variety. Palms Out Sounds do a weekly Remix Sundays post that’s pretty great. Their Sample Wednesdays are amazing too, definitely worth a look for diggers and expert sample spotters.

The song being covered today is the Ultramagnetic MCs’ “Poppa Large”. The original, found on their second LP, Funk Your Head Up, is dope but the remix off the “Poppa Large” single improves on it in nearly every way.

The original has a laidback drum break and some funky guitar, with looped cheering in the background.. The instrumental is much slower and less, well, frenzied, compared to the remix.

The “East Coast” remix of the Ultramagnetic MCs’ “Poppa Large” is done by a production team called ‘Da BeatMinerz’. Not to be confused with Da Beatminerz, best known for working with the Boot Camp Clik (Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, etc.) ; these are an entirely different BeatMinerz, consisting of producers Ike Lee & Aaron Lyles.

The remix starts with a classic James Brown sample “Hit me!” being scratched. Then the ominous bassline comes in, sounding a bit like the bass line from “The Choice Is Yours”. Shortly after that, the frantic horns come in. Samples of James Brown (?) saying “I’m poppa” are integrated into the beat, along with the odd sample of Kool Keith. Keith comes in on this one like he’s possessed. It doesn’t even matter that nothing he’s saying really makes sense. A sample:

I’m a eat ‘em wit popcorn and treat ‘em like suds you duds
Coming out the wick wack, wicky, wickable wack
Black jack, that’s a fact, writing exact behind your back

I mean, does anyone have any idea what “Poppa Large” even means?

The remix keeps the original a capella, but Keith sound a lot more energized on the remix. That’s the signature of a great beat/vocal matchup.

Also, holy shit is the video fucking amazing. Kool Keith wearing a straitjacket? Kool Keith with a bird cage on his head? Yes please.


Have a listen to both and share your thoughts in the comments:

Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large

Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (East Coast Remix)

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There are 4 comments

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  1. floodwatch

    You’re right, the remix trumped the original in every way. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when I got my hands on the Funk Your Head Up cassette and realized that the LP version wasn’t the same as the video.

  2. AaronM

    I know a lot of people were let down by more poppy production on the sophomore effort, but the remix really did have a classical “jazz rap” feel to it.
    I would have never heard the dope “Pluckin’ Cards” without the “The Five-Borough Bum Rush” mix.

  3. P-Zero

    Same as Floodwatch: Funk Your Head Up disappointed me for several reasons, but teh LP version of Poppa Large was the main offender. Man, I used to hate that – Being sold on a track by the video mix, only to find that the LP cut was not the same. Yeah LL, I’m looking at you with Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag too. Took me ages to find the video version…

  4. AaronM

    Thank the internet for helping me track down all these remixes. The idea of the separate video mix seems to have disappeared for some reason.

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