Welcome to the third instalment of D’Angelo Remix Month at ML. For those who slept, check out the previous two posts in the series covering remixes of “Brown Sugar” and “Me And Those Dreamin’ Eyes Of Mine”. “Lady” was released in 1996, the 2nd single off Brown Sugar.
“Lady” is produced by Raphael Saadiq and this album marked the start of his second career as the go-to producer for neo-soul. “Lady” is smooth yet subtly funky, starting with thick snare drums and claps. Gradually jazzy guitar figures and delicate piano chords enter the mix. It’s a fantastic slice of modern soul and D’Angelo sings beautifully over it.
DJ Premier remixed the song for the promotional 12′ release of “Lady”, turning in a version called the “Just Tha Beat Mix.”
The “Just Tha Beat Mix” strips the song down to heavy drums and a thumping 4-bar horn loop. AZ adds a decent verse that actually manages to stay on topic (unlike Redman and Kool G Rap), but his usually effortless flow sounds thrown off by the chunky Premier beat. A video was made for the remix, with cameos from Joi, Erykah Badu, and Faith Evans (thanks to reader DANJ! for correcting me). Oh, and AZ shows up at one point too.
My personal favorite is the original, without a doubt. Much as I love AZ, D and Premo individually, the Premier remix of “Lady” sounds a bit off. For a better AZ/Premo collab, I’d recommend seeking out “The Come Up”. And D’Angelo and Premier did great work together on “Devil’s Pie.” The remix of “Lady” is fine, it’s not awful, I just think the OG is a better listen. As always, tell me which version you like better in the comments.
Download: D’Angelo – Lady (Brown Sugar, 1995)
D’Angelo – Lady (Just Tha Beat Mix ft.AZ) (Lady promo 12′, 1996)