Remix Tuesdays: Rakim.

“Guess Who’s Back” is a 1997 single by Rakim from his ’97 solo debut The 18th Letter. Clark Kent produces the beat, employing hard, stilted drums  combined with a slowed-down keyboard loop from Bob James’ “Shamboozie”. Kent scratches Chuck D from “Bring The Noise” and Rakim for the intro to set the mood:

[Chuck D]: Back once again, it’s the incredible/[Rakim]: Rakim Allah

“Guess Who’s Back” also received a strange music video, featuring Rakim doing some poor acting in a orange robe.

DITC producer Buckwild remixed “Guess Who’s Back” for a 12′ of remixes of the track. Buck starts the remix with a slowed-down scratch of the same Chuck D sample from the OG, then lets the beat drop. Buck’s remix captures a more mellow, contemplative mood, using an subtle string loop and a three-bar piano. Buck switches the drums up, using a mix of crisp snares and shuffling hi-hats. remix. The beat switches up for the second verse. Buck pulls out the main loop, and lets the drums ride out with the occasional appearance from a creepy piano loop.

This is one of the few times where I’d give the original the edge over the remix. Buckwild’s beat sounds like it was intended for another song; it’s an undeniable head-nodder but it doesn’t fit the mood of the track. Clark Kent’s track sounds like a triumphant comeback, and suits Ra’s lyrics and flow better.

DOWNLOAD: Rakim – Guess Who’s Back
DOWNLOAD: Rakim – Guess Who’s Back (Buckwild Remix)

I’ve covered several Buckwild remixes for Remix Tuesdays over the past few months. Catch up:

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Feedback Time: I’m considering changing the title of Remix Tuesdays so that I can post the feature on days besides Tuesdays. Any suggestions? What do you guys think?

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