There is no genre of music that cherishes a remix more than rap/hip-hop.
While EDM fans might feel neglected, rappers have been remixing each other’s tracks since the birth of the culture, a trend that’s continued through to the present day. Whether it’s sampling a classic track and adding a couple of verses or enlisting an assortment of high-profile rhyme-slingers and wordsmiths for the ultimate posse cut, rap remixes are still all the rage.
And because music thrives off taking the skeleton of a song and adding a new body to it and the crude encapsulation that rappers now, better than ever, rip other people’s songs with no question and mercy, a little-known Zimbabwean lyricist Brian Jeck jumped on the late-rapper Pop Smoke’s iconic hit song “Dior” with an equally guttural, raw and irresistible aptitude.
While his name and profile are as mystifying as those who decline to wear masks during a pandemic, the Chegutu-based hip-hop artiste born Brian Kadyamarunga sure knows how to rock a remix.
It begins with the voice. As a Pop Smoke song is instantly recognizable for that baritone like that of a vocalist who smoked ten thousand cigarettes, Brian’s also implies danger around every corner. Rapping about taking Guka drug, codeine, smoking the lushest pasture and spitting some utterly filthy and incriminating things that would never see past radio censors, the song is funny and feels like party music capable of piercing through the humidity and making swaths of people dance, or at least move their shoulders a little while they grimace into their phones’ cameras.
Tapping into that cutting edge of Brooklyn drill — a mutation of the belligerent, maximalist music that emanated from Chicago’s West and South sides of the US and was developed further in East London — the sound is urgent and relentless, deploying clipped ad-libs and warbled melodies on an unnerving instrument.
It is a jam about posturing, even thriving in a perilous world and in that way is the opposite of escapism.
Check out the song and reflect.