The Top Five Black Album Remixes

Categories: Jay-Z

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This month, Jay Z's "retirement" album The Black Album turned 10 years old. While it's historic for being a lavish (third) retirement album, arguably its greatest impact was ushering in the era of the underground remix album. Bridging the gap between the initial mash-up craze of 2003 that gave us this and this, and the decade of gimmick-y concept remix albums to follow, the choice to release Jay Z's entire album's acapella wound up being among music's biggest game-changing choices of the decade. Now that we've had 10 years to marinate on all of them, we've made out decision on the five best.

See also: No One Cares About Jay-Z's New Music


5) 9th Wonder - Black is Back
The only producer actually featured on The Black Album to release a remix album, 9th Wonder's Black is Back project gives a unique view as to how Jay's album would have sounded if left entirely to just one producer. As great as the original album's version of "Threat" was, 9th Wonder's take on "4th December" rivals the track's wistful resonance with a beat that eventually went to Young Buck on "The City."


4) DJ Lt. Dan - The Black Album Remixes
The very first full-length Black Album remix to hit the streets was DJ Lt. Dan's The Black Album Remixes. Dan somehow acquired the album's vocal tracks early and went right to work blending them with boom bap classics, giving fans buying The Black Album, on the very day it came out, something to immediately supplement it with. An additional effect of The Black Album Remixes is re-contextualizing Jay's verses in the soundscape of undisputed New York classics, putting his legacy in his New York's hip-hop family tree in perspective.


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1 comments
punx
punx

It may have been the one to open the door, but I consider the Grey Album (much like the original production) weak in comparison to other remixes. I'd substitute either Jon Doe's "How To Remix The Black Album" or DJ Kno of the Cunninglynguists' 'Kno vs. Hov: The White Albulum". 9th Wonder's take did nothing for me, but I agree on the rest you chose :) even if Kev Brown's take isn't in my top ten...special mention for DJ Milio's Jay-Z/Nas mashup "God's Black", which preceded the eventual reconciliation that then seemed to inspire a bunch of Jay/Nas mashes later on....

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