Remixing began in modern music as a means of streamlining potential singles for radio play. Early alternate versions were quite often radio edits, remixed almost exclusively for brevity, but sometimes radical changes would be made to the mix. The rise of disco culture in the '70s inspired producers to cut longer "extended versions" of singles so club patrons could wild out to songs they liked for more than the usual three to four minutes.
Hip-hop has warped the function and definition of the remix over the years. Early on, artists would occasionally cut extended mixes like their dance music predecessors, but by late '80s and early '90s, remixes provided opportunities for outside producers and MCs to get a crack at an existing song. Nowadays, the mainstream rap remix is usually a matter of keeping the beat and adding a few famous guests, mainly for a stats boost since Nielsen's BDS honors the same song structure.
The hip-hop remix is a second chance, employed to extend the reach of a hit by expounding on an already successful formula or give a floundering song the jolt of intrigue it lacked the first time around. It's an achievement that can be accomplished any number of ways, whether it's by reimagining the beat, rewriting the lyrics, adding a show-stealing guest verse or chorus, or in rare cases, by throwing out everything but the name and recording a brand new song.
This is a list of songs whose remixes were such radical improvements that we don't really talk about the what the record did on the first try. 25 Remixes That Made You Forget About The Original.