Producer: Puff Daddy, Stevie J, Q-Tip, Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey's reinvention of the World Famous Supreme Team's "Hey DJ" redeemed what had become a somewhat-forgotten '80s rap classic. It also gave a poised flawless star like Mariah a foot in the gritty hip-hop world, but let her keep the heels on. Switching to Tims and baseball jerseys like Mary J. wouldn't have been the same. In so doing, it proved the malleability of hip-hop and the adaptability of R&B. Anyone could be hip-hop, and it didn't require faking the funk.
It also proved the long-term viability of the musical ideas that flourished in hip-hop's first decade; not only could oldies be re-purposed for hip-hop's purposes, but hip-hop's own family tree was an open book for reinvention. The musical instincts of its pioneers had been right on; with the right presentation, the World Famous Supreme Team had a chart-dominating no. 1 hit. R&B had come a long way from Ron G's blend tapes; now one of the world's most popular vocalists benifitted from hip-hop's innovations. —David Drake
Inspiration: World Famous Supreme Team "Hey DJ" (1984)
Producer: Stephen Hague
Inspiration: The Treacherous Three "The Body Rock" (1980)
Producer: Bobby Robinson