This week, Compton rapper Problem shared the new video for his Nipsey tribute record "Janet Freestyle (Remix)." The song, which was produced by Nipsey's frequent collaborators Mike & Keys, finds Problem reflecting on Nips' tragic death as well as his contributions to hip-hop and the SoCal community.
"I originally recorded the song alone on my balcony to the beat from Janet Jackson’s 'Got ‘till It’s Gone.' After I played Mike & Keys that version it immediately struck a nerve in them," Problem told Complex. "So when the time came [to] lay down the version you hear now, it was no-brainer to have them add their magic to it. E. Dan came with the keys, then my brother Terrace Martin blessed it with saxophone and vocoder and it all just started coming together."
Problem also makes a reference to his old feud with YG, and how Nipsey facilitated their reconciliation. The rapper wouldn't expand on how exactly Nip convinced him and YG to squash their beef, but said he was grateful for Nips' involvement.
"I won’t share what was said but I’m glad he said it," Problem explained. "When I look back on it, he was right and I’ll just leave it at that."
Directed by Joshy Gonz, the visual shows Problem alone in a bucolic setting, along with a number of scenes inside a convenience store. The latter setting was also featured in Problem's newly released short film, A Compton Story, which features appearances by Snoop Dogg, Mike Epps, and Jackie Long.
"The director Joshy Gonz found the location where we shot the video. He co-directed my new film A Compton Story, so we've been working together for a while and knows me and what I like visually," Problem said. "Once I showed up I knew right away it’d be the perfect spot for this special song."
You can watch the video for "Janet Freestyle (Remix)" above.
Problem is now gearing up to release his album Coffee & Kush Vol. 1 on May 29. Though the rapper has kept details to a minimum, we know the project will include tracks featured in A Compton Story and will not feature any posthumous verses from Nipsey. Problem, who contributed on Nips' Grammy-nominated Victory Lap, told Complex he doesn't know of any unreleased joint records between him and Nipsey.
"There is no music to my knowledge unless his people have something and I’m not aware," he said. "I just want to say with this song ('Janet Freestyle (Remix)') that I hope we start loving our people while they are here instead of a tragedy having to happen before we give out flowers. It’s unfortunate that sometimes you truly don’t know what you got till it’s gone."