Whoo boy, Ricky Renzel just gave us blessing after blessing last week. In case you missed my explanation of his process in this "White Iverson" post a few days ago, here's a summary: In addition to endless radio rounds that yield a bounty of quotables, Rick Ross' idea of album promo is to flood the streets one droplet at a time with unofficial remixes to the hottest songs out.
Anything is up for grabs—from the aforementioned 6-month-old Post Malone hit, to immediately hot shit like "Jumpman" and even ballads from Adele. The latter move is particularly genius, whether he wants to thank me for the inspiration or not. There's nothing quite like hearing Maybach Music tags (the best label drop in rap currently, despite the actual label's ever-widening strife) surround Adele's vocals.
He brilliantly tacks his verse on to the beginning and usually leaves the rest of the song intact after, a subtle way to compel you to just keep his version if you like his verse enough. Except for that time he lowkey jacked Drake for "Hold On, We're Going Home" completely and flowed over it crazy. Think I'm trippin? Listen to his once or twice, and then the next time you listen to the proper version don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to hear Rozay rap shit like "hood nigga with an escrow."
This week he blessed us with four #RandomRozayRemixes, or as he's taken to tagging them now—#RenzelRemixes—Renzel being the amazing new nickname (as in, Denzel Washington) that he's bestowed upon himself in recent months. Ross has been hopping on songs for years now, but this week felt especially productive—perhaps we have his house arrest to thank for that. He's done everything from "Find Your Love" to "Rude Boy." Sometimes he even films videos for added measure. He once tagged "Swagga Like Us" solely because he felt excluded from the original ("How could you forget about me?!" he bemoans on the opening).
But now his song selection is getting so good that the buzz for the remixes is beginning to equal that of his own original material. I hope he has more in store—since fam seems to be considering my requests, may I suggest "Change Locations," "Sorry" (Bieber's, not your own, obv), and "Hotline Bling"? Whether the flood continues or not, only one more month until Black Market.
Best line: "Tears fall all the way to the South of France/Poverty line hang lower than my pants"
Renzel moment: 1:56 ("Renzel a.k.a. Ricky Rubin")
It bears repetition: This was genius. Rozay may have been inspired by me, but if he doesn't want to admit that I'm fine with it. I'm just a fan happy to accept the gift. This is like the time Ross hopped on Lorde's "Royals" and hilariously rapped about the very material obsessions and tropes that she sends up on the song proper. But here he stays somewhat on theme and just glides. People are asking for a Drake and Adele collab, which is so obvious it's corny—I want to see her provide Ross with a powerful hook for an "Aston Martin Music" sequel. That shit would do more for contemporary UK pop culture than her Skyfall theme did.
Best line: "Timbaland a busta, hit him with an 808"
Renzel moment: 0:03 ("Yung Renzel")
Truth be told, I expected more from Rozay on this one. This beat is just too fire, Drake and Future's flows too fun and loose, and Ricky doesn't match them. I wanted to hear Ross, a noted food-rap enthusiast, flip the "chicken fingers fries" line in clever fashion. I wanted to hear him try to match Champagne and Hendrix's intentional pre-pubescent voice cracks. The random Timbaland shot, likely alluding to their passive aggressive fracas over "Movin Bass," is a pretty hilarious consolation, though.
Best line: "Send the boy a bottle, wack him when the club over"
Renzel moment: N/A :-(
Mafioso Ross is the best version of Rozay, second only to JUSTICE League Ross. Of course Future's tough talk anthem would bring out the best in Don Rozay, no doubt amplified by how much being on house arrest makes him feel like a Made Man. My man starts the verse off with "fuckin two Jewish bitches to Black Dollar," a blatant in-character lie as we know via endless appearances that he's engaged to a decidedly non-Jewish chick, but no less impressively stuntworthy. He also ends the verse counting from one to five (hundred), which reminds me of the numbered rap from quite possibly the best #RandomRozayRemix to date, "Spend It."
Best line: "Her credit bad from that school loan, you got a Dope Boy, shorty, don't trip"
Renzel moment: 0:01 ("Yung Renzel")
The song that started the #RenzelRemix onslaught. This isn't Ross at his best or worst, just coasting. He was probably playing this on loop, smoking in the crib bored on house arrest before he finally decided to just hop on and get in gear. I respect it. That's all for this week, but keep going, Boss.