An EDM Tribute to Jay-Z

We know Biggie is well loved by EDM producers, and Kanye's in a space where his new album is not only featuring a number of electronic music producers

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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We know Biggie is well loved by EDM producers, and Kanye's in a space where his new album is not only featuring a number of electronic music producers, but is being remixed by a bunch of DJs and producers. Somewhere in between them in hip-hop's chronology is Jay-Z, who many see as the greatest MC of all time, and is definitely one of the most important figures in the hip-hop scene. Jay's also an experimental being, and working with Kanye has birthed tracks like "N****s in Paris" and "Who Gon Stop Me," two Watch The Throne tracks that are some of the biggest examples of hip-hop and bass music coexisting.

With Jay's new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, dropping on the Fourth of July, DAD wanted to get into the spirit of Hov and finding examples of Jay-Z not only being sampled but being flat-out remixed. We've got everything from older jungle revisions to new school trap reworks. Jay has some legendary lines; we're just surprised his lyrics are being mined on a more regular basis. Without further adieu, here's our tribute to Jay-Z.

Just Blaze x Baauer - "Higher"

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Of course one of the best songs using Jay-Z will include actually getting Jay-Z in the studio, which is what Hov's longtime producer Just Blaze and Baauer did for this one, basing their entire track around Just's instrumental on "U Don't Know," with some special drops being recorded for this track specifically. Unfortunately, this monster has somehow stayed unreleased. There's no doubt though after hearing it for the last six months that we're still tickled at the thought of having this in our record bins.


Jay-Z - "PSA (gLAdiator Remix)"

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LA's gLAdiator makes bangin' trap music and they did that with their "PSA" remix, taking some of Jay's most iconic lines and flipping them on their head. Ripping apart "I used to move snowflakes by the oh-zee," gLAdiator makes an adrenaline-fueled banger sure to get any Jay fan going. Just imagine seeing Jay flow over this at one his shows. You know the crowd is going to get BUCK.

Green Lantern - "Jigga Man Bootleg"

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This isn't the first time Green Lantern flipped some Jay-Z material; he's toured with Jay-Z in the past, and they've even collaborated on a mixtape, Creative Control, in the past. For his Altitude mixtape, Green flipped Jay's "Jigga My N***a" into "Jigga Man Bootleg," into a big-bodied trap tune, filtering the "jigga" from the hook, while a chorus of Hovas ask everyone who he's rolling with. Things heat up once Jay implores you to bounce, and the way Green filters Jay's lines in this help accent the turnup perfectly.

Jay-Z ft. Foxy Brown - "Ain't No Playa (Ganja Kru Remix)"

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You have to love that this came out at all. "Ain't No Playa" was the single that really broke Jay out to the masses, and with the Ganja Kru (DJs Hype, Zinc, and Pascal) putting a double bass-drenched jungle spin on this single? It provides an oddly smooth flavor to the playa lines. Hearing Foxy over this is a blessing as well.

Excision & Datsik - "Swagga"

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Hard to believe the sample here is from The Blueprint cut "All I Need," but the Canadian bass lords Excision and Datsik took that one line and made a dubstep CLASSIC out of one line. The warping bassline sounds like a transformer snarling at you but trust that's just Jigga.


Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N****s in Paris (EPROM Remix)"

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Future bass architect EPROM took this jam and made it completely his own. Stutter edits, wonky 8-bit leads, heavy bounce make this a damn near completely original track. The remix wouldn't be complete though without Jay's swaggerific "ball so hard" boasts.

Rusko - "Take Off"

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Rusko's recent forays into the drum & bass world has meant a wider selection of samples. Instead of relying on the tried-and-true world of dub, ragga, and dancehall samples, Rusko looks to Jay to "make some noise" on his new OWSLA-released single "Take Off." (You might also love how he jacked Hov's "loud as a motorbike" from "99 Problems.") The result is an upbeat and fun melodic shot of energy. The track was Rusko's first drum & bass release, and there's no doubt that Jigga's sample is big on this record.

Kanye West ft. Jay Z - "Clique (Wick-it Re-Work)"

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When Kanye's "Clique" came out, we were just waiting for dance music producers to flip its sinister, brooding bassline into something bigger. Wick-it's knocked out some sick remixes in his day, and while he leaves the vocals on this one pretty much unscathed, but kicks in some extra percussion during the verses before squeezing out some sinister vibes on the hook. Super mean bounce, just like you like it.

DJ Rashad - "Welcome to the Chi"

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Footwork producers are known to pillage rap tracks (and damn near any music they love) for samples in their productions, and DJ Rashad's TEKLIFE Vol. 1 came out in time for him to include this "N****s in Paris" flip, looping Jay's "ball so hard muhfuckas wanna fine me" line before dipping into the abrasive bass in the end of the track, layering Kanye's "don't let me get in my zone" chant over that. Rashad's using these lines as warning shots to producers out there trying to test, so if you're offended, it serves you right.

Jay-Z – “Dirt Off Your Shoulder (Brillz & Z-Trip Remix)”

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Who better than the TWONKmaster Brillz to knock out a futuristic trap rework of "Dirt Off Your Shoulder?" For this remix, he linked up with Z-Trip on the turntables to throw some supreme scratch routines of Hov's lyrics over this bass-heavy bed. The original was a great instructional for heads who had to brush those haters off, and with the new school trap sound, that attitude turns up a few notches.

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