Music thrives off taking the skeleton of a song and adding a new body to it. While some instances of remakes seem unprompted and unnecessary, those same situations have led to second attempts that have exceeded the impact and success of the original song.
Remakes are far from uncommon in rap. The art of the remix, although it seems as if the days of a mega-rap rewrap are done, has proven its power over the test of time. Tracks like Diddy’s “Been Around the World (Remix)” or Fabolous’ “Throw It in the Bag (Remix)” have successfully found a second life with some beat restructuring. Whereas records like Busta Rhymes' “Touch It (Remix)” or Craig Mack’s “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)” have thrived off adding additional verses and artists onto the song, opting for the “more is merrier” approach.
Aside from remixes, unofficial flips hold just as much weight. In the mixtape circuit, artists like Lil Wayne and 50 Cent, also known as The Beat Thiefs, have outdid the OG versions so much that people prefer to hear their remakes over the regulars. Their approach, where they unapologetically used someone else’s beat for free, became a major pillar of their careers.
Rappers now, more than ever, rip other people’s songs with no question and frankly, sometimes no mercy. Whether an artist is attempting to take a beat into their own hands or add a little more spice to their record, there are plenty of songs that were remade better than the original.
From Fab's “Throw It in the Bag (Remix)” featuring The-Dream and Drake to Craig Mack's “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)” featuring Rampage, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Diddy and The Notorious B.I.G., check out 25 examples of the best hip-hop songs rappers remade that were better than the original. Tap in below.