Happy Birthday Jay Z! The Top 5 "December 4th" Remixes
Happy Jiggaday! That's right, today is Sean Carter, better known as MC/media mogul/
Jay-Z conspiracy theory mastermind centerpiece Jay Z's birthday. This is a fact easily remembered thanks to his song "December 4th," so you really have no excuse if you forgot to get him something this year. As I mentioned last week in our sister publication Village Voice, this year marks ten years since Jay's (third) retirement album The Black Album hit stores and thus marks a full decade since the gimmicked themed-remix project fad went full force. In celebration of Jay's birth on this fateful day, we'd like to present our five favorite "December 4th" remixes before he rolls into OC for a show at the Honda Center on Friday.
5) "4th December" (Pete Rock Remix)
Pete Rock's reputation as one of hip-hop's greatest producers stems from his ability to emote any sort of emotional response from listeners all while staying within the hallmarks of that classic east coast boom-bap sound. His take on "December 4th" is noticeably more sinister than the official version, changing the tone of the song from a victory lap to play up the more unsettlingly seedy aspects of what Jay overcame in his past to get to where he was. Given Jay's Brooklyn roots, Rock's signature sound really places the storytelling faithfully in the golden age of rap where it takes place.
4) "Jay-Z vs RJD2 - December 4th (Cannibal Ox - 'The F Word remix')"
DJ Bazooka Joe masterfully brought together the finest instrumentals in the impressively prolific and consistent catalog of super-producer RJD2 (which he got permission for thanks to Sandbox Automatic) with Jay's The Black Album to essentially give underground and mainstream hip-hop fans the best of both worlds (not to be confused with the official Best of Both Worlds which was having some...err..issues at the time) on The Silver Album. One of RJ's most soulful productions "The F Word" had previous added a smooth polish to indie titans Cannibal Ox, but when paired with Jay's triumphs managed to give the words a more subtle feeling of triumph over adversity.