The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

The Remix: PD vs. JD

on March 27, 2011

This post springs from a recent conversation which required me to really take a few days to think about the elements of the remix, and what I wanted to discuss/share today. I have so many favorites, and a 70 plus track long remix playlist, with various artists over there years. Because this is such an in-depth conversation, I plan to write more remix posts, so stay tuned for those–but today I wanted to go in a different direction. Warning: this post is long, but worth the read.

When it comes to a remix, there are several elements that matter to me: does the melody change? does it have features? new verses? Is it really re-mixed, or did they just throw a rapper on the track? The man that really perfected the merging of hip hop and r&b; to inclde sampling within remixing songs has to be Mr. Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. He took the the early 90s by storm with two particular Uptown/MCA entities in particular: Mary J. Blige and Jodeci. Then there was the “Dolly My Baby remix”, that had MJB on the hook and introduced us to The Notorious BIG.

So while its pretty much understood his influence and place in this here post, I’d like to do a comparison of sorts with another pretty popular producer of the 90s as well: Mr. Jermaine Dupri. Both Mr. Combs and Mr. Dupri were responsible for remixing songs by r&b singers male and female, individuals or groups, and rappers; all across the board. Both men were  the coveted producers of the decade, and often featured on the same artist’s albums at a time, to include acts like Usher, TLC, New Edition, Mariah Carey, etc. And with huge production credits each, I think we could be here all week discussing their contributions to black music. Another thing I noticed is that both men have also been known to remix songs that were originally done by the other–I will be covering a few of those. Lets take a stroll through the years. The last 20 years even–whoa! has it been that long?!? I’m only going to feature some of my favorites. To hear the songs mentioned, click on the title links.

1991:

Come and Talk to me remix ~ Jodeci. The only main difference between this song and the original is the beat flip, and its longer. I had to link this video in because this song is kinda the quintessential 90s R&B track. Plus I am an admitted Jodeci stan.

1992:

Baby, Baby, Baby remix ~ TLC This is one of the earlier JD remixes I could find online, that I actually remember.

1993:

Just Kickin It remix~ Xscape. This was a more mellow chill version of the original song. I think I dig it just a smidge more than the original. Xscape was discovered by JD and were one of my favorite girl groups in the 90s, that I featured in a post before. They had a good run with 3 studio albums; all of them went Platinum.

What’s the 411? remix album  ~ Mary J. Blige, to feature the club banger “Real Love”, “You Remind Me”, and my personal favorite remix from the album: “Love No Limit” ft. Kid Capri, which totally revamped the entire song. I def love this version more than the slow original song. The chorus? The bridge? Man, listen. I have to sing this song at the top of my lungs. “loooooving you is all I wanna do!”

1994:

Big Poppa so so def remix ~ The Notorious BIG.  This remix was pretty hot! With the exact same verses the only difference is the beat, but I think I prefer this one.

Flava in ya ear remix ~ Craig Mack ft. everybody. This is one remix that definitely gave new life to the original. its feature heavy, probably one of the first feature heavy remixes I can recall outside of the old ATCQ/De La Soul/LONS collabos. And it features one of Big’s most memorable verses. Way to get outshined on your own song.

1995:

Can’t You See (so so def remix) ~ Total ft. Keith Murray. This one was pretty smooth too, but I gotta admit I prefer the Bad Boy original with Biggie.

Think of you (so so def remix) ~ Usher

vs.

Think of You (bad boy remix) ~Usher

I found it interesting that the so so def remix samples Bad Boy artist Craig Mack. With no verse changes in either version, I actually prefer the original music, which was produced by Puffy and Chucky Thompson.

Fantasy remix ~Mariah Carey ft. ODB. This pairing here?! Definitely was the beginning of Mariah’s evolving sound;  moving from a pop direction to more hip hop infused R&B. This Puff Daddy remix that samples Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” was perfection. I consider this a classic remix. “me and Mariah, go back like babies and pacifiers…”

I’ll be There For You/All I Need remix ~ Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige. Another Wu-Tang representer, this remix version is my favorite not just because it features MJB but because it also samples one of my favorite BIG songs. I appreciate that it took elements of one hood love song for another hood love song.

1996–this was probably one of my favorite years for remixes:

Kissing You remix ~ Total. Puff put a whole new spin on this song, and gave it a chill vibe. Its a classic song either way, both versions bring something different to the table, and I love the remix as if its a whole new song–which is what I enjoy most about a GOOD remix. its not just the same song with a rap feature.

The Things You Do bad boy remix ~ Gina Thompson. Does anyone even remember the original? I do since I actually bought the maxi single of this song. The one hit wonder and this track introduced the world to Missy “Misdameanor” Elliot. “he he he he how! he he he he he he how!”

I Will Survive bad boy remix ~ Chantay Savage. Another artist that came and went. I personally LOVED her cover of this Gloria Gaynor classic, and while the remix does add the hip hop element, I must say the original cover is a better look for the song. This is an example of a song that doesn’t need to be remixed.

You Don’t Have to Worry remix ~ New Edition ft. Missy. I don’t even listen to the orignal version of this song anymore. its the remix or nothing. same verses, but this beat switch plus the rap feature make for a much better song, IMO. My boo Bobby Brown sang this damn song… and looked damn good while doing so in the video. just saying…

Tonight’s The Night  remix ~ Kriss Kross ft. Redman. I think this was a slept on song. From their last CD Young, Rich and Dangerous, this was the standout track. And the Shalamar sample is very well placed, IMO.

Float On remix ~ The Isley Brothers ft. Angela Winbush, 112 and Lil Kim. I think this song had about 3 different versions. This one happens to be my favorite. Peep the JD feature in the video too. When Lil Kim busts out of that cake! lol. I swear she is an expert on side piece-ology. I loved her verse.

1997:

Honey remix ~ Mariah Carey ft. LOX & Ma$e. Butterfly is not my favorite Mariah album by any means, but I DO understand why it is for many. This was her first R&B heavy album and  in’97 Bad Boy artists were at their height of popularity, to which Mariah definitely benefitted from career wise. My MC favorites are actually Music Box, Daydream (the CD where she first collaborated with JD), and The Emancipation of Mimi.

vs.

Honey so so def remix ~ Mariah Carey ft. Da Brat & JD. This version samples the Jackson 5’s  “It’s Great to Be Here” which Puff also sampled in “All About the Benjamins (remix).” It however doesn’t hold a candle to the bad boy remix.

Been Around the World remix ~ Puff Daddy ft. Ma$e and Carl Thomas.  Same verses + add a r&b cat = a better song. I mean you really couldn’t go wrong with Carl Thomas feature back in these days.

In My Bed so so def remix” ~ Dru Hill ft. JD & Da Brat. !!!!!!!!! One of the best songs JD has ever done. The original “In My Bed” track was slow and serious, it was definitely a ballad. JD took this song to another level and made it a dance track. “if you wanna dance, I’ma make you dance…” well done. And can I just mention that Sisqo was a SANGIN’ mofo on this song?! Lawd. You can’t listen to this song and not sing along–he MEANT that! JD and Brat going back and forth on the verses was super dope too. One of my favorite remixes of all time, definitely. This one makes you forget the original song exists…

1997 is the year that changed things to me. Up until this year there was a bigger Bad Boy presence as far as favorites but in ’97 JD did his thing, not just on the remixes but with the overall production of my favorite Usher album My Way and Jagged Edge’s debut album A Jagged Era. I think this is around the time where he came into his own and had a known presence in popular music.

1998:

All About the Benjamins rock remix” ~ Puff Daddy & The Family I mean… as if the first remix wasn’t dope enough. I totally dig this one as well.

With Me pt. 1″ ~ Destiny’s Child ft. JD. since its pt. 1 I guess its not really a remix, but since both versions (pt. 2 with Master P) were on the same album, I’m using it anyway. Its the better version.

there were no noteworthy remixes by either producer in 1999. hmm.

2000:

Let’s Get Married ~ Jagged Edge ft. Rev Run. another classic remix. totally transformed the song and made it a dance track, something that JD is definitely skilled at.  This was before we fell in love with the tv show Run’s House so it was an odd feature to see Rev Run back on the scene in this song, albeit with the well used Run-DMC sample. Now its been heard at wedding receptions all over the country ever since.

2001-beyond:

There have been way more remixes and this post is long enough so I’ll just end it here. with this image:

JD had a good run, and managing Bow Wow’s career was a good look for him. Usher’s best and most selling album to date (diamond status) was Confessions in 2004–which also is the 2nd best selling album of the decade, had heavy JD production. He also had a pivotal role in reviving Mariah Carey’s career with the The Emancipation of Mimi , the top selling album of 2005. He tried to do the same with Janet’s 20 Y.O., but just wasn’t as successful/groundbreaking on that front.

Even though I pretty much am indifferent to Diddy Dirty Money, and often question Puff’s relevance today as an artist or producer–I gotta give the man his props.  The tv shows, the CDs of his various one album wonder groups; the assortment of other artists he has hiding in the basement aside–he’s produced some classic material in this millenium, with remixes to boot. I want to say in terms of remixes he also is the clear winner, but since its been good music all around, from both men I say they both win.

The last remixes I truly loved by Diddy were probably the “I need a girl” pts 1-26. lol. Seriously I can’t choose between the one with Usher and Loon and the one with Ginuwine, Mario Winans and Loon. I feel like all of these songs were pleas to J. Lo either way…

The We Invented the Remix album included other faves such as So Complete, Special Delivery, and Unfoolish. ok so where are Cheri Dennis, G-Dep (well we know where he is) or Ashanti right now? who cares, these songs still bump.

I’ll end this post with a favorite remix that features them both.

what do you think? PD or JD? remixes or otherwise do you have a favorite producer among the two?


22 responses to “The Remix: PD vs. JD

  1. @TweetDeez2 says:

    Been a minute (probably a year) since i commented, but i promised to be more active. With that said:

    JD did do his thing, but Special Delivery remix just makes you wanna stop everything you’re doing once you hear Ghostface on the intro. Not too many remixes can kill it like that. Puffy is and will always be THAT DUDE for remixes. Carl Thomas’ Emotional remix with Faith was excellent, too. And though, Welcome to Atlanta remix was a JD track, you HAVE to admit that the remix wouldn’t have slapped so hard without Diddy’s part. “Oh Let’s Do It” remix had Diddy talking like Puff!! It was the cocky-I-Still-Run-The-City-Diddy that we all loved and hated.

    Also, with JD- on one of his BEST remixes (Sleeping in my bed), he and Da Brat rhymed about how fly they were on a song about heartbreak. It simply didn’t fit the mood of the song, but it fit the beat. “Oh I Think They Like Me”, that remix is still tight to me and it will go down as the only Bow-Wow verse that I will ever memorize.

    Lastly, how about sending me all of these songs. i have a couple of them, but you named some that i forgot about. thanks lol

  2. Reecie says:

    thanks for coming back out of lurkdom!

    yeah Ghostface set the Special Delivery remix off. love that joint.

    as far as remixes after 2001, you mentioned some good ones, that “Oh I think they like me” is one of my faves– they def made a so so song hot with that. def one of Bow’s best verses ever. I just spent too much time doing the first decade, I tired out. lol Brat’s flow was tough on that one too.

    its just way too many remixes Diddy has done up until now that go hard. I will admit Oh Lets Do it is one of them. JD hasn’t made any good ones in awhile. I still think when going toe for toe thru though 90s its a hard sell to put it all on Puff though. He made MORE songs, but I don’t necessarily think they were better.

  3. @TweetDeez2 says:

    Please, feel free to do the post-2001 ones in your next entry. Minds like yours remind me of songs that I have forgotten about over time. This reminds me of the Remix thread from Kazo. Lots of good music lost on that site. Damn Shame

  4. Reecie… this is so dope that I have to sleep on it and come back tomorrow and comment more thoroughly. That said, you can’t talk about Diddy Remixes without talking about the 112’s “Only You” remix featuring Mase. That was like the non-mixtape-listener’s introduction to Mase. I still remember the first time I saw that video on Bobby Simmonds Flava Video on the public access (which was like a ghetto version of Video Music Box… yeah I know). Mase and 112 came out in the Hummer with the Vanson’s riding through Times Square… so epic.

    Now you can hum all you want to, cum all you want to…

    Mase set that joint off.

  5. Reecie says:

    you know Most, Only you is one of my favorite remixes, but I really left it out for a reason. While it has two of the most memorable verses by BIG and MA$E–and the video is a 90s classic, it is the exact same song as the original, just a verse at the beginning and at the end. I left it off simply because I wanted people to mention in the comments their favorites as well (which you did.) There are also some BIG and other Total remixes I adore–won’t name em, I’ll wait for others to mention them too. lol But trust it was not a slight or oversight on my part by any means. The post was simply very Bad Boy heavy in those earlier years and I wanted to focus on a few other songs, outside of my usual bad boy faves that I’ve mentioned in other posts on the blog.

  6. Capricorn says:

    I LOVED the remix of the Dru Hill song. When I got my first car, i WORE the TAPE out, yes I had the cassette single. (I may or may not have been a Dru Hill stan). I miss the old Dru Hill. *sigh*

    GREAT, GREAT post!!

  7. Ms. Minx says:

    Ooh, such a great post, Reecie!
    Ok, so I guess this is where I confess that I didn’t like and/or appreciate most of these songs till yearrrrs after. Blame it on the differences in music while I was living in London 😆 I was busy listening to a lot of pop music and 1 or 2 crossover artists from the US.
    I’ve gotta say, I never really discriminated against remixes that weren’t THAT different from their original, but only if I really liked the original. The Dru Hill rmx was the 1st time I preferred a remix to the original, tho.

    Anyway, before I pile more shame on myself :lol:, and on the strength of the songs I enjoyed then (and now), I gotta say Diddy wins this one for me, even tho he really sucks now.

  8. Reecie says:

    you know Ms. Minx, better late than never! a lot of music I grew up listening too I didn’t really appreciate until I got older and could really relate to the lyrics–for example TLC. so there is no shame in that.

    I don’t really discriminate against remixes that don’t deviate from the original either, well actually I kinda do, and when I break down some of my favorites in another post you will see why.

  9. Cryssy says:

    so we all know my issues with DIDDY!!!! HOWEVER… I simply canNOT act like he is not the KING of a HOT remix…

    Great POST Sis… Looking forward to VOl. 2 some of these songs I haven’t listened to in FOREVER

  10. My eyes just grew wide at the shade thrown at Mariah’s Butterfly album. That’s my favorite album by her along with The Emancipation of MiMi…both are solid albums.

    Okay…back to reading.

    Great post! Man, that “Been Around The World” Remix was so TOUGH!! The purple Hush Puppies?!!! They were killing them! “Kissin You” remix is another banger. I mean they are all bangers! I can’t choose between PD and JD…really I can’t. Both are extremely talented at what they do. N*ggas throw Puff wild shade…but he definitely switched the game up, say what you want.

    And I can’t rock w/ eithe of those Usher remixes for “Think of You”. The original was better. *stomps foot* And that float on remix?!!! I used to sit on the arm of the couch and wave my hand just like Angela Winbush w/ those frozen ass curls, bwhahaha!

  11. Robin says:

    What is sooo incredibly funny was as you notified me that you did a post on the “Battle of the Remix King”, JD’s “Oh I Think They Like Me” came on my iTunes radio, which was then followed by PD’s remix of “Honey” (which actually ishts on JD’s remix of it).

    While I am a fan of both in terms of producing, I’m really feeling that Diddy’s #winning in this contest simply for all the songs that you mentioned above. I should also mention that I am an absolute fan of Total’s “Kissing You/Oh Honey” remix. Lest I not forget the “No One Else” remix with Total feat. Lil Kim, Fox Boogie and Da Brat (the video was very much a rip of Flava in Ya Ear’s remix video – once again, Diddy strikes again!)

    Now I feel like I need to create a playlist with all these remixes…great post Reecie!

  12. MilanRouge says:

    Great post! I clicked on darn near EVERY link just to get my fix. Both men had great contributions to the remix game and this post made me sooooo happy to be a “teen” during the 90s when I could appreciate all of them the most. That Gina Thompson???! I almost threw my computer! LOLOL. Forgot about her. I used to love that song! Anyway, reading this was a bit bittersweet though because honestly it makes you truly realize how things in the game have changed. And how MUCH we lack quality hits and remixes these days. Right now its all about throwing a bunch of rappers over the same track with the same hook and calling it a remix. Very little creativity. SMH. I’m gonna create a remix playlist and include most of the songs you listed here. Thanks!

  13. TravelinNupe says:

    You just took it back like Cadillac seats. I think JD/PD were a great comparison but it is hard to talk about that decade without having R. Kelly in the mix.

    This one right here…

  14. Streetz says:

    96 and 97 were remix golden years. Puff knows how to remix. You cant go wrong either way but Puff will be damned if he dont turn it up on a REMIX!!

    Great Post Reecie!

  15. @milesfan79 says:

    Great post, honestly I never thought of JD when thinking of remixes. When I think remixes only 2 ppl come to mind diddy and busta rhymes! If diddy invented the remix, busta perfected!! I guess bc I’m not r and b head I never really paid attention to JD mixes. One of diddy’s slepted on remixes was the g dat “special delivery” remix, when the beat intro dropped and ghostface said “fcuk the whole industry!!!” I was DONE!!!!!!!!!

    Interesting fact abt remixes these days: ever wondered why remixes now are just same beats and maybe new verse?? Well the soundscan software that counts radio airplay is program to pick up on tracks beats. So artist now do “remixes” w/same beat to get software to pick it up. And its sort of to cheat/manipulate play counts. If artist has 2 songs(orginial and remix) w/same beat playin on stations it counts dbl but ony as 1 song bc software pics up same beat on both songs. There fore artist fix system to get #1 record on most played list SMH. That’s why artist don’t do anything creative w/remixes now other than add a verse

  16. Lisa says:

    Reecie.

    You KNOW you took me back to my college years! OMG. Puff SLAYED the 90s with the remix, absolutely SLAYED it. But JD definitely came with it, albeit with a way heavier R&B flavor as @milesfan79 mentioned. Also, I have to give an honorable mention to Teddy Riley, because there was quite a bit of remixing going on with New Jack Swing.

    And for you to stan for Jodeci, how did you leave off the remix of I’m Still Waiting? (“this is for the jeeps, strictly for the jeeps, ” K-Ci sang his a$$ off on this one!) All in all a superb post. Can’t wait for Part 2!

  17. Don Bee says:

    Great article Reecie. I’ve always been impressed with the way Diddy was able to flip a song around in the 90’s and make what was already on its way to becoming iconic into a fresh new track. You also reminded me that JD can hold his own on the remix tip himself. Loved the head to head battle/comparison.
    I think the art of a good remix has been lost. Now these so-called producers will just add another 16 bars from some hot-right-now rapper and re-release it as a remix. Where Diddy/JD would change the music, maybe slow down or speed up the track, add a bridge and even maybe change the words, The classic remixes are few and far between nowadays.
    Some of my favorite type of R&B remixes are the ones that drop the vocals of the singer out except the chorus and add a a group of rappers to fill the space. A modern-day example of that would be the Chris Brown “Dueces” remix featuring Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, & Andre 3000.
    But overall now remixes get caught up in the mix of the rest of sub-par music out there; not really making an impact and clearly not changing any games.

  18. D. Mitch says:

    Yeah, this definitely takes me back to a time when music was music. Listening to a lot of these remind me of when I used to record it off the radio, or record the video, and play em til they wouldn’t play right anymore. This also is when the remix was a totally different song, not just adding folks to the same track.

    IMO, both Diddy and JD run neck and neck on the remix game. Both of them put out joints that make you bob ya head to this day…only difference is that Diddy is still goin with his.

    Some of my faves from this list: Benjamins remix, All Around The World, Honey (JD), and In My Bed

    But I gotta give it to Diddy with “We Invented the Remix” cause it included probably one of very few songs that I’ll publicly claim of Ashanti’s that I listen to: the Un-Foolish remix.

    But I can’t believe you didn’t include the “Who Shot Ya” remix tho…that joint banged too!

    Good post Reecie! #latepass

  19. Me and my brother loved rapping along to the “sleeping in my bed” remix. This post is gonna make me come back and listen to these songs again because I can’t listen to them all right now. Looking forward to the next remix post.

  20. Mo says:

    Child I was transported immediately to the dorm rooms at Marshall University, like jammin in my mind. Fantastic post sis

  21. D. Mitch says:

    Yeah, this definitely takes me back to a time when music was music. Listening to a lot of these remind me of when I used to record it off the radio, or record the video, and play em til they wouldn’t play right anymore. This also is when the remix was a totally different song, not just adding folks to the same track.

    IMO, both Diddy and JD run neck and neck on the remix game. Both of them put out joints that make you bob ya head to this day…only difference is that Diddy is still goin with his.

    Some of my faves from this list: Benjamins remix, All Around The World, Honey (JD), and In My Bed

    But I gotta give it to Diddy with “We Invented the Remix” cause it included probably one of very few songs that I’ll publicly claim of Ashanti’s that I listen to: the Un-Foolish remix.

    But I can’t believe you didn’t include the “Who Shot Ya” remix tho…that joint banged too!

    Good post Reecie! #latepass

  22. Whoa!! thanks for the excellent trip down memory lane!! Guess who will be updating her itunes library as soon as she gets home!! *raises hand*

    Nah, this is awesome for real. A lot of time went into this post. I can tell.

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