While the rap world was up in arms about Lupe Fiasco’s remake of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.” (and Pete Rock’s disapproval of the remake), a thought occurred to me: Who would be best fit to cover classics from rap’s “golden era”? I won’t pontificate on the Lupe remake because I’m too old, too poor, and too unknown to be entitled to an opinion on current rap. But let’s keep it real – it’s not about respect anymore, but a guaranteed hit. If it was a hit in the past, it will probably be a hit again. And who has the greatest hit-making potential in rap these days? Drake and Rick Ross are surely two of them. Rick Ross in particular has a personality that would create an interesting marriage if paired with some rap cuts of yesteryear. Here are five old rap songs that could benefit from the Rick Ross remake treatment and could possibly earn Ross some points from older rap fans.
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5. P.M. Dawn - “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”
Here we find Ricky Rozay spitting in a softer tone, going Z100 in a way other drug dealer rappers have never done before. Spandau Ballet loops + Ross using his crush on a pasty white girl as a euphemism for doing a lot of drug trafficking = karaoke magic that folks will have a shit ton of fun with for the next 20 years.
4. Kid N' Play - “Rollin’ With Kid N’ Play”
Aptly titled “Rollin With Coke and Yay,” Rick Ross would sound nice over that Hurby Luv Bug-style late ‘80s Go-Go swing. Of course he’d have to perfect the Kid N’ Play Kickstep dance for live performances, and that could be a major quagmire. The DJ’s Serato MUST be in internal mode to prevent skipping and an oxygen tank, defibrillator, and king-sized sofa must also be present on stage just in case the old heart and lungs don’t hold up. Wiz Khalifa could appear on the remix to let us know that weed is better than coke and yay.
3. Dead Prez - “Be Healthy”
Ross will need to accept that a change of diet will be necessary to keep on being the “big black nigga with the icy watch” in good health. Like fellow (erstwhile) portly rapper Fat Joe, expect some changes as the money keeps rolling in and fellow rappers continue having mild heart attacks at young ages. The lightning will strike and Maybach Man will see the light. Dead Prez will soon get the call to grant clearance on this health conscious ditty from a decade ago – a more svelte Ricky will put his own spin on it:
“Big Meech / Larry Hoover / Wheatgrass, canned tuna, hallelujah / Doctor said Ross, chill / Now I’m eatin’ oatmeal / Mo’ celery / Mo’ dope deals / Nigga, I’m a bawse / Nigga, main course / Whole wheat spaghetti / Nigga, no sauce / Nigga pushin weight / To the dope fiends / But now I’m losin weight / Nigga, mo’ protein”
2. Fat Boys - “All You Can Eat”
But what if Rozay ain’t trying to learn about the benefits of quinoa? There’s always the Fat Boys’ classic, “All You Can Eat.” Ross can still pull that Maybach up to the Sbarro in Times Square and re-shoot the video the same way. That tempo is a bit much for Maybach Man, who typically hovers at around 80 BPM. This must be chopped and screwed to work properly.
1. KRS-One - “Black Cop”
This would be the greatest remake of all – Rick Ross’ real life story in rhyme form.
Warner Bros. legal team, get to work.