Album cover Drugs Remixes - Kool Keith
Drugs RemixesKool Keith6/10

Kool Keith - Drugs Remixes

25 Jan 2012 row1

In 2001 Kool Keith released the under appreciated album Spankmaster. Not only did it produce once of rap's greatest album covers but also one of Keith's most remixed tracks 'Drugs'. Now, over 10 years later and for reasons unknown, some well respected electronic producers have decided to take a crack at it.

The single is official, endorsed by Kool Keith and contains 6 remixes from Two Fingers (Amon Tobin & Doubleclick), Switch and Siyoung. I always assumed that there were so many unofficial remixes of 'Drugs' floating around because Kool Keith acapellas are somewhat of a rarity; so for an official release it is a shame to have solely focused on 'Drugs'-Spankmaster had plenty of memorable tracks such as 'Jewelry Shine' and 'Captain Save Em', not to mention Keith's ridiculously huge back catalog full of classic and bizarre lines.

Only two of the remixes actually make creative use of the original song's lyrics. The Two Fingers version is a full vocal remix and was originally released in 2009. It has some nice dark synths, metallic drums, shattering glass and bad piano playing-it is exactly what I would imagine going through withdrawal to sound like and would make for a good montage movie scene. The Version IV remix (by Siyoung) manages to go on a completely different and hilarious tangent by turning it into some sort of disco-funk-house love song which just keeps samples Make me feel the way I feel, baby, oh baby. There is a certain level of extreme genius to this ridiculous transformation.

The other three versions (plus one instrumental) mostly make minimal usage of the vocals and do nothing that couldn't have been accomplished with another Kool Keith track. The Switch remix has a nice sound to it with some nice big beats and dark synths, but only sampling I used to be up all night and another line or two really tires the rest of the album. Version X (again by Siyoung) is similar to Version IV but is a dupstep interpretation with a vacillating baseline and the transformation isn't as impressive. The Hot Chip mix uses the majority of the vocals over an uninspired generic house sound that really puts a downer on the more creative versions. For some reason an unnecessary instrumental version of the Hot Chip remix is also included.

Kool Keith is no stranger to being sampled in electronic/dance/whatever genres and it is great to see him still being mixed by some top quality producers of their field, but it feels like a great opportunity has been missed by releasing a single instead of an EP or LP. Hopefully more is still to come.

Sardless Tracks

  • Drugs (Two Fingers Remix)
  • Drugs (Version IV)

Track Listing

  1. Drugs (Two Fingers Remix)
  2. Drugs (Switch Remix)
  3. Drugs (Version X)
  4. Drugs (Version IV)
  5. Drugs (Hot Chip Remix)
  6. Drugs (Hot Chip Vox Remix)