Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Best Remixes Ever, Part III

"On that Diamonds remix, i swore i'd spaz,
Then my big brother came through and kicked my ass!" - KW

Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix) - Kanye West ft. Jay-Z [2005]

I remember listening to this song for the first time when I was abroad in Australia and just thinking, "Wow." Aside from the unbelievable beat, the lyrics by 'Ye are superb and the cameo from Jigga is one of his best, point blank.

Especially an a amazing song after listening to the original, the Diamonds remix starts off with a longer Shirley Bassey intro, an eerie array of twilight zonish sounds. Once Kanye comes in, everything sounds right:

"Good Morning, this ain't Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms for real
Little was known of Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own"

I think it's safe to say most people, most rap fans, were ignorant of the situation in Sierra Leone before this song. I certainly was. For this reason I applaud Kanye for attempting to raise some sort of awareness, while at the same time admitting to a personal conflict:

"And here's the conflict
It's in a black person's soul to rock that gold
Spend ya whole life tryna get that ice
On a polo rugby it look so nice
How could somethin' so wrong make me feel so right, right?"

The next verse is amazing. What I loved was how he took part of his original verse to introduce Jay (you gotta love his adlibbing in the back while Kanye is rapping. Remember, this was when he was "retired" so having any new material from him was a rap fans orgasm. No homo):

"People askin' me is I'm gon' give my chain back (uh)
That'll be the same day I give the game back (uh)
You know the next question dog 'yo, where Dame at?'(uh)
This track the Indian dance to bring our reign back (whoo!)
'wassup wit you a Jay man, are ya'll okay man?'"

"Yep, I got it from here 'Ye, damn!"

You have to admit that this next verse from Jay is one of his best ever. Best. Ever. I was blown away when I heard it.

ow could you falter when you're the Rock of Gibraltar
I had to get of the boat so I could walk on water
This ain't no tall order, this is nothin to me
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week"

What rapper references the Rock of Gibraltar?? The next line is probably one of his most quoted.

"I do this in my sleep,
I sold Kilos of coke, (so?) I'm guessin' I can sell CD's
I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man
Let me handle my business, damn!"

Plus, what he says about Memphis Bleek is hilarious. He basically calls him his son.

"Bleek could be one hit away his whole career
As long as I'm alive, he's a millionaire
And even if I die, he's in my will somewhere
So he can just kick back and chill somewhere, oh yeah
He don't even have to write rhymes"

And just when you think the verse should be over, he ends on a high:

"Shirley Bassey's in the rear sayin exactly
What I been sayin practically me whole carreer
The diamond is forever, I been minin' this forever
Now the Louis Vuitton Don's timin' couldn't be better
People lined up to see the Titanic sinkin'
Instead we rose from the ash like a phoenix
If you waitin' for the end of the dynasty sign
It would seem like forever is a mighty long time"

What rapper nowadays nows whose voice is being sampled? Now, although Jay's verse is not as conscious as 'Ye's, it is still sick.

Just like the song as a whole.

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